Tailor-made Cook Islands Travel Experiences -
Beautiful beyond words
When Capitan James Cook first set foot on Manuae Island in 1773, he was convinced to have landed in paradise – he was overwhelmed by the great natural beauty. The southern Pacific archipelago was later named in his honour: the Cook Islands. The democratic state in free association with New Zealand is located 3000 kilometres north-east of Auckland and is spread out over vast two million square kilometres of lonely ocean – an area approximately as large as Western Europe.
Not even twenty thousand islanders inhabit these vast stretches of sparkling sea and sun-kissed islands. Fifteen larger islands constitute the Cooks and the official seat of government is Avarua. However, not the political system is of interest but much rather the same natural beauty that inspired captain James Cook all these long years ago. Especially noteworthy, the lagoon Aitutaki glitters in all shades of turquoise and is met by a brilliantly white sand beach.
Rarotonga, lively and fair, is the unofficial centre of the Polynesian islands. A mere 9000 inhabitants all the same make Rarotonga the most densely populated island, despite its vast 65 square kilometres of space – largest of the fifteen Cook Islands. Shaped like an oval and measuring 11 by 7 kilometres, Rarotonga is reminiscent of Tahiti when viewed from the air, however, it is considerably smaller. Like Tahiti, Rarotonga is of volcanic origin and framed by a fringing reef that protects a calm, dark-blue lagoon.
Towards the south, the lagoon expands and includes four palm-studded islands, so-called Motus. The main island, on the contrary, boasts soaring volcanic peaks lushly covered in tropical rainforest. The Te Manga rises 653 metres above sea level. On Rarotonga's north coast lies the capital city Avarua. Two gaps in the fringing reef allow ships to pass through and moor in either the small commercial or the fisher harbour. Rarotonga is well worth a visit.
All the same, the Cooks' main attraction is Aitutaki Island and its spectacular lagoon. Words can hardly do the breathtaking natural beauty justice. The play of colours, the immaculate beaches, crystal-clear water and pristine nature … magnificent! Aitutaki Island is located approximately 220 kilometres north of Rarotonga and easily reached on a short flight less than one hour long. Drop down out of the blue skies to Pacific island wonderland below. Aitutaki Island features unique geological structures. Coral reef and volcanic rock seemingly melt into one another. However, your main concern will be supreme relaxation – an easy task. Slow down to island time!
And the world becomes horizontal. That is to say that the eyes always fly to that distant point on the horizon where the skies embraces the undulating rise and fall of the Pacific's waves. There is a seemingly infinite number or romantic white sand beaches tucked away behind every new corner of the 45 kilometres long lagoon that is roughly shaped like a gigantic triangle. Of course, countless uninhabited Motu islets invite to you experience the sweet side of Robinson Crusoe life. We highly recommend taking a boat out onto the lagoon for a full day of exploring and discovering. Needless to say that you should always have snorkelling or diving gear on board. The reef offers spectacular dive sites including caves, wrecks, colourful coral and rare fish.
Incidentally, Aitutaki was not discovered by Cook but by none other than the infamous Capitan Bligh, who chanced upon paradise with the Bounty in 1789 just before his crew took to arms – reassured by the prospect of a life on the beautiful island? Who knows...
The Cooks climate is tropical, both hot and humid with only slight changes throughout the seasons. However, June to August are ever so slightly cooler, November to March the more rainy months. The occasional shower is certainly more frequent in the rainy season but it never pours down for hours on end – a holiday in the rainy months is quite enjoyable.
Just over 9000 cheerful islanders inhabit Rarotonga – about half of the Cook Islands' population. The locals are open-minded and friendly. They take a lot of interest in their guests and their hospitality is warm-hearted and spontaneous.Legends and myths characterise the Cooks' culture and are fused into a multitude of songs and dances. Dancing is a form of art on the islands that is celebrated with enthusiasm. Every island proudly cultivates an individual dance style that is practised and perfected starting young.
Several cheerful competitions allow the dancers to show off their skills and the visitors to join in for a taste of cheerful island life. And then, of course, there are the Cook Islands' unique arts and crafts. The women create charming jewellery, paintings and clothing to name just a handful of articles. Most famous, doubtlessly, is the Tivaevae, a hand-made, colourful quilt. And the ladies will be interested in the Pareu – stylish sarong-style fashion.
Welcome to the Cook Islands – paradise at the world's far end! Experience refined luxuries in a stunningly beautiful setting. It is a pleasure for the experienced team of INTOSOL travel consultants to provide more information. We are looking forward to your call!
*price per person / week including flight