Today we’re wrapping up our week-long blog visit to the Pacific in spiritu with the Cook Islands! Call our office or email us to find out more about these island destinations!
The Cook Islands is an archipelago composed of 15 small islands, a mixture of coral atolls and volcanic islands. The majority of the population live and thrive on the largest, Rarotonga and Aitutaki, breathtaking with their stunning sands and blue lagoons. Rarotonga has only one flight per week from the US mainland—so factor in either a 5- or 12-night stay.
Seeking tropics but not sweltering humidity? The best time to go is from April to November, after the storms and cyclones have left the region, with cool winds from July to September. A popular tourist destination, the Cook Islands have a range of accommodation—to fit the budget-conscious, romantic, or luxury travelers. You just have to ask yourself two questions: “Do I want to watch the sunrise or sunset from my room?” And “Do I prefer an ocean beach or a lagoon beach?” The beauty of the islands has also been the backdrop to countless weddings and honeymoons.
The Cook Islands offer a range of activities for every type of traveler. Go shopping for black pearl jewelry, take a dive cruise to one of the gorgeous lagoons, take a buggy tour, discover the Anatakitaki caves and the unique cavern Kopeka birds. Try the local cuisine, from ika mata (raw fish), umu food (food prepared in an earth oven), curried eke, octopus in coconut curry, and poke (cooked fruit pudding). As with many Polynesian cultures, the Cook Islanders have a rich heritage of storytelling, and frequently put on craft, dance and music performances.
Love the water? Head over to Muri Lagoon and hit the waves: swim, paddle, sail or kayak to and around the lagoon’s many motu (islands). Stroll along the lagoon’s long beach on the east side, or check out the old shipwreck. Locals call the islands’ numerous marine reserves “fish bowls”—because you can’t snorkel in them without encountering enormous schools of fish. Ocean temperatures average around 75°F, peaking at 80°F during January and February.
Nancy’s Must-Do List:
- As your plane lands, watch for the line of locals at the runway edge, ducking at your jumbo jet blasts over them – this is serious local entertainment.
- Ride the island bus; takes an hour to circumnavigate the island. The fare is only a few dollars. You can catch the buses in Avarua, the main town for banking, groceries, and shopping. It is also the school bus!
- Thinking of doing just the day trip to Aitutaki? Go for at least 2 days/1 night or you will kick yourself.
Did you know? The Cook Islands Maori language is closely related to both Tahitian and New Zealand Maori, and by extension, Hawaiian!
Our agents Barb, Nancy and Pam have all been to the Cook Islands and would love to share their knowledge with you! Call us up for a chat at 503-224-0180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.