Cook Islands – A Holiday In Paradise! juni 23, 2022 – Posted in: Cook Islands, Travel – Tags: , , , ,

*The article contains advertising links, read more here: Affiliate Partners*


Do you need inspiration for the next big holiday? Are you looking for the perfect place for a romantic honeymoon? Or would you just like to see something you have not experienced before? Then the Cook Islands are waiting for you!


“Welcome to Paradise”, says the Polynesian customs officer when you land on Rarotonga. It sounds like a cliché, but he’s right. Rarotonga is exactly the image most of us have of what it might look like in the Garden of Paradise. Cook Islands is such a beautiful place that it is hard to describe, even in pictures – it has to be experienced! In return, it’s easy to tell how the place makes you feel: Alive!

Rarotonga is not the usual charter tourist destination with hotels along the waterfront. On the unspoilt and authentic Pacific island, only two floors are built all around the island, and only so looks natural with the palm trees and flowers. Thailand may offer equally beautiful bounty beaches, but on Rarotonga there are no tourist hordes, street vendors and loud music. Only peace and quiet, interrupted by the ever roaring waves.

Cook Islands is a holiday destination for you who want unique experiences, but who still also like comfort, great restaurants and a cocktail at sunset. First and foremost, though, you have to choose the Cook Islands because of the Pacific Ocean, the beautiful scenery and the incredibly friendly islanders.

The reef on Rarotonga - SittingUnderAPalmTree

The reef behind the palm trees


The Cook Islands archipelago, located in Polynesia in the South Pacific, consists of 15 small islands. The largest of the islands, Rarotonga, is just over 67 km². The 14 other islands, the most popular of which is Aitutaki, can be reached by a short flight or boat ride from Rarotonga. In total, there are 17,500 people living on the islands and about 60,000 in New Zealand, to which the Cook Islands belong in a self-governing agreement.

The islands are named after Captain James Cook, who visited the islands in 1773 and 1777. Still, it was not he who discovered the archipelago. In the year 900 AD the islands were colonized, presumably by residents of Tahiti. On the 29-kilometer-long Ara Metua road , which runs from the National Museum down to Muri Beach, traces of the first Polynesian inhabitants have been found. In 1595 the first Spanish ship passed by, while in 1606 the Portuguese were the first to set foot on the island of Rakahanga, which they christened Gente Hermosa (Beautiful People).

And beautiful are they, the natives of the Cook Islands. The tall women with their long, black hair, adorned with an Ei, a colorful flower wreath. The men strong and proud – it is clear that the inhabitants for generations have had a rich life in nature.

Show at the Punanga Nui Market - SittingUnderAPalmTree

On Saturdays, there is a live show at Punanga Nui Market. The band plays music to Ura, the ritual dances.


The Cook Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, and you can only get there by either flying over New Zealand or Los Angeles. From Rarotonga there is a fixed flight connection to the other small islands with propeller planes.

We booked the trip ourselves and took over Los Angeles. To find the best prices, it is a good idea to search for the individual flights, Your city – Los Angeles and then Los Angeles – Rarotonga.


Lots of money! Don’t choose Cook Islands for the price, as it is not a cheap tourist destination. In return, you will spend your holiday with other tourists who have wholeheartedly chosen the Cook Islands for the completely unique experience. The prices of bread, fruit and meat are high, but you are on an island where most come by ship or plane. Internet is also expensive: for 50 New Zealand dollars (€30) you get 3 GB of data. That’s enough to check your emails, but not for YouTube videos.

Otherwise, there are quite a few things that you will be happy to have packed in your suitcase. If you forget something, it can all also be bought on the island.

  • Mosquito repellent, and preferably something that works! There are a lot of mosquitoes on the islands. If you have a stopover in Los Angeles, buy some of the strong stuff.
  • Electrical adapter with converter for Australian plugs.
  • Bathing shoes – the beaches are filled with beautiful coral and rocks. On the other hand, many hours can be spent just looking at them.
  • Sunscreen and hat. Toddlers should wear sun clothes. The UV index can easily reach over 10. Remember aftersun.
  • Snorkel and goggles. There is a lot to see underwater and it is also recommended to pack an underwater camera.
  • Good walking shoes. There is a lot to see on the island, and if you are going on one of the hikes up the mountains, it requires a pair of solid shoes. Sneakers are okay, but not with a worn sole.


