With limited options for exploring and only a trickle of young travellers making Rarotonga a stopover, backpacking in the Cook Islands evolves mostly around enjoying a relaxing beach break. Rarotonga is the main island and is a convenient stop-over between Los Angeles and Australia or New Zealand. The islands are relatively expensive to visit and few backpackers stay more than a week and the majority do little more than relax on the gorgeous beaches.
Backpacking Guide to Rarotonga Island
The main island of Rarotonga is a very laid back destination and it's easy to get around and very safe to travel on your own even as a single girl. There are a couple of excellent backpacker hostels aimed at backpackers with Vara's on Muri Beach being the longest standing and most popular.
Backpacking Guide to Aitutaki & Atiu
Backpackers with a more adventurous spirit tend to head out to Aitutaki Island where life is even more laid back than Rarotonga but again here the focus is relaxing on the beach and snorkelling in the beautiful lagoon. The alternative is to visit Atiu Island where the focus is away from the coast and more on exploring village life, culture and caves.