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Where Are the Cook Islands?
The Cook Islands are 15 islands situated halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. They boast an ideal climate, with an average yearly temperature of 80-82˚F. An untouched paradise, you’ll discover breathtaking scenery, soft white sandy beaches, and flowing green mountains. The Cook Islands are like nowhere else in the world. The people, traditions, and culture will welcome you and make you feel at one with the island way of life. A trip to the Cook Islands is an experience of a lifetime!
Image credit: Alexandra Adoncello
Image credit: Alexandra Adoncello
7 Incredible Experiences in the Cook Islands
While this tiny island nation is famous for its white sand and clear lagoons, there's more to the Cook Islands than pristine beaches. From digging into local history to witnessing the marvel of Aitutakian fire-dancing, here are seven things to experience in the Cook Islands.
Although it is one of the larger islands, you can drive across the entire island of Rarotonga in just 45 minutes. Despite being the most popular, Rarotonga maintains an escape from city life, with no building being higher than the tallest coconut tree and no traffic lights in sight. On Rarotonga, there are more than 100 Polynesian restaurants, cafes, and dining options to enjoy, as well as endless opportunities for adventure. Rarotonga is known for its beautiful mountainous landscapes, scuba-friendly waters, and cultural experiences.
Image credit:
Image credit: Kieran Scott
Experience an Island Night
You can just feel the excitement before the start of an Island Night, a traditional Cook Islands feast and performance. Guests will enjoy local music and food including an umu, where food is cooked underground. An Island Night is great food and entertainment, but also offers a glimpse into the traditions from long ago.
Nicknamed "Heaven on Earth," Aitutaki is a 50-minute flight from Rarotonga and is known for its gorgeous scenery. The second largest island in the Cook Islands, it offers white, sandy beaches, a triangular-shaped reef, and some of the most magical lagoons in the South Pacific. Enjoy some of the South Pacific’s best snorkeling and, if you’re feeling more adventurous, dive along the drop-off to see sharks and manta rays or explore the famous shipwreck. Biking, kayaking, and checking out the world's smallest post office are all popular things to do on Aitutaki. It is one of the most secluded places you’ll ever get to visit in the world.
Image credit: Ben Teina, @jungleclix
Image credit: Noel Bartley
Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke, and Mitiaro
These islands, some of which are millions of years old, are all known for different things. For example, Atiu boasts organically grown coffee beans, which can be smelled throughout parts of the island. Meanwhile, Mauke is seen as the garden of the Cook Islands by many, as it is known for its gorgeous reef and luscious plants. Each of the islands is unique and features its own charm and appeal, although they all share an ability to provide a true escape.
Punanga Nui Market
Referred to as “the pulse of Rarotonga”, Avurua is Rarotonga’s main bustling township and the home of the Punanga Nui Market. To shop like a local, visit the market on Saturday mornings and enjoy the freshest fruit and vegetables, then wander the stalls to find local, drinks, clothing, and souvenirs such as art and wood carvings created by local artisans. Stick around to watch a cultural performance on the main stage.
Image credit: Cook Islands Tourism
Image credit: Daniel Fisher, Cook Islands Tourism
Volcanic Rocks at Black Rock Beach
Located on the western side of Rarotonga, Black Rock Beach is a favorite for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, and catching an incredible sunset. Prominent black rock formations contrast with the white, fluffy sand, and provide another beautiful place to explore.
Maire Nui Gardens
Along with the clear turquoise waters and light sandy beaches, the Cook Islands also boast unique and beautiful tropical flowers. To see the exotic flora up close, head to the Maire Nui Gardens at Ara Tapu on Rarotonga. The seven acres of magnificent tropical gardens and spectacular mountain views will not disappoint. It’s a wonderful place to relax and get away from the bustle of the resorts. If you find yourself hungry, head to the Café and Grill, hidden in the foliage.
Image credit: Dylan Harrison
Cook Islands Travel Guide
Want to know more about this dreamy island getaway? We’ve got you covered! Check out our Cook Islands Travel Guide and let us know when you’re ready to start planning this trip of a lifetime!
Image credit: Island Love Photography, Alisha Street
Underwater, on the water, or deep in the lush tropical landscape, the freedom and ease of exploring a little paradise is what sets The Cook Islands apart in the South Pacific. Lagoon cruises, fishing, diving, guided mountain hikes, storytelling, cycling tours, buggies, quadbikes, or 4WD trips inland – they’ve got it all! The diversity means you can craft your ideal itinerary.

Let us help you plan your perfect holiday in the Cook Islands. Give us a call at 425-827-5656 or reply to this email.
Anita Bornemann, Owner
Professional Travel Service, Inc.

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Aitutaki has won the "Oceania's Leading Island Destination 2022" from World Travel Awards (WTA), beating Bora Bora, French Polynesia, who has held the title for the last three years. 
A journey to the Cook Islands is the perfect escape for rest and relaxation, romance, family fun, activity, and adventure. From turquoise blue lagoons and stunning white-sand beaches to craggy volcanic peaks and dense jungles, it’s picture-perfect.
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Anita Bornemann
Owner, Professional Travel Service, Inc.
(425) 827-5656 
(800) 275-9876