Cook Island is famous for its beautiful black pearls. If you don’t have the money for pearl earrings, then there are also several places on the island to get a dress sewn. The women on the island are good at sewing, and you will find the most amazing fabric around the island.

At Punanga Nui Market you can buy a ukulele to take home or one of the scary masks. If you don’t have room in your hand luggage for an Ei, a flower wreath, one of the colorful hair flowers are also pretty.

Fabric with flowers from Rarotonga - SittingUnderAPalmTree

A good buy: fabric by the meter from Rarotonga with patterns you won’t find anywhere else.


Coconut Crab - Rarotonga - SittingUnderAPalmTree

A magnificent specimen of a Coconut Crab from the Cook Islands Library & Museum. Usually they are the size of a bird spider – but they are harmless. In fact, you should be lucky if you see one at all, they are very shy.

Cook Islands has all the good things of the tropics, the heat, the beaches and the palm trees, but without all the unpleasantness. Since you are in the tropics, cyclones and hurricanes can occur, especially from November to April. The Cook Islands have also been exposed to a few tsunamis, but there is a well-functioning tsunami alert and escape routes are clearly marked all over the island. The most dangerous thing on the island on a regular weekday is the coconuts falling from the trees. Read more about safety at Cook Islands.

Where the neighboring islands of New Zealand and Australia have everything in spiders, snakes and other poisonous reptiles, there are no dangerous animals or poisonous spiders on the Cook Islands. The island has no snakes, and the biggest spider, The Huntsman Spider, you really have to search for to find. Few have seen it, it is on the island, it is the size of a hand, and it is gross, but it’s not dangerous.

The islands has many cockroaches and geckos, but since they will follow the light, turn it on in the bathroom and they’ll show themselves out there. In the water, you may be unlucky enough to step on a sea urchin or a stone fish, but you can take your precautions by wearing bathing shoes.

A supergross animal that is by no means dangerous, but instead is considered a delicacy here, is The Coconut Crab. The crab, which can grow up to 50 years old and weigh 4 kilos, is fortunately very shy and quite scared of humans. If you want to see them go down into the holes, they live north of Muri Beach, on the way up to The Mooring Fish Café. And yes, they do feed on coconuts, which they can open with their claws.


Rarotonga offers hotels, resorts and apartments in all price ranges. Here you get a few recommendations on some of the best hotels in Rarotonga, all of which can be booked directly through See more hotels by doing your own search here:


Right at the beachfront in the Blue Lagoon at Muri Beach lies the luxurious Muri Beach Club Hotel. Here you can enjoy the view of the small islands in the lagoon, while the tour boats sail past with tourists. When the body needs to cool down, there are few steps to a dip into the coral blue water. In and around Muri Beach there are also quite a few restaurants and bars.


There are few places on earth that are more beautiful than the Cook Islands – and with the south-eastern tip of Rarotonga at the very top of the list. Here on the coast is a gem of a beach hotel, the Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel. The hotel is for you who have flown many miles just to have the ultimate vacation. Here, all your needs are taken care of, which here on Cook Islands are quickly limited to blue water, hammocks all the way down to the beachfront and a bartender who is ready to poor you a cool drink.


Ten minutes drive from the main town Avarua is the large Black Rock. The stone marks the start of some of the island’s best beaches, located all the way down the coast. The area therefore also has many small and larger hotels and resorts, but the area is somewhat quieter than Muri Beach. Here you can swim from the sandy beaches and enjoy the sunset to the sound of the roar of the waves. If you are looking for a good value hotel, The Edgewater Resort and Spa is highly recommended. In the morning you can go straight out into the lagoon for a swim, and the island small bus has its own stop at the resort.

See more great hotels in Rarotonga here on!

Read the other articles about Rarotonga here!

« Best Restaurants In Rarotonga, Cook Islands
A Day In Paradise On Rarotonga, Cook Islands »