Located in the tropical South Pacific, the Cook Islands sprawl over a vast oceanic area situated between Tahiti in the east, and Samoa to the west.
The ocean in this region is sprinkled with volcanoes many of which have never emerged above sea level. Larger vents have spewed lava until – towering thousands of metres above the sea floor – they form high volcanic islands. Atolls begin their life in the same way only to subside below sea level again over ensuing millenia, their tops eroded by rain and wind but now host to a rim of coral polyps forming a barrier reef.
The fifteen islands of the Cooks include both high volcanic islands soaring up to 700 metres above sea level, and spectacular atolls with turquoise lagoons. The latter surrounded by coral motu covered with stands of the ever-present coconut palm.
Aitutaki, situated 230 kilometres north of Rarotonga, is both island and atoll, with a large lagoon and fringing motu, encircling three volcanic islands from a later eruption.
In days gone by visitors to the island arrived by canoe, then ship, and then by flying boat. Today, frequent daily flights to Rarotonga connect Aitutaki with the outside World.