We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A real highlight”

Aitutaki Punarei Culture Day Tour
Ranked #9 of 16 Tours in Aitutaki
Attraction details
Reviewed August 29, 2013

This tour was recommended to us and we really enjoyed it. Our two kids (ages 21 and 18) sighed when we told them we had booked a tour, but they loved it!

They pick you up at your accommodations and taken by Leo to the reconstructed cultural village where Ngaa gives an educational tour, including explaining about some of the traditional plant medicines, as well as how structures were built. Then comes time to prepare the umu (earth oven), which we all partook in. We also got to weave our own dinner plates out of palm leaves. Then, while the food was cooking we were taken on a tour that included a sacred site (Marae). It was all fascinating and very informative, with plenty of interaction. It wasn't a large group - about 12.

After this it was back to the village to uncover the cooked food that was served with some of the local dishes such as paw-paw curry, island spinach (taro leaves) with coconut cream, salad and fruit. It was delicious, and Leo the driver sang.

We would highly recommended this tour. Our impression was that this isn't just some commercial venture but is part of is a real commitment to preserving and learning more about the culture that existed here before the arrival of European missionaries in the early 19th century. They are collaborating with an archeologist to further explore the marae and the work and discoveries are still in progress.

2  Thank Leah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (47)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"earth oven"
in 6 reviews
"fire pit"
in 3 reviews
"island life"
in 3 reviews
"coconut water"
in 3 reviews
"land rover"
in 2 reviews
"cooked food"
in 2 reviews
"local fruit"
in 2 reviews
"cook islands"
in 7 reviews
"umu"
in 16 reviews
"ancient"
in 11 reviews
"sacred"
in 5 reviews
"hibiscus"
in 3 reviews
"pumpkin"
in 3 reviews
"sites"
in 5 reviews
"ritual"
in 2 reviews
"islanders"
in 3 reviews
"archaeological"
in 3 reviews
Filter

37 - 41 of 47 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2013

An excellent day exploring the culture of Aitutaki. The enthusiasm of Ngaa for his home and history makes everyone enjoy this day. It starts with a traditional greeting before we see the sights. The finale was a superb lunch with traditional games and a great view. A great way to learn about the Island of Aitutaki.
Gillian & Andrew Talbot

1  Thank AndrewTal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Kia Orana, My Husband and I went to Aitutaki for our Honeymoon and took the cultural tour with Ngaa. We had a great time and really enjoyed learning about life on the island, the rituals and tradition. The views are amazing. Visiting the ancient Marae was a special experience as was making our own plates to eat our lunch off. We want to thank Ngaa and his team for their dedication in putting this ancient village together and if you are going to visit this unspoilt paradise, remember to take this tour. Oh and I shouldn't leave out the fabulous traditional lunch you will be sure to enjoy !!!!

1  Thank Melissa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Punarei Cultural Tour is the best tour offered on the island of Aitutaki. Ngaa, a very enthusiastic Cook Islander from Aitutaki, organizes a cultural tour that has all ingredients combined to be one of the best memories of a South Seas tour. The guests have the possibility to make their own plates by weaving coconut leaves and filling the umu (earth oven) with local specialties. While the food is simmering, Ngaa takes the guests to his recently restored marae on the other side of the island.Followed by an interesting and passionate talk about ancient beliefs, modern restoration methods and the quarrel to get the population interested in their own forgotten sacred sites. Back to the stunning location of the cultural village site (what a view!), the opening of the umu is supervised by all guests. And the food is DELICIOUS! The best UMU-Food I've ever had (among hundreds already tried).
This excursion on Aitutaki was, together with the stunning lagoon cruise, the highlight of our tour through the Pacific. Meitaki Ngaa and the whole team for giving us dreams and wonderful memories to take back home.

1  Thank Honutahiti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Working in the field of cultural heritage and archaeology, it is easy to be a bit jaded by many tours and small local cultural centres around the world. This makes it all the better to experience one that is as inspiring as the work being done by Ngaa Kitai and others at Punarei. Recommended for kids and archaeologists alike!

1  Thank Oliver B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Aitutaki Punarei Culture Day Tour also viewed

Aitutaki, Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki, Southern Cook Islands
 
Aitutaki, Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki, Southern Cook Islands
 

Been to Aitutaki Punarei Culture Day Tour? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing