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13 Best Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

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If you’re interested in visiting the Cook Islands, you’ll be happy to hear there are hundreds of things to do here. One of the most popular is visiting S Islands – one of the best places to visit in the country! We put together a list of some of the top “13 Best Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destinations” and suggest you check them out if you have time. You can find out more information by going here.


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The Cook Islands is a castaway’s desire. One of the most stunning of the Polynesian Islands The archipelago’s 15 islands sit among French Polynesia and Samoa. Clear turquoise lagoons, volcanic peaks, and stunning palm-lined beaches evoke the breathtaking beauty of Tahiti however with a less expensive cost.

The Cook Islands have strong ties to New Zealand, but the nation’s culture is distinctly Polynesian and the inhabitants are among the most friendly on the planet.

Rarotonga is the visible point of a volcanic cone and is one of the most populated among the Cook Islands and one of the most desirable destinations for tourists. Its relaxed capital, Avarua is the main central point for commerce and culture in the islands. The lush interior is a coastal plain which is where coconut palms, papayas bananas, and coffee plants thrive. Coral reefs line the island and surround the narrow lagoon, which provides fantastic snorkeling and swimming options.

Aitutaki is second in terms of the most frequented island. With 21 islands with palm fringes, also known as motu, the stunning lagoon is the most popular attraction. The other islands that are more remote are popular with anglers, adventurers, and the real Robinson Crusoes.

Kayaking, fishing, beachcombing as well as snorkeling, and swimming are the most popular activities on all the islands and if you’re looking for some respite from the sea and sand you can walk through beautiful trails through the jungle for stunning views.

If you’ve ever stepped foot on the stunning shores of these islands You’ll be able to see how they’re one of the most stunning islands on the planet. Are you wondering where are the best destinations to visit? Check out our list of most popular tourist destinations within the Cook Islands.

13 Best Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

Aroa Marine Reserve

Aroa Marine Reserve” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

The reef is protected by the outlying one on the west coast of Rarotonga the crystal-clear waters of Aroa Marine Reserve are among the top spots on the island to go snorkeling. The Parrot Fish, Moorish idols, Moray Eels, wrasse, and angelfish are only a few of the species that snorkelers can see here.

The best part is that the lagoon is not accessible to motorized vessels which makes it a great place to swim and snorkel with children. Kayaking on calm water is also a very popular activity in this area.

After a long day of exploring the underwater world Relax and enjoy your sunset on the gorgeous beach.

Just a few miles from Aroa Marine Reserve, Cocoputt Cook Islands is an 18-hole mini-golf course that comes with a great dinner menu that is particularly enjoyed by families.

Maire Nui Gardens

Maire Nui Gardens” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

Are you wondering where to go within the Cook Islands when you need some time off away from your beach? Just a short walk to Titikaveka Beach is the charming natural Maire Nui Gardens can be awe-inspiring as you take in the splendor of Cook Islands’ flora.

The property is brimming with tropical flowers. this seven-acre estate is a perfect spot to take a stroll. It has lush lily-covered ponds, wild ginger as well as hibiscus, and a variety of palms among the numerous species of plants that thrive on the property. Dragonflies fly through the lush vegetation, and the sweet scent of tropical flowers lingers in the cool air.

After exploring the garden, take a break and enjoy a bite to eat at the charming tiny cafe that is open to the public. The cafe is open to donations in an honesty box near the entryway.

Avarua

Avarua” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

The town is located on the north coastline of Rarotonga, Avarua is the capital of the Cook Islands. The town is a relaxed one with an amicable atmosphere where you can find stores, restaurants as well as a variety of worthwhile tourist destinations there.

On Sundays, dulcet harmonies of Maori hymns reverberate out of CICC. CICC (Cook Islands Christian Church). The church was founded in 1853. the church is constructed out of coral. Several of the most well-known people are buried there and including the first premier from the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands Library and Museum has a collection of unique books about the Pacific The museum provides a glimpse into the history of a culture that the Cook Islands have to offer.

