I wrote a little bit about why I chose an accommodation in the Muri area for our time on Rarotonga in a previous post, and here’s a breakdown of what we did and where we ate in the Muri area! We did a lot more wandering around the island than I anticipated we would, but we ate all meals in the Muri area (save for our trip to Aitutaki) and we also did a number of activities. Of course, this list doesn’t include everything available in the area, and there are a number of things I’d like to do and a number of eateries I’d like to try next time. ;)
We spent a couple of hours on another hot, sunny afternoon kayaking around the Muri lagoon—a popular activity along with paddle boarding and snorkeling. I loaded up a dry bag with towels, snacks, sunscreen, and we brought along our phones in the waterproof cases. We tried taking photos and videos underwater with the cases, which was mildly successful (moreso on Korri’s new iPhone 11). Some of these photos were taken with the cases, which I’m sure are easy to spot since they’re not the clearest. We forgot the GoPro! I wish we hadn’t because we saw such beautiful fish.
I packed my striped rash guard (last seen in Florida) specifically for kayaking/SUP, and it definitely came in handy. A few weeks before our trip, I saw that J.Crew had matching high-rise bikini bottoms on super sale, so I snagged myself a pair. They work perfectly with my cropped rash guard! I wore a baseball cap to keep the sun off of my face and a pair of water shoes just in case Korri tipped over the kayak… ;) ha!
We spent a couple of hours wandering around the lagoon looking for pretty fish in the water and listening to the ocean, hanging out on one of the motu (Koromiri), and watching the dogs swim around. Korri ended up taking one back to the main island since he was looking pretty tired, and I watched a couple more dogs chase a drone flying by. It was such a beautiful afternoon!
WHAT WE DID IN MURI
Kayaked Muri Lagoon • Our accommodation, Muri Beachcomber, had bikes, snorkel equipment, paddle boards, and kayaks available for guests to use. I was definitely planning on biking, paddling, and snorkeling at one point but time got away from us so the only thing we managed to do was kayak. Most of their kayaks fit two people, which is nice unless your partner is difficult to paddle with. ;) We paddled out near the reef at low tide, saw gorgeous fish in the water, and stopped at one of the motu for a short break. We didn’t stay out too long because even after applying copious amounts of sunscreen and reapplying, Korri got sunburned pretty bad and I got burned in the spots I missed! It was a beautiful, sunny, hot day on the lagoon.
Walked/lounged on the beach • How can you not when you’re staying on the beach?! :) I loved the view of the four motu and the wide, blue lagoon. Plus you can hear the big waves crashing on the reef in the distance. I only saw a few other people when walking the beach in the morning. Compared to Florida or Hawaii, it’s incredible how few people visit the Cook Islands and how much more secluded the beaches felt.
Yoga with KiteSUP • KiteSUP offers morning yoga on Wednesdays and Fridays in a studio above the Te Ara Museum of Cultural Enterprise. We went on Wednesday morning; I brought yoga stuff with me, so I insisted on us doing yoga at least once! KiteSUP also offers SUP yoga which was tempting but a little too ambitious for us, haha. But it looked fun—especially with those Raro dogs joining in!
Couples massage at Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa • Te Manava is a little farther south than Muri proper but still within walking distance. This spa was recommended by our accommodation, and we booked a couples massage. (The price was on par with what you’d pay in the U.S.) Our massage included a quick foot scrub, and Korri and I both opted for the deep tissue massage. I had forgotten what a deep tissue massage felt like! My back and shoulders were sore afterward—ha—but I haven’t had much pain since!
Cultural tour and island night with buffet dinner at Te Vara Nui Village • We had a two-hour tour, learning about Cook Islands history and culture prior to the buffet dinner. Our food was beautifully presented and featured lots of different options, including vegan and gluten free options. After dinner, there was a show on the stage in the center of the property and over the water, and after the show, they served dessert with an array of different varieties. Island nights cater primarily to tourists, but we had fun nonetheless! (If you’ve ever been to a luau, this was similar to that.) The folks at our table were from Australia and Switzerland, and it was so cool to talk to them!
WHERE WE ATE IN MURI
BREAKFAST / LUNCH
Deli Licious Café • We went here for breakfast every day except for one day, where we tried a different place for breakfast (LBV below). This was our favorite spot. It was a little spendy and sometimes we had to wait a little while for our food, but the food was really tasty and the folks there so nice. We saw a lot of locals here which is a good sign! Korri always ordered the eggs benedict with a mocha, and I tried pineapple pancakes with bananas and eggs and hashbrowns during our time there. My go-to drink was a chai that didn’t taste much like a chai (not a spicy chai at all) but was still so good and sweet.
Le Bon Vivant (LBV) • We decided to try this place on my birthday; it’s right across the street from Deli Licious. I ordered a salad that looked delicious but had cilantro which is my least favorite herb, so that was a bummer. We also ordered fries with a garlicy butter that was pretty good, and I had an amazing peach smoothie. This meal was also fairly spendy comparatively. We enjoyed watching the chickens bully the little birds around, haha. I’d eat here again but we loved Deli Licious so much that we just kept going back there!
LUNCH / DINNER
Vili’s Burger Joint • The reviews for this place are outstanding, and having this place nearby was one of the main reasons why I picked Muri as our home base. It lived up to the hype! The burgers were the perfect size and so delicious. Korri and I both ordered the ‘Muri’ burger, which has cheese, bacon, lettuce, pineapple, and the special Vili’s sauce. Yum! The prices are super reasonable, too. On my birthday, we ordered drinks from the place next door and two drinks cost more than our two burgers and fries, haha. But they were delicious as well!
Muri Night Market • The night market happens on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights starting at 5 pm, and it was right next to our accommodation which was super convenient for us. People drove in from all over the island to eat at the night market! We ate here three of the four nights because we loved it so much. There is a wide variety of freshly prepared food for sale by locals. We loved the taco stall the best! We ordered the beef taco (just one large taco) multiple times and also tried the nachos (made with nacho Doritos, haha). From other stalls, we tried chicken skewers (weren’t a fan of the sauce) and noodles with veggies. We also loved the stall in the back with fresh, hot chips (fries!) and the most amazing smoothies (super mango tango was our favorite).
The Rickshaw • I wanted to try someplace new for our last night on the island, so we wandered down the road hoping to eat at La Casita (Mexican), but it was closed so we went next door to The Rickshaw, which offers a variety of Asian cuisine. We both had fried rice (I had a small portion of veggie fried rice, and Korri ordered a regular portion of chicken fried rice; my portion was perfect!). The food was good, but the service was really sluggish…after we finished eating, our server took our plates and then never returned with our check or to ask if we needed anything else, and we couldn’t hang around and wait because we had to catch our ride to the airport. Korri went up to the counter to pay so we could leave.