What is your dream Cook Islands destination? Is it the lush green main island of Rarotonga with its signature volcanic pinnacle? Or is it tiny Aitutaki, a mere seven-square miles of sand and jungle warmed by the South Pacific sun and surrounded by what might be the world's most perfect lagoon? Why not visit both? With one of the Cook Islands travel packages from Islands in the Sun, island hopping in the warm, welcoming, English-speaking Cooks is a breeze.
You'll arrive on Rarotonga, the hub of tourism and commerce, and be transferred to your resort via the sole paved road, which encircles the island for 20 miles without a single traffic light. Beach-fringed and notable for its acres of coconut, banana, pineapple and papaya, Rarotonga is a Polynesian Garden of Eden ideal for exploring on foot (you can do so on a trek with local medicine man Pa). And the island's lagoon teems with sea-life, making it ideal for snorkeling and diving. Come evening, attention turns to Cook Islanders' favorite pastime: music. Drums beat, coconut-shell ukuleles play and hips shake like you've never seen before.
Arriving on palm-fringed Aitutaki is like taking a long deep breath and suddenly feeling 10 years younger. This is South Pacific simplicity at it best: old school Polynesian ambience (overwater bungalows) combined with modern hospitality (spas, golf) and a blue lagoon that youlll be unable to stop staring at. We promise.
The iridescent shimmer of lagoon water, the sweet aromas of pineapple and coconut, the seductive beat of traditional wooden drums, and the ease of an island without a single traffic light – thatls how Rarotonga, the main island in this charming South Pacific chain, delights the senses morning, noon and night.
Yes, it's an island. But, more importantly, it's a lagoon – the kind of endless lagoon that's a kaleidoscope of blues too numerous to count and too inviting to resist. Just seven-square miles, Aitutaki makes up for in pure relaxation and authenticity what it lacks in size. A visit is like medication for modern life.
The Cook Islands are 15 islands located halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean.
The Cooks are a 9 hour and 25 minute flight nonstop from Los Angeles (LAX) to Rarotonga (RAR) flying on Air New Zealand.
The "Island Bus" offers a convenient, low cost way to get around, operating around the island (in both directions). It will pick you up and set you down anywhere you like.
You can rent a car, scooter or bicycle, catch a bus, or organize transfers between the airport and your accommodation.
Air Rarotonga is the airline of the Cook Islands and operates scheduled services to nine of the islands.