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Overview

The Cook Islands is marketed mostly to couples as a romantic vacation destination yet this small self-governing state in free association with New Zealand also caters to sports people and backpackers. The main island, Rarotonga, has excellent beaches with fine snorkeling and there are many opportunities for mountain hiking, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, and deep sea fishing. Rarotonga's tourist infrastructure is well developed with hotels, resorts, restaurants, and small stores all around the island. Many of the larger resorts stage island nights several times a week with traditional Polynesian dancing and buffets of island food. Many ...

The Cook Islands is marketed mostly to couples as a romantic vacation destination yet this small self-governing state in free association with New Zealand also caters to sports people and backpackers. The main island, Rarotonga, has excellent beaches with fine snorkeling and there are many opportunities for mountain hiking, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, and deep sea fishing. Rarotonga's tourist infrastructure is well developed with hotels, resorts, restaurants, and small stores all around the island. Many of the larger resorts stage island nights several times a week with traditional Polynesian dancing and buffets of island food. Many visitors also fly north to Aitutaki Island with its excellent snorkeling in a broad lagoon. Other islands with visitor accommodations include Atiu, Mauke, and Mangaia - ideal places to observe the laidback island lifestyle on long walks. The Cook Islands has much in common with nearby French Polynesia yet prices are far more reasonable. It's almost paradise.

David Stanley
About the Expert

David Stanley is the author of the Moon guidebooks Fiji, Tahiti, and South Pacific. He has been writing about the Pacific since 1979.

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David Stanley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: East of New Zealand in the South Pacific comprised of 15 islands.
  • Language: English, Maori
  • Currency: New Zealand Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The refreshing trade winds blow from May to October, the coolest and least humid time to come.