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13 Best Things to Do in Cook Islands for an Ultimate Tropical Getaway

cook islands attractions tropical holiday

Posted by on 21 Feb 2022

If you want to go on a holiday to get away from the fast-paced city life, the Cook Islands is the place for you. This idyllic tropical paradise lies in the South Pacific, with 15 islands scattered between French Polynesia and American Samoa.

Its remote location is ideal for a summer escape—from gorgeous beaches, stunning natural wonders and friendly locals. This South Pacific gem is home to plenty of attractions, whether you’re seeking an action-packed adventure, a calming retreat or a fun-filled family holiday.

Are you wondering what to do in the Cook Islands? We’ve narrowed down 15 activities that you can add to your Pacific travel bucket list.

13 Exciting Things to Do in Cook Islands

  1. Swim in the Titikaveka Beach

  2. titikaveka beach things to do in cook islands

    The Titikaveka Beach is a crowd favourite among the beaches in the Cook Islands. It lies on the southwest coast of Rarotonga and is popular for its crystal-clear waters.

    The water is so clean that you’ll see colourful schools of fish and blue sea stars in the translucent waters! Enjoy a day of snorkelling and swimming in the shallow waters of the beach.

  3. Stroll Along the Muri Beach

  4. Muri Beach is another must-see attraction in Rarotonga. Imagine shallow stretches of sand surrounded by ripples of aquamarine waters. It paints a picturesque scene perfect for romantic walks by the shore.

    The four islets called motu off the shore bring life and vibrance into the surreal seascape. Enjoy a meal in one of the waterfront restaurants with the setting sun as your backdrop. Spend intimate moments with your partner with our Romance in the Cook Islands package.

  5. Snorkel in the Aroa Marine Reserve

  6. The Aroa Marine Reserve is home to pristine waters and rich marine life ideal for snorkelling. