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Important Information

Terms and conditions

Participants must be medically able to dive. Download the dive medical from here. If you answer yes to any questions have a physician review and approve the form.

The expedition includes all accommodation (6 weeks) and 3 meals a day provided at the accommodation base. Food is expedition style with continental breakfast and cold lunches (sandwiches etc...).

Please notify on confirmation of booking if you have any food allergies or if you are vegetarian.

Each participant must have confirmation of travel insurance with appropriate medical evacuation insurance valid for scuba diving. A copy of the policy is required by PICI prior to travel.

We are unable to cater for participants with mobility impairments.

Bookings are not confirmed until payment in full is received.

Minimum age is 18


What the participant must provide

All airfares including international airfares to and from Rarotonga and domestic airfares between Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

Accommodation costs in the Cook Islands outside of the expedition dates.

Immigration fees for extended entry permit.

Reef shoes or old sneakers suitable for walking on the reef.

Personal mask, snorkel and fins. Sets can be purchased on arrival in the Cook Islands.

A personal towel and pillow case.

Insect repellent, mosquito screen advisable.

Personal toiletries including ample sunscreen.

A suitable sunhat and light, long sleeved shirt suitable for working in the sun.

A personal refillable water bottle.


Cancellation policy

PICI and the Aitutaki Lagoon Monitoring Project reserve the right to cancel any expedition.

If PICI and the Aitutaki Lagoon Monitoring Project cancel an expedition for any reason except weather all charges and deposits collected by PICI will be refunded (less bank or transfer fees).

All payments to PICI in respect to the Aitutaki Lagoon Monitoring project are not refundable in the event of the cancellation on the part of the participant. At the discretion of PICI payments may be credited towards a future expedition.

Where an expedition is cancelled due to weather refunds are at the discretion of PICI. For this reason it is highly advisable that participants have travel insurance that covers trip cancellation.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the provided accommodations like on Aitutaki & Rarotonga?

We use accommodation equivalent to backpacker style accommodation. That is dorm rooms and shared cooking and bathroom facilities. All accommodation is in commercial tourism properties accredited with the national tourism agency. We do not use fales or outside shelters for accommodation.

Can I volunteer for less or more than 6 weeks?

Because of the design of the ALMP, the duration of each expedition is 6 weeks. If demands requires it we may develop longer or shorter programmes for future expeditions so do get in touch and tell us what you prefer.

What are the payment options for the ALMP?

Once you are accepted onto an expedition we will invoice you for the total amount. Payment can be made by bank transfer, VISA, MasterCard and through Pay Pal.

How far in advance should I book my expedition?

The expeditions are limited to a maximum of 10 volunteers to insure that training and data collection are kept to the highest possible standards. It is therefore recommended to reserve your spot early so you have the best chance of getting the time slot you desire.

Can I participate in more than one expedition?

Yes. Return volunteers are strongly encouraged in the ALMP. You may also like to consider another PICI project such as a Sea Turtle survey expedition or Shark Research expedition.

What experience do I need?

No previous experience is necessary to participate in the ALMP. However, volunteers must be comfortable swimmers, ready for adventure and enthusiastic about the projects conservation goals.

Is the training difficult?

The training is fun and engaging for people that have a real interest and desire to learn about the ocean. The dive training is challenging but highly rewarding. The survey training is quite thorough and you have plenty of time to get your skills perfected.

Is there a selection process?

As each expedition is a small group of people working to achieve set goals we make sure that each participant is ready for this type of programme While there are no formal requirements, every applicant is evaluated on an individual basis for compatibility with the projects goals. No experience is necessary, we really like enthusiasm!

What is the predominant age range of volunteers?

Most volunteers are in the age range of 18-35, however there is flexibility and each individual or group is considered on their own merits.

Can I be contacted while I am on expedition?

While on Akaiami for the expedition communications are available for emergencies. We are able to receive calls as well. Volunteers are off every Sunday where the opportunity exists to visit the main island and use internet etc...

Can I go on an expedition with friends? My partner?

Yes, however accommodation arrangements remain the same. Contact us for information on discounted group rates for 3 individuals or more.

Are there any additional costs I need to account for?

All necessary expenses are covered by the ALMP programme fee. Personal expenses such as toiletries, meals away from the base, excursions and so on are additional. Volunteers may wish to do a safari tour, lagoon cruise, or get their PADI Advanced Diver certification while on expedition.

Are the Cook Islands a safe destination to travel to?

Yes. The Cook Islands are among the safest travel destinations worldwide. While petty theft does occasionally occur taking the proper precautions significantly reduces the risk of loosing possessions. This will be covered in your orientation.

Is the water safe to drink?

Yes, water is safe to drink. There are water bottle refilling stations provided around the island.

What happens in the event of an emergency?

ALMP staff are trained first aiders and all participants take a first aid refresher during orientation. Aitutaki has a well provisioned hospital. In the event of any emergency first aid is provided by ALMP staff and volunteers and proceedures are followed to evactuate the person or persons to emergency medical care. At that stage the responsibility for care is handed to the medical professionals and the participants insurer.

Is round-trip airfare from my home to Rarotonga included?

No. All flight arrangements are the responsibility of the participant.

How do I book my internal travel from Rarotonga to Aitutaki?

Air Rarotonga will take bookings for your internal travel. Once you are confirmed on a programme we will advise you of the preferred dates and flight numbers for your travel. Air Rarotonga will offer concessional airfares for expedition participants. The cost for the return airfare Rarotonga - Aitutaki - Rarotonga is approximately $400.00.

Can I use Aitutaki data as part of my dissertation?

This will be answered on a case by case basis however the focus of the expedition is data gathered for the required reports. All data remains the property of PICI and any data released will need to acknowledge the source.

Can I do my own research during the expedition?

Only in so far as it does not impinge on the data collection as a voluteer. Any personal research conducted on an expedition needs to be pre-approved by PICI and an agreement will be put in place.

  Book Now

Duration :

3 weeks to 5 weeks depending on the expedition

Expedition Type :

Marine survey using snorkel and scuba

Location :

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Fly to :
Autitaki, Cook Islands via Rarotonga Cook Islands.
Expedition dates :
Cost :

3 week expedition : NZ$1950

Whats included :
All accomodation and meals* for the duration of the expedition
All scuba equipment required for diving
Training in marine survey techniques
All transfers to and from the airport and the accommodation lodge in Akaiami
Daily survey dives and snorkelling
Lodge style accommodation on Akaiami Motu
Weekly opportunities for community engagement
*Social meals away from the expedition base not included
Contact :

Ph +682 22450
Our office is on Cook Islands Time CKT GMT-10


Available for Skype calls on request

The Aitutaki Lagoon Monitoring Project is a project of the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative. PICI is a Non-Profit organisation based in the Cook Islands working in areas of environmental research, conservation and education. Our philosophy is that for conservation to work it must be driven by the local communities that live in these remote islands. To that end the Aitutaki Lagoon Monitoring Project intends to use science to develop a long term data set to assist with the management of the Aitutaki Lagoon by the people of the island.
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