Nearby from Avarua, You can spot the wreckage of the Matai that is visible from the water. The wreck, which dates back to the 1800s, is a favorite spot to snorkel and visitors can also see it from a semi-submersible.

The must-see spot is the vibrant Punanga Nui outdoor market along the waterfront. It is a favorite spot to shop in Rarotonga and is awash with mangos, pineapples, and passion fruit, in addition to beautiful tropical flowers, fresh clothing, vegetables, and arts and crafts. One of the most popular items to buy here is the gorgeous black pearls. Most activity takes place on Saturdays in the mornings.

A little bit away from Avarua, Perfumes of Rarotonga sells scents and colognes that are made with flowers from the local area and are a great place to buy presents.

Are you in search of things that you could do in Rarotonga in the evening? Go to Trader Jack’s at Avarua Harbour to enjoy a seafood dinner at sunset on a Friday, which is the most popular evening. If you’re looking to experience a few cultural experiences, Cook Islands hotels also organize fun island night events with traditional dances and rhythmic drums.

Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

At 124 meters, Mount Maungapu is the highest point on Aitutaki. A 30-minute climb up to the top offers breathtaking views of the lagoon and the lush, palm-strewn landscape. A signboard on the road to the right of Paradise Cove marks the trailhead and the path is clearly marked in the no-cost Cook Islands map available on the island.

Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre

Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

Are you looking for things to do during your visit to Rarotonga, Cook Islands on an overcast day? Head to Discover Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre.

With interactive exhibits, This small, but well-curated museum will show all you’ve ever wanted to know about bizarre marine animals from the Cook Islands, from the dangerous stonefish to the giant coconut crabs. Also, you can learn interesting stories about the wrecks of ships that have sunk along the shores of these islands.

It’s a fantastic spot to take your children. You can touch an ocean star of blue or get up close and personal with tiny turtles and learn about the island’s ubiquitous hermit crabs. After your visit, stop at the nearby Coconut Crab Cafe to enjoy a hot cup of coffee or ice cream.

  • Address: Main Road, Akaoa, Arorangi Cook Islands

Arutanga, Aitutaki

Arutanga, Aitutaki” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

Surrounded by blooming hibiscus, mango, and mango trees and a sleepy Arutanga is the most populated town on Aitutaki. Tourists will be able to find several craft shops in the area and an uninhabited harbor, but the most important thing to do is explore the area and take in a real experience of island living.

One of the main attractions includes The Cook Islands Christian Church. It was built in 1828 and is one of the oldest churches in the Cook Islands and one of the most appealing, with stained glass windows and brightly wood accents. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to hear the congregation of the area singing to their hearts’ content on Sundays.

Arorangi, Rarotonga

Arorangi, Rarotonga” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

Arorangi is a tiny village located on the west of Rarotonga and was the first village that was a missionaries’ home. Today, it is possible to explore Arorangi’s Cook Island Christian Church dating to 1849, and also see a memorial to Papeiha, the first island missionary. Paprika.

Arorangi Beach can be a gorgeous location to soak in the sand in the morning and enjoy watching the sun set into the ocean in the evening. If you’re in search of something to do with your family go to Arorangi Beach to Discover Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre.

Aitutaki Lagoon

Aitutaki Lagoon” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

It’s what heaven appears to be like. The picture-perfect Aitutaki lagoon is glowing in a rainbow of turquoise hues and beautiful islets (motu) appear in the clean waters, beckoning the boater to go towards the shores.

Kayaking is a fantastic option to get around these tiny islets, however, you can also go to several smaller islands via trips or cruises. The tiny island of Maina located in the southwest corner of the lagoon is a great spot for snorkeling opportunities, and is also located on a gorgeous sandy bar that is called “Honeymoon Island.” It is also a popular place for bonefishing. You can employ local guides on the island.

If you’d like to be directly on the water the bungalows that are over the water at the luxurious Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort are perched right over the crystal-clear waters.

