Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, a nation of 15 islands in the central South Pacific. Volcanic peaks, ridges and rainforest dominate its interior


Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, a nation of 15 islands in the central South Pacific. Volcanic...

Cook Islands Travel Guide: 9 BEST Things to do in the Cook Islands (incl Rarotonga)
Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Aitutaki consists of a main island, a turquoise lagoon and a surrounding barrier reef. The lagoon’s waters teem with marine life, including rays, bonefish and turtles.


Aitutaki consists of a main island, a turquoise lagoon and a surrounding barrier reef. The lagoon’s waters...

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Cook Islands Travel Information

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Key facts




Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand


NZ dollars (NZD)


236 sq km


8,327 (July 2021 est.)


English (official) 86.4%, Cook Islands Maori (Rarotongan) (official) 76.2%, other 8.3% (2011 est.)


Protestant 62.8% (Cook Islands Christian Church 49.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 7.9%, Assemblies of God 3.7%, Apostolic Church 2.1%), Roman Catholic 17%, Church of Jesus Christ 4.4%, other 8%, none 5.6%, no response 2.2% (2011 est.)



Tel Code:


Things to Do

  • 1. Snorkeling in Aitutaki Lagoon

    Explore the crystal-clear waters of Aitutaki Lagoon and discover a colorful array of coral reefs and tropical fish.

  • 2. Hiking Te Rua Manga

    Embark on a challenging hike to the summit of Te Rua Manga, also known as The Needle, for breathtaking panoramic views of Rarotonga.

  • 3. Visiting Tapuaetai (One Foot Island)

    Take a boat trip to Tapuaetai, a small islet in the Aitutaki lagoon famous for its pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise waters.

  • 4. Cultural Village Tour

    Immerse yourself in Cook Islands culture with a tour of a traditional village, where you can learn about the customs, arts, and crafts of the local people.

  • 5. Kiteboarding in Muri

    Try your hand at kiteboarding in Muri, a popular spot known for its calm waters and steady winds, perfect for both beginners and experienced riders.

  • 6. Exploring the Cross-Island Track

    Take a scenic hike through the heart of Rarotonga on the Cross-Island Track, passing through lush tropical rainforest and offering stunning views along the way.

  • 7. Attending a Island Night Cultural Show

    Experience the vibrant culture of the Cook Islands through a traditional island night cultural show, featuring music, dance, and delicious Polynesian cuisine.

  • 8. Fishing in Rarotonga

    Join a fishing charter and try your luck at catching some of the abundant fish species found in the waters surrounding Rarotonga.

  • 9. Snorkeling in Muri Lagoon

    Discover the vibrant underwater world of Muri Lagoon, home to a variety of colorful coral reefs and marine life.

  • 10. Exploring Black Rock Beach

    Visit Black Rock Beach, a beautiful stretch of coastline known for its volcanic rock formations and stunning sunsets.


The Cook Islands enjoy a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. Here's what you need to know about the climate and best time to visit:


The Cook Islands have a tropical climate, with warm temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C, and high humidity throughout the year. The wet season lasts from November to April, with occasional heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Cook Islands is from May to October, during the dry season, when the weather is sunny and dry with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C. This is also the peak tourist season, with a range of activities and events.


Ika Mata

Ika Mata

Ika Mata is a traditional dish made with raw fish marinated in lime or lemon juice and mixed with coconut cream, fresh vegetables, and a mix of herbs and spices. It's a refreshing and vibrant dish that showcases the flavors of the Pacific Ocean.



Rukau is a popular side dish made from taro leaves cooked with coconut cream, onions, and often served with a choice of meat or fish. It's a hearty and flavorful accompaniment that adds a touch of richness to any meal.

Kai Bars

Kai Bars

Kai Bars are delightful coconut candy bars that combine shredded coconut, sugar, and condensed milk to create a sweet, chewy treat. These bars are a beloved snack in the Cook Islands and offer a burst of tropical flavor in every bite.



Uto, also known as sea urchin, is a local delicacy in the Cook Islands. It can be enjoyed raw, steamed, or used in various dishes, adding a briny and unique oceanic flavor to the culinary scene of the islands.

Ika Mata

Ika Mata

Rori, also known as candied pawpaw, is a sweet confection made from ripe pawpaw (papaya) that has been candied in sugar syrup. This delightful treat is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, offering a burst of tropical sweetness with every bite.


The Cook Islands offer a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, to suit all tastes and budgets. Here are the most popular options:

Luxury Resorts

The Cook Islands offer several luxury resorts, with private beaches, world-class facilities, and breathtaking ocean views.

Boutique Hotels

For a more intimate and personal experience, the Cook Islands offer a range of boutique hotels, offering a blend of comfort and cultural charm.


For budget-friendly options, the Cook Islands offer several guesthouses, offering simple and affordable accommodation, often with stunning views of the ocean.

Vacation Rentals

The Cook Islands also offer a range of vacation rentals, including apartments, villas, and homes, offering a more private and self-catering option.


The Cook Islands offer a range of transportation options, from rental cars to scooters and public buses, to suit all needs and budgets. Here are the most popular options:

Rental Cars

Rental cars are the most popular mode of transportation in the Cook Islands, offering visitors the freedom to explore the islands at their own pace.

Scooters and Motorcycles

Scooters and motorcycles are a popular alternative to rental cars, offering a more cost-effective option and an opportunity to explore the islands in a unique way.

Public Buses

The Cook Islands also offer a reliable public bus service, connecting the main towns and villages on the main island of Rarotonga.


Taxis are available on the main island of Rarotonga, offering a convenient and affordable option for those who don't want to drive.



  • The currency of Cook Islands is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).

Cash And Cards

  • Credit cards are widely accepted in major establishments in Cook Islands.
  • It is advisable to carry some cash in small denominations for small businesses and local markets.


  • ATMs are available in major towns and tourist areas in Cook Islands.
  • It is recommended to withdraw cash before heading to remote areas where ATMs may be limited.


  • Tipping is not customary or expected in Cook Islands.
  • However, it is appreciated for exceptional service in upscale restaurants or hotels.

Cost Of Living

  • The cost of living in Cook Islands is relatively high.
  • Prices for groceries, dining out, and accommodation are generally more expensive compared to mainland New Zealand.


  • Be cautious of individuals offering timeshare or investment opportunities.
  • Avoid giving money or personal information to strangers.
  • Only book tours or activities through reputable and licensed operators.