Port: Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Duration: 3.5 Hours

Visit ancient sacred grounds, or marae, such as Are Mango, where ancient rituals and sacrifices were performed, and learn how ancient Polynesian warriors defended their island with the help of supernatural beings.

Depart from the pier and head toward the coastal village of Nikaupara. Stop briefly at Vainamu, a freshwater pond once used as a gathering place by the young people of the island. Continue along to the inland village of Tautu, stopping at the ancient temple grounds of Are Mango and the Poatu o Rae – the ancient throne of Rae, reputed to have been the strongest man on Aitutaki. Your guide will tell of his legends, such as tales of how how warriors of old voyaged long distances to experience the music and drums of the Are Karioi – the House of Entertainment where the “Yuppies” of Polynesia gathered for what was reported a marathon of dancing and courtship.

After a short ride through plantations, your tour will head toward the top of Mount Piraki where you will see some of the best views of the coastal village of Amuri and Arutanga. There, you will also view the remains of a World War II bunker built by the Americans during their time on the island.

From Piraki, you will head to the highest peak on the island, Maunga Pu. The ride to the very top is exhilarating, and the view that awaits you there is breathtaking: a panoramic view of the island and its magnificent lagoon.

This tour is more than just a means of reaching the top of Aitutaki’s highest mountain without hard work, however. It is an opportunity to get to some of Aitutaki’s best kept secret spots. Even for locals living on Aitutaki, places like the Poatu o Rae (the rock of Rae) and the Marae Are Mango (the house of Sharks) are places they hear about but never actually visit. Yet, they are the places that molded what Aitutaki is today.

Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the pier.

Please note: Some sites are difficult to get to but well worth the effort. Guests are requested to wear comfortable walking shoes, protection from the sun and to bring insect repellent.

Excursion Code: AIT-001