The Cook Islands are a great destination for those looking for a tropical vacation and something a bit exotic. Far off the main map in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands mostly see visitors from New Zealand and Australia due to their close proximity. While not the remotest of islands, they are nonetheless less developed than Fiji and French Polynesia. The Cook islands has everything from small bungalows to resorts that will take care of your every need. Relax on white sand beaches, swim in clear blue water, dive coral reefs, and enjoy some great seafood.
Cost and Budgeting
You can vacation comfortably in the Cook Islands, staying at the top-end hotels and eating at the best restaurants, for US$250 to US$300 a day, depending on how many islands you decide to visit. For those on a more moderate budget, you can expect to spend US$110 to US$150 a day. Budget travelers can get by for well under US$50 a day if they use inexpensive accommodation and eat at restaurants. Typical budget rooms start at US$10-22. Meals starts at around US$4-9. The islands have something for everyone which is why they are gaining popularity. Note that the official currency is the New Zealand Dollar.
Things to Do and See in the Cook Islands
Go Scuba Diving– The Cook Islands are surrounded by large and well preserved coral reefs that host a vast array of coral and wildlife, making these islands a diving heaven. Most of the reefs here are close to the islands making them easy to get visit. What’s a tropical vacation without diving anyways?
Snorkel in a Lagoon– The Cook Islands have tons of tiny lagoons that are filled with some amazing wildlife. You’ll find a lot of fish, other sea creatures, birds, and small mammals. Since the lagoons aren’t too deep, they are a great alternative to snorkeling or diving.
Go Fishing– There are many fish in the surrounding waters here and many operators exist to take you out big game fishing. It’s one of the more popular things to do here.
Explore Anatakitaki- The most famous of the many caves on the island of Atiu. Anatakitaki is riddled with limestone caverns complete with stalactites and stalagmites, giving you a great alternative activity to do.
Visit Aitutaki Lagoon– Aitutaki’s marvelous lagoon is dotted with sand bars and coral ridges. It’s one of the most famous lagoons in the world and a great place to spend the day exploring.
Visit the Black Pearl– The Cook Islands are famous for their black pearls and many of the northern islands have pearl farms that you can visit. You’ll be able to get a look into the non tourist life of the island’s inhabitants.
When to go to the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands weather is tropical and follows the same weather pattern of other South Pacific islands. Summer is hotter and more humid with more rainfall, tropical storms, and cyclones. The winter is cooler and drier. The best time to visit the Cook Islands is September and October and March and April when the cyclone season is over.