Cook Islands, Polynesia: where they are, when to go and what to see

Who I am
Martí Micolau

Author and references

Polynesia is a popular area for thousands of tourists from all over the globe. There are indeed exceptional tourist destinations in this part of the world. There are several territories that are able to offer high-level natural beauty combined with breathtaking landscapes. Those who visit Polynesia are permanently fascinated, feeling a certain connection with this area.
Even if you don't often hear about them, the Cook Islands are the classic example of a spectacular holiday destination. These islands are located precisely in Polynesia and have a lot to offer in terms of tourism. It is therefore necessary to deepen the information you have about these islands in order to discover this territory!


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where are
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. Which island to go to?
  5. 10 things to see: beaches and places of interest
  6. How much does a Cook Islands vacation cost? Prices, offers and advice
  7. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 19.569 inhabitants
  • Capital: Avarua
  • Languages: English, Cook Islands Creole
  • Local currency: New Zealand dollar (€ 1,00 = NZD 1,66)
  • Weather: tropical climate, average temperatures approaching 27/28 °
  • vaccinations: no vaccination required
  • Entry requirements: Passport and return ticket
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where are

    The Cook Islands are geographically part of the territory known as Polynesia. In detail, the Cook Islands are located east of New Zealand. From a political point of view, however, the islands represent a state in free association with New Zealand.

    How to reach us

    • From Milan or Rome: there are no direct flights to the Cook Islands. In this case, to reach the final destination it is necessary to take a flight from Italy to the United States or New Zealand with the company Tap Portugal or British Airways, then a flight with Air New Zealand to reach the international airport of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands . In total, the flight can last from 18 to 22 hours, depending on the stopovers made
      Compare flights from Milan or Rome - from € 1.100,00
    • From the main European capitals: a good tip could be to leave from London. From there, in fact, thanks to British Airways flights, the city of Los Angeles, in the United States of America, is easily accessible. Once in the USA, you must then take a flight to Rarotonga airport, the Cook Islands' only international airport
      Compare flights to Rarotonga - from € 1.075,00

    When to go? Info on climate and best time

    • Weather: the climate of the Cook Islands is tropical. Temperatures are medium-high for the whole year with an average close to 22 degrees. Precipitation in a calendar year is approximately 145 days / 1.910 mm. The sea temperature instead decreases in the winter months but remains stable at around 23 degrees.
    • Best time: from May to October. In this period the temperatures are mild and pleasant with a low humidity level. Rainfall decreases and the days are sunny.
    • Period to avoid: December to April. In addition to being the period where rainfall is more frequent, during these months there is also a strong risk of cyclones and tropical storms.
    • Advice: You must prepare in advance for a trip to the Cook Islands. Being very distant from Italy, this journey can be very tiring with several stopovers to make. In your suitcase, on the other hand, it is good to bring books to read on the beach, light and comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes and sunglasses.

    Which island to go to?

    The Cook Islands consist of 15 islands. They also fall into two groups, namely northern islands and southern islands. The 3 main islands are:

    1. Rarotonga: perhaps the most important international island for the Cook Islands. On Rarotonga there is the only international airport, the main link between the islands and the outside world. Furthermore, on the island there are several services for tourists and non-tourists. The island is also home to the Cook's capital, Avarua.
    2. Manihiki: main island of the Northern Cook Islands. On this island there are services for tourists. In fact, tourism seems to be the main developed sector on this particular island. This area is recommended for those looking for relaxation and comfort from their vacation.
    3. Aitutaki: Aitutaki is an atoll targeted by tourists. The services for tourism are so many on this island which is located in the southern area of ​​the Cook Islands. On the island there are several accommodations and various excursions are organized to admire the coral reef.

    10 things to see: beaches and places of interest

    1. Avarua: the capital of the Cook Islands is the first place to discover and explore. From here you can also rent mopeds, with which to explore the entire island of Rarotonga!
    2. One Foot Island: as the name suggests, this island is really small, but visiting it is a show. The beach is very white and the water looks like that of an artificial swimming pool!
    3. Muri Lagoon: located on the island of Rarotonga, this natural lagoon is exceptionally beautiful. Lush vegetation, spectacular beaches and crystal clear water: the top for a dream vacation.
    4. Muri Beach: also located on the island of Rarotonga, this beach is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. On the other hand, with transparent water and a deep blue color it couldn't be otherwise!
    5. Aroa Nature Reserve: this marine protected area is present on the island of Rarotonga. Here anyone can snorkel and dive, admiring the wonderful marine fish that overcrowd the seas of the Cook Islands.
    6. Titikaveka Beach: the perfect beach for those traveling alone or wanting to enjoy a little romance with their partner. This beach is located on the Rarotonga Island and is a heavenly place with natural sun shelters such as palm trees and shrubs.
    7. Mount Maungapu: the highest peak on the island of Aitutaki. This mountain is about 125 meters high. Only the most daring dare to face it and trekking enthusiasts will find something for their teeth.
    8. Kopeka Cave: the Kopeka quarry is a fascinating place to visit on the small island of Atiu. Excursions in the quarry are exceptional and the more adventurous will love to explore every corner of this mysterious place.
    9. Black Rock Beach: as the name suggests, there are two particularities of this beach. The first is the huge black stones that dominate it and the second is the white beach that shines in the sun. Such a place is located on the island of Rarotonga.
    10. Aroa Beach: this beach is located on the Rarotonga island. The beach is practically deserted, a perfect place for those who need to clear their minds and get away from everyday stress.

    How much does a Cook Islands vacation cost? Prices, offers and advice

    As with any other holiday in Polynesia, a trip to the Cook Islands involves a great deal economically. Usually, a couple looking for a flight + accommodation package can spend up to € 2.000 per person.
    On the various islands, however, life does not appear to be expensive. You can buy the different meals at suitable prices. The cost of excursions, on the other hand, has recently risen slightly, so if you do not have a very high budget you must carefully choose which experience to try.

    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 70,00 per room -
    • starting from € 1.100,00 -

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