Become introduced to the topography and culture of this volcanic atoll with a scenic drive along the coast, complete with visits to island villages and stops to appreciate splendid views.
Aboard your motor coach, head toward the southern side of the island and Nikaupara. Along the way, pass one of the first churches in the country to be built by missionaries, the old church of the CICC, or Cook Islands Christian Church.
Pause to visit the church, more than 100 years old and lavishly decorated, before continuing toward the village of Reureu, traversing the coastal road leading to the Vainamu district. Your guide will provide commentary as you venture past the freshwater well, where the people of the island used to bring their washing. More than just a washing hole, the well was the town’s “water cooler,” where locals gathered to socialize. For the men, it was a sure place to find a bride.
Making your way to Tautu Vaipae, pass limestone churches and stop at the old
Tautu Wharf to get your first glimpse of the Aitutaki Lagoon.
Arriving at the village of Tautu Vaipae, learn about the town and discover one of its most interesting features, the entrance to the village itself, with a huge banyan tree growing over the road in a natural arch.
The dirt road then takes you to the marae of Are Karioi, an ancient ceremonial and sacrificial site. Then, travel along the coastal road of the Vaipeka district, passing old coconut plantations and the island’s only quarry, which supplies volcanic rock for road maintenance and construction.
Next, journey to Ootu Bay, where the ancient warrior chief Ru first landed on Aitutaki approximately 900 years ago. The bay is a scenic spot, ideal for gazing on views of he island.
Stop to admire the vistas and perhaps purchase refreshments from the Aitutaki Village Hotel Beach Restaurant before returning to the pier.
It is recommended that guests dress in casual clothing and wear flat, comfortable shoes. The order of sights visited may vary. This excursion will operate in all weather conditions. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.