Cook Islands

Travel Guide
One Foot Island Beach which includes a beach and tropical scenes

Getting ready for your trip to the Cook Islands

Check Cook Islands Tourism before you travel for the most up-to-date information. Check frequently as this information may change with short notice. If you're travelling to the Cook Islands from New Zealand, check Expedia's Cook Islands Travel Bubble Guide for more information.

What restrictions are in place for the Cook Islands

Check the following websites for more information about any restrictions, including social distancing measures, closures, and face mask requirements, that may be in place due to COVID-19:

What measures are in place at the airport?

For more information, see Cook Island's Airport website.

What other health information is available?

Travelling, especially in the time of COVID-19, has inherent risk. Check reputable health information sources such as the Cook Island's official COVID-19 website or New Zealand's official Unite against COVID-19 website before you travel to determine whether travel at this time is right for you.

This page was last updated May 11, 2021.

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Discover hidden caves, learn about Polynesian culture and traditions and swim among schools of tropical fish in this Pacific island paradise.

Bask on sun-soaked beaches and embrace the laid-back local lifestyle in the Cook Islands. Comprised of 15 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, the Cook Islands were formed by ancient volcanic activity. Snorkel in the shimmering blue waters, swim in natural swimming pools and observe age-old traditions and deep-rooted rituals during a cultural show.

The tourism industry plays a large part in the economy here and visitors are usually greeted with smiles and plenty of local advice. Learn a few words of the native language, Maori. Most locals also speak English.

When you travel to the Cook Islands you will most likely first arrive on the largest island, Rarotonga. For an introduction to Cook Islands culture, take a tour of the Te Vara Nui Village. After, enjoy a buffet dinner and watch a choreographed dance show. For some outdoor adventure, hike the Cross-Island Track, which leads past picturesque waterfalls and lagoons.

If you are seeking a remote haven, visit the island of Atiu. Here you can explore Anatakitaki, a beautiful cave surrounded by thick jungle roots. Listen for the clicking sound of the rare kopeka bird, which is native to this island. Brave visitors can venture inside the spine-tingling Te Ana O Rakaniu, a narrow burial cave filled with skeletal remains.

In between planned activities, relax on one of the Cook Islands’ many stunning beaches. Head to Muri for barefoot strolls on the sand and lagoon cruises, during which you can spot tropical fish. Another good beach option is the Aitutaki Lagoon, known for its chalk-white sands and waters that are great for snorkeling.

Fly into Rarotonga from a few international destinations, including Sydney, Los Angeles and Tahiti. Inter-island travel can be by air or by ship, though weather conditions frequently disrupt boat schedules. To get around the islands themselves, do as the islanders do and rent a scooter from a local shop. Visit in August for the annual independence festival. This is during the cooler months (April to November) when conditions are the driest but are still warm.

Consider a trip to the Cook Islands for a unique stay in a beautiful island paradise.

Popular cities in Cook Islands

Muri Beach featuring tropical scenes
Known for Beach view, Islands and Snorkelling
Surrounded by clear blue water, the capital of the Cook Islands has spectacular beaches, incredible wildlife and scenery, and a laid-back island lifestyle.

Reasons to visit

  • Cook Islands Library and Museum
  • Cook Island Christian Church
  • Maire Nui Botanical Gardens
Atiu showing rugged coastline as well as a family
Known for Islands, Fishing and Bird watching
A tropical wilderness of vast untouched beaches and stunning birdlife will capture your imagination. See kopeka birds, found only on this island.

Reasons to visit

  • Anatakitaki Cave
  • Cooks Landing
  • Rima Rau Burial Cave
Aitutaki which includes tropical scenes and general coastal views
Known for Beach view, Friendly people and Islands
A remote island where bone-white beaches stretch along a triangular atoll and spectacular natural scenery bewitches at every turn.

Reasons to visit

  • Ootu Beach
  • Akitua Island
One Foot Island Beach showing a sandy beach as well as a small group of people
Known for Beach view
Leave the modern world behind and escape to this remote islet where unspoiled beaches and a tropical atmosphere will leave you speechless.

Reasons to visit

  • One Foot Island Beach

Cook Islands

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