The Cook Islands derive their name from Captain Cook, who sighted them in 1770. A self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand, the islands that feature prominently on tourist itineraries are Raratonga, Aitutaki and Atiu.
Raratunga has a surfeit of golden beaches and provides many opportunities for water sports such as diving and snorkeling. Tourists can also go trekking through the rainforests. While Aitutaki has a superb lagoon, golden beaches and beach bunglows for tourists, the island of Atiu is known for its limestone caves and cliffs and has an abundance of bird life.
Getting There & Away
The Cook Islands can be approached either by air or sea. Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue operate flights from New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti and Los Angeles to the Cook Islands. Cruise liners coming to the islands can dock at Rarotonga or Aitutaki.
Weather & When to Go
The Cook Islands experiences a tropical climate, tempered by trade winds blowing across it.