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Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Birmingham,England
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15 posts
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Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Hi All

We are doing a round the world trip stopping off in Raratonga for 1 - 2 nights then Aitutaki. We are travelling on a budget - max of £20 £25 per person per night.

Questions I have:

Do we need to ensure we have booked accomadation somewhere in order to enter the Cook Islands?

Is there anywhere within this budget that has a beachfront location?

Diving - Recommended Dive Centres in Aitutaki as I am pretty inexperienced and want a good guide/centre.

Anything else helpful! As a bit of a spontaneous travelller, I have decided perhaps I need to know a bit more before I go.

Thank you!

Lisa.

santa barbara,CA
Destination Expert
for French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tahiti
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8,455 posts
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1. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Hi Lisa:

Sounds fun! Yes, you will need to have an accomodation booked prior to arrival in Rarotonga. They want to know where you are staying. In Aitutaki if you show up without a reservation you will be stranded at the airport. There is nothing close by and no local transportation. So, booking an accomodation in advance is pretty mandatory in Aitutaki. The property you book with can include a transfer to and from the airport.

Diving in Aitutaki, there is no decompression chamber. So you may wish to brush up on your diving prior to getting there. More info:

http://www.diveaitutaki.com/

http://www.aitutaki.com/informations.htm

newcastle
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792 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Hi,

We spent 1 night in Raro on our way out to aitutaki at Aquarius. It was a backpackers place by the water (but no beach) next to the airport. The room with 2 double beds cost us about £36 (but they did have dorms for about £9 p.p). It had a pool and you could easily get the bus or walk into town (about 20 mins).

We didn't dive in Aitutaki, but snorkelling on the lagoon was excellent. A guy called Mike took us out on a private trip to some snorkelling spots, plus some of the islands on the lagoon.

Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
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146 posts
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3. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

G'Day Lisa

I went diving in October on Aitutaki with the company called Bubbles Below, dive instructor is Onu ( Maori for turtle). He is very good and knows the spots. We went diving with loads of reef fish, dog tooth tuna and the day before they had a whale approach them. The water was so clear you could see forever...

It was my first real time diving and i was very comfortable with it.

Bubbles Below is a relative new comer to the diving in the Cook Islands, but Onu dived/instructed for many years in NZ.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Kris

Birmingham,England
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15 posts
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4. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Thanks Everyone - very helpful info - might try that dive centre out Kris!

If anyone else has been diving here and has any recommendations, I would be super grateful! Also, location wise, where would be best to stay depending on where I am diving.

Thank you for your help so far - have become addicted to this site since booking my rtw trip as its so helpful.

Lisa.

Waikato
4 posts
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5. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Diving- I would personally recomend Neil Mitchell's Aitutaki Scuba. He's been in business for 20 odd years. Great diving! Awesome dive guides.

Baltimore, MD
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16 posts
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6. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Diving is WAY expensive in the Cooks so if you're on a budget, it's not a great place to dive. And, for the price, it's nothing spectacular. Not sure what you're used to paying for diving but it was WAY more than what we are accustomed to paying. We did use Bubbles Below though and thought they were professional and knowledgeable.

7. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

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Removed on: 1:04 pm, January 10, 2008
auckland
2 posts
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8. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Just a word of advice for the divers going to aitutaki...... DO NOT DIVE WITH BUBBLES BELOW DIVE CENTRE! I recently dived with them and found them very unprofessonal, extremely unsafe and unenthusiastic. One thing that shocked my the most was the fact that there was NO emergency oxygen on the boat OR even in the dive centre! which is the most important thing for any dive centre! there was no safety procedures at all and it seems an accident could happen there very easily.... the guide didnt even brief the divers on safety before the dive, didnt even check on us during the whole dive, didnt check our air consumption,etc.... and this is just unacceptable, DIVING can be very dangerous, especially when you are not experienced and not being looked after by your guide.... be careful when choosing dive centre, try the other one on aitutaki Aitutaki scuba i think its called, and ones on Rarotonga seem alot more professional, but check them all out first.... go with the one that has oxygen on hand! this will show that they care for the safety of their divers and themselves.... good luck

auckland
2 posts
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9. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Just a word of advice for the divers going to aitutaki...... DO NOT DIVE WITH BUBBLES BELOW DIVE CENTRE! I recently dived with them and found them very unprofessonal, extremely unsafe and unenthusiastic. One thing that shocked my the most was the fact that there was NO emergency oxygen on the boat OR even in the dive centre! which is the most important thing for any dive centre! there was no safety procedures at all and it seems an accident could happen there very easily.... the guide didnt even brief the divers on safety before the dive, didnt even check on us during the whole dive, didnt check our air consumption,etc.... and this is just unacceptable, DIVING can be very dangerous, especially when you are not experienced and not being looked after by your guide.... be careful when choosing dive centre, try the other one on aitutaki Aitutaki scuba i think its called, and ones on Rarotonga seem alot more professional, but check them all out first.... go with the one that has oxygen on hand! this will show that they care for the safety of their divers and themselves.... good luck

Nelson, Canada
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198 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Staying and Diving in Aitutaki

Hi Lisa,

As you've read, there are only two dive operators on Aitutaki: Bubbles Below (run by Onu Hewitt) and private guide, Neil Mitchell. We have had guests dive with both and comments have run the gamut of positive and negative, depending mainly on the expectations and experience of the divers. I think you'd be best to contact both and make your decision based on how you feel about them.

Having said that, if you are on a budget, you will find diving quite expensive here. Be prepared. the good news is, if diving is too pricey, the snorkeling is fabulous. My husband and I are both PADI certified dive masters but we rarely dive here as the snorkeling is so much easier and every bit as enjoyable. (The dives we have done, though, have been fabulous!And just FYI, we didn't go with a company, just rented tanks and went by ourselves, since we have our own boat).

Here's a good link for Aitutaki: www.aitutaki-accommodations.com

I've stayed at the Aquarius on Rarotonga and that is a nice, clean, budget option but no *real* beach to speak of.

Cheers,

Kristene