You’ve read about them countless times – and seen them so often in movies – that it’s almost like you know parts of America without ever having visited them. But nothing, not even a 3D movie, prepares you for the astonishing reality.

Hidden amongst the Cook Islands is a place of paramount beauty. From Rarotonga you could visit on a day trip…but you’ll want to stay for week and week.

Towering palms snake out over the sea in graceful, S-shaped loops. Footprint-free sand curves away to infinity in a crescent of pure white. The turquoise of the lagoon’s shallow water darkens as it deepens, reflecting the sky blue of the heavens above.

How can an island covering just 20 sq km of ocean be so picture postcard perfect? This tiny drop of flawlessness was partly created by volcanoes and has been organically shaped by the gentle action of the ceaseless sea. And it is remote, but accessible. Less than an hour’s flight from Rarotonga takes you to Aitutaki and there are up to five flights a day. So it easily possible to spend a day there, indulging in an island tour, lagoon cruise, snorkelling and lunch. But why would you? Excellent accommodation means you could spend day after day soaking in the sun, the sea and the island’s incredible beauty.

  • We have just returned from what was a holiday of a lifetime. I can't thank you enough. All the places you recommended were excellent. The organisation was meticulous and made our lives so much easier.

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    HPB, India, 2016