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The Cook Islands are one of the gems of the South Pacific – its 15 islands spanning two million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean.

While the Cook Islands have a burgeoning artisan food scene and growing café culture, the islands are still rugged, untouched and pristine.

The largest island, Rarotonga, is home to stunning volcanic peaks, surrounded by crystal-clear light blue water home to reefs that meet the deep blue.

Snorkelling in these coastal lagoon reefs is one of the most popular activities in the Cook Islands.

Behind Rarotonga, Aitutaki is the second most visited island in the Cook Islands, again popular for some of the most incredible snorkelling in the world, as well as marine-life spotting and cultural tours.

The culture of the Cook Islands remains firmly steeped in its Polynesian heritage, with some European influences.

The Cook Islands people are considered some of the best artists in the Pacific, known for their traditional methods of tattooing, wood carving, weaving, painting and cloth design.

Dance and song are also a huge part of the Cook Islands culture, and a way to express their history as well as spirituality, love, heartbreak and life.

The giant smiles of the locals and their unending hospitality makes this South Pacific getaway worth putting on the "before you die" list.
Pam Grout
When to Visit
When to visit icon

Being so close to the equator, there’s really no bad time to visit the Cook Islands. The weather is balmy, sunny and bright nearly all year ’round. However, for the best combination of sunshine and warmth, the months of April through to October are lovely. This is also peak season.

Travel Cost
Travel cost icon

Once you book your flights and accommodation, travel in the Cook Islands is inexpensive. Day tours to places such as Aitutaki Lagoon are reasonable, and eating out, particularly at markets, is cheap and authentic. Scooters can be hired on the main island Rarotonga for as little as $25, and... view