Travellers who are searching for the perfect tropical getaway are frequently drawn to the picturesque scenery and inviting beaches of the Cook Islands. Named after Captain Cook in the eighteenth century and now associated with New Zealand, the islands are often called “Hawaii down under.” There are fifteen different islands within the chain, and each offers something slightly different for visitors. Whether you’re planning a romantic holiday, a chance to get away from everyday stress, or an opportunity to explore the wild, one of the Cook Islands could be your perfect destination.
Aitutaki: The Honeymoon Island
With stunning scenery and plenty of opportunities for romance, it’s no surprise that the island of Aitutaki is known as the Honeymoon Island. It is the second most visited island in the chain, and tourism facilities are developed enough that travellers can enjoy everything from wireless Internet to air conditioning without sacrificing pristine beaches and lush greenery. Travellers can spend their time on a private sunset cruise in the lagoon, relax on the white sandy shorelines, indulge in incredible local seafood, or even get pampered at a luxury spa in one of the resorts or hotels. The island is free from busy crowds, and the relaxed way of life is the perfect setting for expressing love and romance on a honeymoon or an intimate getaway with that special someone.
Rarotonga: The Hub of Cook Island Culture
Rarotonga is the centre of the Cook Islands in terms of business, tourism and culture. The international airport on the island is the busiest within the chain, and this is how most visitors arrive and depart from the Cook Islands. Although you can use Rarotonga as a base from which to explore the other islands, it also has a lot to offer in its own right. The Maire Nui Gardens are a brilliant way to see the floral beauty of this region, and large rugby union games are a fun way to experience local culture. Other fun pastimes on Rarotonga include scuba-diving and snorkelling in the warm tropical water, hiking to Wigmore's Waterfall, and trying a locally-made beer at the Matutu Brewery.
Atiu: The Island of Adventure
For visitors who are looking forward to spending time outdoors, trying new activities and having a true adventure, the best destination is likely to be Atiu. This island is the third largest in the Cook Islands chain, yet it is home to less than 500 people. This isn’t the place to expect international cuisine or world-class shopping, but the opportunities for outdoor recreation are endless. You might choose to explore the underground caverns of Anatakitaki Cave, spot native birds in their natural habitats, go deep-sea fishing with a local guide, eat a coconut fresh from the tree, or swim among the stunning coral reefs. Seclusion, scenic beauty and adventure are all readily available on the island of Atiu.
Pukapuka: The Island of History and Heritage
This island is one of the most secluded and isolated destinations in the tropics, but it has a rich history and heritage that stretches back more than 2,000 years. Amazingly, the local dialect on Pukapuka is completely different from what you will hear spoken on the other Cook Islands. The language is similar to Samoan, and the culture on the island is also distinct. Community living is encouraged, and residents are stewards of their land and prevent over-harvesting or overfishing. Visitors are able to truly experience the local culture, fish with the locals, and even join in a traditionally prepared meal.
Mangaia: The Island of Unspoilt Scenic Beauty
This is the southernmost of the Cook Islands, and it is especially well known for its pristine natural beauty. You'll find a volcanic plateau, freshwater lakes, cliffs and sandy beaches all on one island. Mangaia is the perfect place to visit when all you really want to is to relax in peace and get away from the stress of everyday life. There is little to do but enjoy the scenery, sip from a coconut, cool off in the sea and fish from the reef.
Each of the fifteen Cook Islands has a distinct personality. Whether you want excitement, scenery, romance or history, there’s an island that could be your dream destination. Wherever you decide to visit, be sure that you’re covered in the event of an unexpected accident. Compare the market
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