The Cook Islands have long been a magnet for adventurous people who have been lured by crystal clear sea, a rich underwater life and the strong Polynesian culture.

Here are just five reasons to choose this little slice of paradise as your holiday destination for 2020.

The environment comes first

Over 99 percent of the Cook Islands economic zone consists of water. Here you will find an incredible 1.9 million km² of atolls, volcanic limestone and chalky white sand islands. It is home to 130 different types of coral, 600 fish species and many types of endangered turtles. In addition, endangered reef sharks, whales and dolphins thrive. From July 2017, this oasis was protected under the Marae Moana – the name of the archipelago marine park and the largest initiative taken by a single country to manage and safeguard the conservation of the water’s vulnerable ecosystem.

Back on land, the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council (CITIC) has recently launched the Mana Tiaki Eco Certification project, which serves as a way for visitors to recognise businesses that are working on protecting the environment so they can choose options that minimise the environmental effect their visit will have. The initiative is the next step in the journey to a fully sustainable tourism industry in the Cook Islands.

Fun ways to explore the islands

Mighty, green mountains characterize the archipelago’s largest island – Rarotonga. Inland, however, is relatively flat and easy to explore on two wheels. The Storytellers Eco Cycle Tour guides will take you on an unforgettable journey through sleepy villages and into the jungle. There you can taste the island’s sprawling crops, as well as hear stories of what it’s like to grow up in a Pacific paradise.

If you prefer to be driven, there are jeep safari tours, that offer an exciting half day adventure into the interior of the island of Rarotonga, or the adrenalin fuelled, and very muddy, buggy tours. A must do for hikers is the ‘Cross Island’ trek on Rarotonga. Either self-guided or with traditional medicine man ‘Pa’, visitors will be taught about local medicinal plants, flora and fauna.

There are a number of different cruising and boating tours that enable you to explore the Cook Islands stunningly expansive, crystal clear waters and picture perfect motus (sand islands). Just below the surface are waiting green turtles that paddle peacefully through crystal clear water along with huge trevally fish and giant clams with purple lips. For a more adventurous tour of the waters, there are snorkelling, SUP and sea-scooter tours, or experience the underwater world on a diving tour.

Experience Authentic Polynesia

Cook Islanders are hugely proud of their Polynesian heritage and are keen to share this with visitors. Ancient Cook Islands Polynesian Cultures are not just present in museums but can be experienced in everyday life on the islands. Visitors can explore these in a variety of ways; including cultural tours and performances, island nights, or during a Sunday service at one of the beautiful white coral and limestone churches.

Pure Romance

If you are looking for the perfect place to pop the question, enjoy a memorable honeymoon or even get married, look no further. Impossibly blue lagoons, dazzling white sand beaches fringed by postcard palm trees, the Cook Islands offer couples the perfect romantic escape. The unspoilt natural beauty is a magical setting for celebrating love.

Do as little or as much as you like, indulge and pamper yourself with spa and beauty treatments and enjoy exceptional Cook Island cuisine in restaurants offering romantic beachfront dining by candlelight.

Accommodation offerings include overwater villas, adult only hotels and resorts or smaller boutique offering. With a local law stipulating no buildings higher than a coconut tree to you can be sure of no high-rises or chain brands.

Stunning Beaches

For that ultimate holiday snap, to become the envy of your friends back home, there are few places better than the Cook Islands. Lined with palm trees and framed with bright blue skies, the unspoilt white sand beaches provide the most perfect tropical landscape, it’s not surprising some of the beaches in the Cook Islands are regularly voted the most beautiful in the world.


For more information on things to see and do in the Cook Islands go to www.cookislands.travel

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