I recently spent a week touring three of the Cook Islands, visiting Ratatonga, Aitutaki and Atui. A week was not enough time to do justice to these beautiful and unspoilt islands. The first few days were spent in the most touristy island of Aitutaki but it was not difficult to meet with the locals who made me feel very welcome. Although I am not very religious I visited a church in Muri beach and was enchanted with the singing and sheer enthusiasm of the congregation. Afterwards i was asked to join them for lunch, which was more of a banquet with roast spitted pig. I stayed at the Muri Beach hideaway which was excellent and handy for snorkelling on the reef
On Aitutaki the lagoon was the highlight with the most beautiful fish and coral very easy to see by just snorkelling. I stayed at Ranguinis retreat which was pleasant if basic, with good eating places near by.
My favourite place of all was Atui, as i was only one of 10 tourists on the whole island. It is so peaceful and still and the beaches, vegetation are beautiful. The local people are genuinley intersted and friendly and work hard to make your stay pleasant. Stay with Roger Malcolm at Atui Villas and enjoy his droll sense of humour and his wifes cooking.