Rarotonga is by far the most populated of the Cook Islands and is the capital. It's in the southern group of islands, and is known as Raro.
Rarotonga is made up of districts containing several villages located mainly around the coastal fringe of the island. Avarua is the main village on the northern side of the island and has most of the population and services. People tend to refer to it as the town. Muri on the eastern side is probably the main tourist centre, with apartments and the Pacific Resort scattered around the lagoon. Aroa is on the western side is a protected lagoon and beach, and home to the Rarotongan. The airport in Nikao, is close to Avarua, about 2 km anti-clockwise.
Snorkelling in Rarotonga is easy, and a great variety of tropical fish and corals can be seen snorkeling off the beaches in calm waters all around the island. Not all beaches are suitable, some rocky beaches are not so pleasant but head for the coral lagoons and sandy beaches.