Spread across a large ocean expanse between New Zealand and Hawaii are the 15 tiny Cook Islands. With rainforests tumbling down to coral-fringed beaches, crystal-blue lagoons filled with tropical fish and high mountain scenery, nature is the big attraction. Swim in warm waters, sunbathe on powdery white sands, hike up forested mountains and watch migratory whales pass by.
Most visitors arrive on Rarotonga. The archipelago’s principal island is the only one with an international airport. Stay for a few days to enjoy its attractions. Go for a scenic drive along the 20-mile (32-kilometer) coastal road that encircles the island. Swim, fish, dive and snorkel in the blue lagoon that surrounds Rarotonga. Hike up Raemaru, the flat-top mountain on the west side of the island.
Travel to some of the other Cook Islands by using the inter-island air services. There are no scheduled ferry services between the inhabited islands. There are inter-island cargo ships, but the service is sporadic.
Take the 1-hour flight from Rarotonga to its nearest neighbor, Aitutaki, for plenty of watersports in its lagoon. Explore the ancient caves on Mangaia and dive among the corals off Palmerston Island. Nearby Atiu Island is home to numerous bird species including the blue kingfisher, brown booby and the rare kopeka. This is a perfect place to become a birdwatcher if you aren’t one already. While you are here, tour the Atiu Coffee Factory and its plantations.
The 850,000 square miles (2.2 million square kilometers) of ocean around the Cook Islands have been designated a whale sanctuary. From July to October, humpback whales pass the islands on their annual migratory route. Head out to sea on a whale-watching trip or stay on land to catch sight of the large marine mammals. They are often spotted from the shores of any of the islands.
The Cook Islands have a tropical climate that’s warm year-round. This beautiful setting attracts many honeymooners and other vacationers for its wildlife, scenery and tranquility.
A beautiful location on lagoon and beautiful beach
We loved the private island. Our over the water bungalow was awesome. The island was beautiful and calm and peaceful. We enjoyed kayaking and paddle boarding and snorkeling. The staff members were so nice and friendly. We would love to go back!
Everything about the Sanctuary was perfect....pure bliss!!!!
We loved our room 105 once the hire boats were removed from the front obstructing our waterfront views and access to the beach
Great location, good rooms, nice food, it was xmas and very busy but even so most times my beers weren't cold enough, would I stay again Yep, cool place. get a new fridge or whatever and i'll buy my beers there too.
Beautiful resort close to all the action. It was a short walk to the night market and restaurants. We can't wait to go back. The Cook Islands is very safe and the beaches are clean. Very friendly people. Thank you for such a wonderful time.
This small place is very family friendly and great value. Villas, are clean simple and spacious, especially relative to nearby resorts, which tho on the beach tend to be louder, more crowded and condensed. We enjoyed the spaciousness, simplicity, morning breakfasts, kayaks, children's toys, stroller ...