Fifteen unspoiled islands
Fifteen islands stretch out of the South Pacific Ocean, just three hours away from Auckland, New Zealand. The enchantment of the Cook Islands is self-evident from the second you gaze at the shimmering blue waters as you land on the main island of Rarotonga. Palm-lined beaches, breezy beach winds, and epic forests are the norm here. The further you go, the more unspoiled it gets: Visit Aitutaki and see why the Cook Islands exude serenity.
The Punanga Nui market takes place in Avarua, the capital of Rarotonga, every Saturday, a perfect immersion into daily life on these majestic islands. Countless food stands with local delicacies, antiques, and handmade souvenirs create a market buzz. Don’t forget to catch the local concerts and dance performances on the main stage.
Colloquially known as The Needle, Te Rua Manga is an unmissable stop on a Cross Island hike, a landmark of the Rarotonga Island. This striking, unique landform that rises majestically out of the surrounding jungle epitomizes the unspoiled nature of the Cook Islands.
A variety of interesting artefacts await you at the Cook Islands National Museum. As a paean to the South Pacific Islands, this Museum is perfect for those who wish to explore the history and culture of this region of the world. Replicas of exhibits from other museums as well as temporary exhibitions complete the offer.
The highest mountain in the Cook Islands, Te Manga stands at 2,000 feet - taller than any skyscraper in the United States. Located on the main island of Rarotonga, Te Manga has several hiking trails that lead through a thick forest, which stretches over all the mountain slopes. Keep a look out for the remarkable biodiversity as you hike along this isolated terrain.
There are high temperatures all year round on the Cook Islands, and given their proximity to the equator, the climate hardly fluctuates. Between November and March, however, the islands see a warmer rainy season with tropical showers. Cyclones can also occur during this time. In the dry season from April to October temperatures between 60° F and 80° F are common. With an average of 77°F, June to October is the best time for a trip to the Cook Islands, especially if you want to avoid the rainy season.
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