The sparkling archipelago of the Cook Islands is sprinkled across the stunning south pacific ocean. These breathtaking tiny islands are nestled between French Polynesia and Samoa lapped by translucent turquoise waters and golden beaches. The islands boast volcanic peaks and verdant landscapes, and lush forests are perfect for a warm tropical vacation and a popular destination for romantic getaways. The main attractions are Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands with its visible central volcanic cone, and Aitutaki famed for its dazzling natural vivid blue lagoons. Other idyllic remote islands offer great adventure with diving, and snorkeling opportunities over colorful coral reefs, fishing, and hiking. Visiting the island's sprawling plantations including coconut, papaya, bananas, and coffee is grown and produced on the islands. The Cook Islands offer a laid back island vibe, friendly smiling locals, delicious fresh fish and seafood, beachfront dining, a rich Maori culture with some of the best singers and dancers in the entire world.
Rarotonga is a sensational tropical island boasting idyllic beaches ideal for relaxing and adjusting to island time. Decorated with transparent blue lagoons offering some of the best snorkeling and diving, dotted with incredible accommodations and picturesque views. The rugged jungle interior hosts the highest point on the island along with the famous Cross Island Trek leading to spectacular cascading waterfalls. Aitutaki is a stunning tropical island famed for its centrally located tranquil, turquoise Aitutaki Lagoon brimming with vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish and an abundance of water sport activities. Spend your days soaking up the sun, sea and sands or do some world class diving and snorkeling then retreat to your lagoon side bungalow for a relaxing romantic evening.
The balmy tropical climate of the Cook Islands are situated in the heart of the South Pacific makes it a fantastic destination to visit all year round with daily average temperatures of 84 degrees. The weather on the islands can be hot and humid especially during the summer months of January and February. The winter months from June to August can be much more pleasant with average daily highs to 77 degrees and chilly nights when the Antarctic cold fronts blow through. The cyclone or hurricane season runs from December through April with chances of a storm hitting during these months and the rainy season is in full effect with short but heavy downpours quickly followed by sunshine. The Cook Islands are a tropical destination with beaches for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and other popular water sport activities available year-round with wonderful warm weather. July and August are peak season on the islands when accommodations can be sold out and more expensive, beaches and other attractions can be very busy during these months.
We recommend 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in larger cities.
Traveling around the islands by boat and island hopping is one of the best ways to travel. There are regular boats that travel the waters between the southern group of islands and the northern islands, however, these are not as consistent. Unexpected delays and route changes can happen due to weather, etc.
By Air: Air Rarotonga is the only domestic airline of the Cook Islands with several daily flights Monday to Saturday to Aitutaki and one a week to Atiu, Mauke, Mangaia, and Mitiaro.
By Bus:The most popular form of transportation on the Cook Islands is bus service that loops around the islands clockwise and counterclockwise on Rarotonga. The main routes on Rarotonga start from Cooks Corner, Avarua departing on the hour on the clockwise route, and every 30 minutes on the counterclockwise route. Bus services are reliable and provide a cheap and unique way to get around the island.
The units of currency in the Cook Islands is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for pounds upon arrival. Currency exchanged desks can be found at the airport and in many locations throughout the city.
The official language spoken in the Cook Islands is Maori. English is spoken and understood by most individuals in the service industry. We suggest you get a good English-Maori Guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you, and numbers 1-10.