Tapuaetai  Tour

Tapuaetai  Tour” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

With gently curving coconut palms, gorgeous Tapuaetai, or One Foot Island as it is more popularly known is the most popular of Aitutaki’s motu, and with good reason.

This gorgeous island looks like it’s part of an idyllic tropical island. You can relax on the sparkling white sands, swim and dive into the turquoise lagoon, and make sure your passport is signed at the small post office. Hermit crabs are seen scurrying across the shoreline and you can walk through the entire island in less than 20 minutes. It is also a favorite spot for weddings.

Trips on the islands are among of the most sought-after activities to take within the Cook Islands from Aitutaki, and the majority of them include ample time for snorkeling. The most common sea creatures encountered are giant clams, huge trevally, and vividly colored coral. Many tours also include a BBQ lunch as well as visits to the other motu (islets) within the lagoon.

Muri Beach, Rarotonga

Muri Beach, Rarotonga” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

In the southeast of Rarotonga, Muri Beach, or Muri Lagoon as it’s sometimes referred to is among the most well-known and beautiful beach spots on the island. While the quality of the water has decreased in recent years The shallows are stunning shades of aquamarine and snorkelers will be able to see a variety of varieties of exotic fish.

Four islands off the coast, referred to as motu, shine in the distance, adding their beauty. region. After a long day in the sun, you can enjoy some food at any of the restaurants and resorts in the vicinity.

Titikaveka Beach, Rarotonga

Titikaveka Beach, Rarotonga” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

On the southwest coast of Rarotonga, The beautiful Titikaveka Beach and Lagoon are among the most beautiful spots on the island for snorkeling and swimming. The water is usually so clear that you can stand only in the lagoon for a glimpse of beautiful fish.

Snorkelers will see many marine species around the numerous coral heads, as well as the place, which is lined with sea stars of blue. It’s also great for kayaking.

In the tiny settlement that is close by there is a rock coral Cook Islands Christian Church dating to 1841.

Te Vara Nui Village Tour & Cultural Show

Te Vara Nui Village Tour & Cultural Show” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

A great way to discover something about the past of the Cook Islands and traditional island life is to visit Te Vara Nui Village. Te Vara Nui Village. The tour starts with a 2.5-hour guide-led tour around the village. The husking of coconuts, the cooking dancing, fishing weaving, and carving along with Maori Bush medicine is some of the things you can discover on the tour.

After you’ve soaked up the culture, it’s now time to have a delicious island-style meal. Traditional and western-style Cook Islands food awaits in the dining area on the water, as well as a performance that incorporates storytelling through dancing and song. The stunning setting on the water extravagant costumes and the opportunity for participation from the audience make this event even more memorable.

Drop-off and pickup at hotels are also available. You may purchase the tour or a dinner-only package if you’d rather.

Cross-Island Hike to Te Rua Manga

Cross-Island Hike to Te Rua Manga” | Cook Islands Popular Tourist Destination

The cross-island trek is a fantastic method to discover Rarotonga’s beautiful landscape. The track leads through the North Coast to the striking pinnacle that is Te Rua Manga (The Needle) One of the island’s most renowned landmarks. The trail continues via Wigmore’s Waterfall to the south coast. The waterfalls are gorgeous following heavy rains and have the base of the falls has a pool however, the waterfalls will slow down to a trickle in dry weather.

The hike is challenging and takes around four hours. It takes you through dense forest before ascending to the top of The Needle, a steep rock face that rises out into the air. From the bottom of The Needle, you will be able to take in stunning views of the coastline and the forest surrounding it. It is important to note the fact that climbers must be careful. The Needle by itself is just for those who are serious about climbing.

The trail will continue on to Wigmore’s Waterfall until it reaches the opposite part of the island. It is also possible to start at the northernmost point on the path, walk up to The Needle, and return back to the starting point.

Guidebooks are highly recommended, but they’re not required, and it’s important to have well-constructed shoes. Also, it is best to stay clear of the trails after heavy rain as certain sections can be slippery and steep.

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