The archipelago consists of 15 islands, mostly of volcanic origin.
For relaxation at the Cook Islands of greater interest are the two largest of them.
The island of Rarotonga – is an island on which is situated the capital Avarua and most of the population of archipelago lives.
Few resorts in the world can offer to tourists such as privacy and tranquility as Rarotonga.
But there are plenty of opportunities for entertainment – cabarets, discotheques, night clubs. There are about 20 restaurants and bars offering a variety of cuisines of the world – Chinese, Italian, Indian, Continental and of course, the local marine food.
The island hosts a variety of exhibitions, there are two museums and a library. The most popular is the local market where you can buy handicrafts of the Cook Islands, and on Saturday is going to almost the entire population of the island and are the local singers and dancers.
The impressive is the nature of the island. On Rarotonga is the most powerful volcanic archipelago with the highest ridge of the top 658 meters. The mountain slopes are covered with a rich jungle foliage – coconut trees, citrus groves and fern jungles, numerous vines and tree “Pandanus”, whose leaves are used for traditional handicrafts (mats, baskets, etc.). All around the island boasts excellent beaches and a lagoon of tiny white sand.
Aitutaki Island – located 220 kilometers north of Rarotonga and is the next most important object for tourists in the Cook Islands. The island is very beautiful and picturesque. Beautiful lagoons and lakes are rich in fish and have great water clarity. For forty-five miles of coastline, there are small uninhabited islands, bays and coves.
Reef Island, part of which still stand above the water (also called “motu”) are not only a universal ornament and attract a lot of fans, but at the same time protect the island and its bay from sharks and large waves. All this creates an additional atmosphere of calm and confidence.
As to the recreation opportunities we can see them by just looking at the map of the Cook Islands – entertainment, tours, beautiful beaches and a variety of water recreation – surfing, walking on catamarans on the surface of the water lagoon, snorkeling and sea cruises.
Special attention should be diving in the Cook Islands. On Rarotonga and Aitutaki excellent opportunities for diving – around these islands is clear water, underwater slopes abound in canyons and caves, and a variety of marine life is simply stunning – only here there are 73 coral species.
In addition to sport fishing, organized fishing trips, which are used for fishing only ancient Polynesian technology.
Very good here is also pearling – the best dive sites are located in Manihiki. But keep in mind that for the collection of shells in the lagoons must obtain permission from the local authorities, as almost all inland waters are places artificial cultivation of pearls.
Tourism opportunities on the Cook Islands are very diverse – familiarity with crafts, art and culture of the peoples of the Polynesian archipelago, flying in helicopters, all kinds of active tourism – hiking in the rainforest, caving and trekking. There are some great areas for hiking, among which the best are organized routes of the Rarotonga Cross Island Track, Te Kou-Track, Pa Mountain Walk Ikuranki Trek and Wai-Atiu Momoiri-track, as well as areas Takitumu and valleys Takuvaine and ADAT (all on Rarotonga).
The climate of the Cook Islands
Seasonal climate change is small. The hottest month is January (average temperature +26-29 °C)
coolest – July (+24-25 ° C). Due to the relatively low altitude of the islands, precipitation is about 600 – 800 mm per year. There are two seasons – cool-dry (April to November) and relatively wet and hot (December to March).
Time zone – in summer, plus 6 hours, winter plus 7:00
Languages – English, Maori
Currency – New Zealand Dollar