Shawn: All that information is already here on the forum. All you need to do is spend some time and read back about 10-12 pages. Read all the posts and answers and you will know where to stay, where to eat, what to do.
Also, read the reviews of properties to get a feel for them. Go to their websites. If you really get ambitious, go to www.jasons.com and get the visitors guide and map. Also www.http://www.cookislands.travel/USA for the official tourist site. Good Luck. Chuck...
We have stayed there before and had an amazing time.
It is on the cheaper side and you do have to share bathrooms, toilets, kitchen etc. but it is a lovely place with really friendly people. It is only about 1 minutes walk down a path to a beautiful beach and 5 minutes walk down the road to the shops/restaurants/scooter hire place.
If you want to be on the beach with great snorkeling then give Cooks Bay Villas a try. Hosts are fantastic, villas are very well set up, located on the south side of the island, close to Wigmore's store for supplies.
You HAVE to be at Muri, no question. We just left Raro yesterday and trust me if you are anywhere but Muri you will regret that decision.
Also easy to get to the cross island hike from there although you will be doing it in reverse (not a problem as the wife and I did it in reverse. Allow 3.5 hours and be mindful the opposing direction has orange direction tags (look behind you for helpful guidance you are going the right way). At the Needle track crossroad if you headed north you have three options... straight on for Needle (4 minutes more), right for North of island exit, left to follow white water pipe and a dead end (don't follow that!). It is a great walk, you will love it but don't go unless the sky is blue or it will be muddy and very slippery.
I have to disagree!! Muri is the LAST place we would stay. I guess it depends on what you are looking for but it is much too busy and doesn't have great snorkeling like other locations. As Chuck advises, so some research and decide what is importatnt to you as far as location goes and you won't be disappointed. Western or southern tip of the island is our favourite, much quieter and beautiful beaches.
Muri too busy? By that you mean there were 3 people on the beautiful beach?
Muri has the only good beach/snorkelling on the island. Everywhere else is affected by rocks on the beach and in the water.
Muri was the only place I saw that looked like an Island paradise location (hence the hotels and restaurants). Everywhere else is just living on the reputation.
Shawn. See responses 4 and 6? That's exactly why I said for you to do your own research and making up your own mind. Much of the time all you get here are opinions by people who have no idea what they are talking about. For example, there are a couple of areas that are WAY better for snorkelling than Muri Beach. Take care and Good Luck. Chuck...
Could not agree more with Black Belt Dan. Lots better places for snorkeling. Check out Titikaveka. I agree though that nowhere is busy
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