Welcome to your dream island paradise! Set at the halfway mark between New Zealand and Hawaii, these Polynesian islands are ideal for sun-worshippers in search of pristine beaches, sand, surf, and relaxation. A group of 15 islands await you in this archipelago, of which Rarotonga, the largest, is also the busiest with its international airport. With a large array of resorts, restaurants, and cafes, coupled with gorgeous scenery, Rarotonga is often dubbed ‘Heaven on Earth’. Just as beautiful is nearby Aitutaki, with its turquoise lagoon, islets, and reef. Off the beaten path, the Cook Islands are a nature lover’s delight, with unspoiled beaches lining the smaller sister islands, lush rainforests, coffee plantations, and underground caves and caverns waiting to be explored. With lagoon fishing, island hikes, and diving and snorkeling on offer, active holidaymakers have plenty to do. Remote yet accessible, with a delightful cafe culture and artisanal food scene, and a laidback vibe combined with Polynesian traditions, the Cook Islands offer an idyllic island getaway far from the rest of the world!
Culture & Heritage
Activities in Rarotonga
Pa's Trek- Cross Island Hike
Experience the thrill of this two-mile walk through the tree-covered jungle on the island of Rarotonga. Your walk begins with a 400-meter climb, parts of which are like climbing a ladder, and you need to on to tree roots to pull yourself up. When you reach the base of the Needle or Te Rua Manga, a tall, rocky pinnacle, take in the breathtaking views that extend from one side of the island to the other. Stop at Wigmore’s waterfall, also known as Papua, the only waterfall on the island. Your guide offers insights into the history, flora, and fauna of the area.
Storytellers Cycling Tour
Discover the natural beauty and culture of Rarotonga on this guided cycling tour that takes you along the Ancient Coral Road, known as Ara Metua, more commonly referred to as the ‘back road.’ Get picked up from your accommodation between 0745 and 0830 hrs. The tour will begin at 0900 hrs and ends at noon. Bicycles and helmets are provided. The journey takes place predominantly on level to gently sloping terrain and you cover roughly five to eight miles. Along the way, your guide entertains you with tales about the island and its people. Proceed at an easy pace and take the time to enjoy the beautiful scenery, to stop and taste fresh produce, to learn about island life, and even to husk a coconut. Round off the tour with a delicious local lunch.
Tour of Rarotonga Island
Explore the history and culture of scenic Rarotonga on this shared, guided tour. This volcanic island is the most populous of the Cook Islands and is surrounded by a beautiful lagoon. The culture of the islands is a mix of Polynesian and European influences, reflecting the varied communities that have inhabited them over centuries. Travel in a modern air-conditioned coach as you follow roads and paths used by ancient Cook Islanders going back to 1100 AD. Visit a sacred marae, an ancient gathering place for royal ceremonies, at least one of which dates back to the 13th century. Discover historical sites formerly inhabited by Islanders and learn the locations of the best snorkeling spots on Rarotonga. Enjoy a world without traffic lights and no buildings taller than a coconut tree, known locally as the Tree of Life. Watch a coconut husking demonstration and enjoy a refreshing drink of coconut water.
Te Vara Nui Cultural Village
Discover the rich cultural heritage of the renowned erstwhile maritime community of the legendary Cook Islands on this informative tour of the local village of Te Vara Nui. Learn about the celebrated navigational techniques of the island’s venerated ancestors, as well as their rich traditions of local medicine, folk arts, oral history, myths, and legends. Try your hand at emulating the ancient fishing techniques of Polynesia. Visit the village workshops to see how local artisans painstakingly weave, carve and create the ceremonial dance costumes of the islands. Interact with local villagers to discover the distinctive Maori culture of the community. Listen to their powerful stories and legends, and watch them prepare a traditional meal using fresh local produce. Visit the local Marae or the sacred enclosure for the village community’s religious ceremonies and traditional rituals. Get an intimate view of the island way of life, before returning to your hotel.