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.

Spread across a large ocean expanse between New Zealand and Hawaii are the 15 tiny Cook Islands. With rainforests tumbling down to coral-fringed beaches, crystal-blue lagoons filled with tropical fish and high mountain scenery, nature is the big attraction. Swim in warm waters, sunbathe on powdery white sands, hike up forested mountains and watch migratory whales pass by.

Most visitors arrive on Rarotonga. The archipelago’s principal island is the only one with an international airport. Stay for a few days to enjoy its attractions. Go for a scenic drive along the 20-mile (32-kilometer) coastal road that encircles the island. Swim, fish, dive and snorkel in the blue lagoon that surrounds Rarotonga. Hike up Raemaru, the flat-top mountain on the west side of the island.

Travel to some of the other Cook Islands by using the inter-island air services. There are no scheduled ferry services between the inhabited islands. There are inter-island cargo ships, but the service is sporadic.

Take the 1-hour flight from Rarotonga to its nearest neighbor, Aitutaki, for plenty of watersports in its lagoon. Explore the ancient caves on Mangaia and dive among the corals off Palmerston Island. Nearby Atiu Island is home to numerous bird species including the blue kingfisher, brown booby and the rare kopeka. This is a perfect place to become a birdwatcher if you aren’t one already. While you are here, tour the Atiu Coffee Factory and its plantations.

The 850,000 square miles (2.2 million square kilometers) of ocean around the Cook Islands have been designated a whale sanctuary. From July to October, humpback whales pass the islands on their annual migratory route. Head out to sea on a whale-watching trip or stay on land to catch sight of the large marine mammals. They are often spotted from the shores of any of the islands.

The Cook Islands have a tropical climate that’s warm year-round. This beautiful setting attracts many honeymooners and other vacationers for its wildlife, scenery and tranquility.

Cook Islands Travel Guide Video

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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