The Idyllic Tropical Vacation
The Cook Islands are comprised of fifteen islands – Polynesian atolls that truly represent a tropical getaway. Largely unaffected by the tourism trade, the islands afford visitors with the opportunity to enjoy their vacation time at a less-hurried pace.
Plus, each island has its own personality. For example, the main island Rarotonga is visited by around 100,000 tourists each year. Yet, it still is infused with island charm – what with its serene atmosphere, ideal climate, and breath-taking scenery.
Rarotonga – the Main Island of the Group
Rarotonga is where you’ll land if you choose to vacation in the Cook Islands as the island is also home to the Islands’ airport. Locals are often referred to as Rarotongan although they may live on one of the other islands such as Mangaia. A number of resorts accommodations can be found on this popular atoll. The capital of the Cook Islands, Avarua, is also located on Rarotonga as well.
Aitutaki and Atiu
The island of Aitutaki is often visited by honeymooners – definitely a couples’ paradise while Atiu is a volcanic archipelago that is surrounded by cliffs and coral. The island is an ideal bird watching location too.
Other Islands in the Group
Mitiaro, yet another isle, is home to underground caves and sparkling pools while the captivating island of Mangaia is located at the southernmost tip of the Cook chain. Tranquil and cool, this island is indeed the ideal of a Pacific tropical isle. Takutea, uninhabited, features palms with coconuts and is bordered by a coral reef – perfectly unbroken.
Other islands include Manuae (uninhabited); Mauke; Palmerston (with its blue lagoon); and the northern islets and islands consisting of Penrhyn (which is the biggest atoll of the group); Suwarrow; Pukiapuka (whose history goes back over 1,000 years); and Manihiki (a string coral islets that are the base for the black pearl industry).