See for yourself why so many people choose the Cook Islands for their holidays. Whether you want a summer getaway, a perfect honeymoon or a special family holiday, the Cook Islands have it all.

One of the gems of the South Pacific, the Cook Islands' nonchalant beauty and laidback charm have long drawn adventurers, artists and writers to their shores. Volcanic mountains and forests slope down to pristine white beaches, sand cays and breathtaking blue lagoons, which you can easily have all to yourself. Enjoy peaceful seclusion, a relaxed, slower pace of life, a perfect climate and stunning scenery.

Situated between New Zealand and Hawaii, the Cook Islands are comprised of fifteen unique islands which cover an area the size of Western Europe. Rarotonga is the main island and central transport hub, and home to much of the Cook Islands' population, while Aitutaki, known as the ‘Eden of the Cooks’ is a true island paradise. Also referred to as Honeymoon Island, this impossibly romantic spot is an ideal- and idyllic- choice for the ultimate honeymoon.

Further afield, you can experience traditional village life and real tranquillity on islands that tourists rarely visit, making your holiday unique and memorable for all the right reasons.

The islanders come from a rich melting pot of cultures and traditions, and music, dance, and arts and crafts have always been an intrinsic part of their daily lives. Catch a concert to see the locals dancing and hear them sing hymns sung to the accompaniment of ukuleles made of coconut shells. Ancient designs and symbols that have been handed down through the generations can be seen everywhere from houses and wood carvings to tapa cloths (made of bark) and tattoos.

The local cuisine also makes the most of worldly influences, with abundant seafood, vegetables and tropical fruit- and every day you can relax with an exotic cocktail at a beachfront bar while watching the sun set over the sea.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE COOK ISLANDS

Traditional Villages
Experience the real way of life of the Cook Islanders by going off the beaten track and visiting villages living on true island time, with villagers upholding traditional customs such as harvesting crops, craft-making and fishing.

Food and Drink
The Cook Islands make the most of their abundant local produce, including tropical fruit, especially coconut and mango, vegetables such as taro, and seafood such as mahi mahi.

Music
Music is a part of local life, and can be found anywhere you go, from beating drums to gently strumming ukuleles, often accompanied by dancing. See fire dancers in the village of Vaipae (nicknamed Hollywood), and go to one of the beautiful white churches on a Sunday, where services are marked with enthusiastic singing and dancing.

Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are also intrinsic to the Cook Islands way of life, especially wood carvings- legend has it that ancient islanders carved the poles of their huts, their canoes and their weapons. Today, you will find many carved examples of the Tangaroa, a local symbol, alongside woven pandanus (coconut fibre) hats, necklaces made of shells and pareaus (sarongs) with traditional printed designs.


Aitutaki
One of the jewels of the Cook Islands, it’s no accident that the beautiful island of Aitutaki is also known as Honeymoon Island. This is the place to be for an idyllic wedding or honeymoon. Sunbathe on impossibly perfect beaches, swim in the crystal clear waters of incredibly blue lagoons and stay in luxurious beachfront hotels where you can watch the sunset from your private balcony.

PLACES TO STAY IN THE COOK ISLANDS HANDPICKED BY EXSUS

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