Rarotonga may be small, but the locals know how to party. For proof, consider the fact that many bars on the island have happy hours every day except for Sunday. Not only that – these happy “hours” often start at noon and last for five or six hours.

Rarotonga’s nightlife is primarily based upon Avarua, the largest township on the northern side of the island. Most resorts and hotels host “Island Nights” several nights a week. For about $75, you can get a buffet meal featuring traditional and European cuisine in the main restaurant, followed by a show featuring professional, costumed dancers. The typical dancing style is the “'ura,” which is similar to the Hawaiian or Tahitian hula but has a reputation for its faster rythm and seemingly erotic movements. Don’t worry about dressing up for these shows – casual attire is acceptable on Rarotonga.

Friday night is especially popular since the bars are open late until 2 AM. Avarua’s Trader Jack’s and Banana Court bars are good bets for mixed drinks and live music.  If you don't want to worry about safety and getting back to your accomodation then you might like join the Going Troppo Nightlife Tour Bus.

However, don’t avoid these places on week nights – Banana Court is known to give away free vodka on Tuesdays. Monday night, too, is a decent night to go out. Try the RSA (Returned Services Association)  near the Rarotonga airport for cocktails or a game of pool with the locals.

Like most Rarotonga businesses, these bars don’t have web sites. You can get telephone numbers for these establishments and more from Frommers’ Nightlife guide.

You can also find listings, reviews and contact information for bars on the TripAdvisor Rarotonga pages.