Cook Islands : Aitutaki Lagoon Cruise with Bishop’s Cruises

I am dedicating a full blog post for this activity from our trip cos it was honestly the highlight of our trip and quite possibly one of our favorite days ever! The number 1 thing to do in Aitutaki is to take a lagoon cruise. There are many charters that do it but we wanted to hire a private charter for half a day so that we can cruise around at our own schedule and pick and choose what island we want to explore. We did 2 private lagoon cruises during our time on the island just so that we could get the most amount of time (and content!) out on the world famous lagoon. The first private cruise was with Bishop’s Cruises and we had the most incredible day out with our captain. Just to note – Bishops also does lagoon cruises in groups – they have many options to choose from depending on what you desire. In this post I am recapping our fun little afternoon cruising around the lagoon with Bishop’s Cruises.

Aitutaki Atoll is the island group of my dreams! It is aptly been known as the “most beautiful lagoon in the world” and there is no surprise why. It is incredibly pristine with the most dazzling blue waters I have seen in my life (imo even blue than what I saw in the Maldives or Caribbean!), coral reefs, uninhabited islands and palm-fringed beaches. The Atoll actually has 15 islands (of which 14 are uninhabited), sandbars and other small almost islands. The triangular shaped lagoon is surrounded by a barrier reef, hence the waters in the lagoon are so calm, shallow and low lying.

Our captain Seka was so friendly and informative, going on this lagoon cruise with him was such a pleasure. We started off at Ootu Beach at Aitutaki Village and made our way through the lagoon, stopping on one dreamy island after another. And on every island we went too, we were literally the only ones there! Thats the thing I loved about hiring a private charter cos they plan your itinerary such that you visit the islands when the other boats have already passed by or are yet to come :).

Aitutaki consists of 3 volcanic and 12 coral islets (motu). Aside from the main inhabited island there are 2 other volcanic islands in the lagoon and we stopped by one of them next. The rocks here are different than the ones in the coral islands. On this island we saw black volcanic rocks everywhere making the beach look so beautiful and different in its own way (similar to what we have seen on the Big Island of Hawaii). We also saw a ton of hermit crabs and baby coconut crabs on the beach, which was so fun to see them in their natural habitat.

On one of the volcanic motus

Next we stopped over at Heaven’s Sandbar. It is so hard to describe the beauty of this place in a few words! The best part is that you can actually walk it from One Foot Island through the shallow water. True to its name – if Heaven were a place on earth, this would have to be it!

Heavens Sandbar

Boat docked on the sandbar

Lastly, we went to the iconic “One Foot Island”. Anush and I have traveled to a ton of islands so far but without a doubt both of us felt that this had to be one of the most BEAUTIFUL little islands we have ever set foot on.

One Foot Island

With its idyllic landscape, it is exactly what you would imagine a deserted South Pacific islet to look like – uninhabited, powdery white sand, warm turquoise waters, gentle waves lapping the shore and swaying coconut trees. Ugh just describing it makes me want to cry – it was utterly PERFECT!

Kissing in a postcard!

Monkey business 🙂

Also – If you go here , make sure to take your passport if you want the one foot island stamp on it 🙂 and don’t make the mistake of forgetting it like I did :(.

The legend behind why the name of this island is “one foot” is very touching. It isnt shaped like a foot as most people might imagine, but the actual history of the name starts with the legend of a man and his son fishing on a canoe. Their village is attacked by enemy warriors. So the father paddles his canoe to the closest island to get up on and run or hide from their enemy’s. The warriors also got on their canoe and paddled to this island. When the father and son reached the island, the father walked on his sons foot prints, making sure it only looked like there were one set of foot prints to fool the warriors. When the warriors reached the island they were confused to see only one pair of foot prints. They thought there were two people. The father asked his son to climb a tree and the son did so. When the warriors reached them, and thinking there was only one person they killed the father and left. The boy then knew that his dear father had saved his life. Hence the actual name of the island is “Tapuaetai” literally translating to “one footprint”.

Some more scenes from around our perfect boat day :

The most picture perfect island I have ever seen- One foot Island!

Never without my “Ei-Katu” made the most beautiful accessory (floral crown)

Our amazing captain Seka

Big thanks to Bishops Cruises for taking us out to experience the worlds most beautiful lagoon. It was truly an unforgettable experience, one that we will always cherish in our lives.

Happy and beachy!

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Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for my Aitutaki travel guide. xoxo



** This was in collaboration with Bishop’s cruises but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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