26 days in Cook Islands, Samoa & Bali Itinerary

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Aitutaki, Cook Islands
— 2 nights
Fly to Rarotongo, Taxi to Rarotonga
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
— 8 nights
Taxi to Rarotongo, Fly to Apia, Drive to Upolu
Upolu, Samoa
— 6 nights
Drive to Faleolo International Airport, Fly to Ngurah Rai (Bali) International Airport, Drive to Kuta
Kuta, Indonesia
— 6 nights


Aitutaki, Cook Islands — 2 nights

Aitutaki's triangular barrier reef surrounds a turquoise lagoon of crystal clear water.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Aitutaki Lagoon and Fishing Charters & Tours. Next up on the itinerary: step off the mainland to explore Moturakau, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Maungapu, take in nature's colorful creations at Aitutaki Secret Garden, and stop by T & S Artworx.

To see reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Aitutaki online travel route planner.

Oslo, Norway to Aitutaki is an approximately 35-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 11 hours traveling from Oslo to Aitutaki. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Rarotonga.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 23:

Rarotonga, Cook Islands — 8 nights

The center of Rarotonga is a mass of peaks and ridges, closely thatched with dense jungle.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Muri Lagoon and Cocoputt. There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Titikaveka Beach, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cook Island Christian Church (CICC), stroll through Takitumu Conservation Area, and examine the collection at Te Ara- Cook Islands Museum of Cultural Enterprise.

For more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Rarotonga travel planning app.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Aitutaki to Rarotonga takes 3 hours. In September, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 24°C. On the 1st (Sat), you're off to Upolu.
Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 23 — Oct 1:

Upolu, Samoa — 6 nights

Samoa's second-largest island, Upolu contains the nation's capital city, along with the majority of its population.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to To Sua Ocean Trench and Palolo Deep Marine Reserve. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Lalomanu Beach, admire the sheer force of Falefa Falls, stroll through Tafa Tafa Beach, and take in the exciting artwork at Tiapapata Art Centre.

To see maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Upolu day trip app.

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and car from Rarotonga to Upolu takes 14 hours. You'll lose 23 hours traveling from Rarotonga to Upolu due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can travel to Kuta.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 8:

Kuta, Indonesia — 6 nights

Formerly a sleepy fishing village, the beach resort town of Kuta now represents one of Indonesia's most popular tourist destinations.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Balangan Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Change things up with these side-trips from Kuta: Jatiluwih Green Land (in Tabanan), Blue Point Beach (in Ungasan) and Saraswati Temple (in Ubud). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Geger Beach Nusa Dua Bali, get your game on at Paintball, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and wander the streets of Kuta Square.

For where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Kuta road trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Upolu to Kuta. The time zone difference moving from Apia Standard Time to Central Indonesia Time is minus 5 hours. October in Kuta sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 28°C at night. On the 14th (Fri), you're off to home.
Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 14:

Cook Islands travel guide

Beaches · Concerts & Shows · Scuba & Snorkeling
Scattered across a 2,200,000 sq km (849,425 sq mi) zone in the vast Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, the Cook Islands are about as remote a holiday destination as you will find. With their pristine white-sand beaches, tranquil azure lagoons, lush tropical jungles, and teeming coral reefs, the 15 islands seem plucked from a picture postcard of paradise. Relaxation comes first and foremost, for locals as much as tourists, and you will find the laid-back lifestyle of the Cook Islanders as infectious as their warm smiles. As tempting (and fulfilling) as it might be to spend all day swinging lazily in a hammock strung between shady palm trees, plenty of adventures await exploring the idyllic scenery overland, on the waves, and undersea.

Samoa travel guide

Geologic Formations · Waterfalls · History Museums
Enchanting Samoa and its people boast a legendarily laid-back approach to life, and clocks and set times are merely a formality here. The society remains a proud one, deeply connected to a set of millennia-old traditions known as "Fa'a Samoa"--the Samoan Way. Spread out over two main islands and several smaller landmasses, Samoa is a land of incredible contrasts and natural beauty, home to rocky volcanic mountains and expansive beaches, rugged cliffs and lush rainforests. Visitors on holiday in Samoa can easily spend their time exploring the country's exotic interior and untamed coastal reaches, which offer plenty of wildlife and fantastic landscapes. Alternatively, they can just as readily kick back in sleepy seaside villages, indulging in a full-service resort, or splash around in lagoons and at beaches that hold their place among the world's best.

Bali travel guide

World heritage site · Spas · Beaches
Island of the Gods
A province of Indonesia, the island of Bali remains one of the world's top tourist destinations thanks to its beaches, diving spots, and resorts. Take a trip to Bali to discover the island's smiling and famously hospitable locals--perhaps the biggest treasure of this tropical paradise. More than just another fun-in-the-sun getaway, Bali also reveals a rich history and varied geography of mountains, rugged coastal areas, sandy beaches, thriving rice terraces, and stark volcanic hillsides that seem transported from another planet. A Bali tour uncovers some of the world's best surfing spots, as well as a deeply spiritual local culture and globally significant archeological attractions.