Our Cook Islands travel guide is written and regularly updated by seasoned travellers and complemented by a realistic collection of unique photographs and maps. We strive to give you a clear and unbiased impression of the region to help you decide what to do and most importantly, where to stay for your Cook Islands holiday.
Cook Islands travel is centred around Rarotonga, a high volcanic island 43 sq. km in size with the international airport and over 90% of the country's tourist accommodation.
Rarotonga is popular with general holiday-makers looking to sightsee, dine out, enjoy fine beaches and with an excellent variety of accommodation for all budgets and interests.
Aitutaki, a 45 minute flight to the north of Rarotonga, is the only other island with general tourist appeal and boasts one of the South Pacific's most gorgeous lagoons with idyllic tiny coral atolls and picture postcard palm fringed beaches. This island is popular with honeymooners and adventurers seeking a more laid back environment with small resorts and beach bungalows.
Our Cook Islands Accommodation Guide will advise you on everything from property styles and the price you can expect to pay, to a comprehensive directory of cook islands accommodation to help you get the best online quotations or to make reservations enquiries.
How the Cook Islands compares to other South Pacific destinations.
Foremost, Cook Islands offers a happy-go-lucky, laid back holiday atmosphere on a small picturesque island which is easy to get about and explore especially by moped. For this type of holiday there is no better place in the South Pacific. The local people are equally easy going although with an eroded culture which is now heavily influenced by New Zealand. If you like exploring culture, you are better off visiting Vanuatu or Fiji and to explore uninhabited coral islands, Tonga and Fiji offer easier access. The beaches are easy to explore and mostly devoid of crowds with reasonable snorkelling lagoons. However, avid water enthusiasts, surfers and scuba divers will find the lagoon adventures to be tame. Unlike almost all other destinations, dining out is great and relatively affordable.
Cook Islands accommodation does not match the sophisticated standards of French Polynesia nor are the staff as hospitable and interactive as the Fijians. However, most accommodations are owned and operated by locals with self contained beach bungalows the most popular style making this a great place to do your own thing.
English is widely spoken in the main islands and the currency is the NZ$ making it a popular destination with New Zealanders.
Be sure to visit our detailed Cook Islands Travel Guide for a fuller picture of all destinations, or you can navigate to an island region using the map below:
click map for interactive cook islands travel pictures
For discerning travellers, you will find our Ecotourism and Culture Guide full of interesting anecdotes on the unique culture and history plus ideas on how to maximise your experience of the country.
And for those looking for Adventure Activities, we provide detailed information on scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, sailing, game fishing and hiking.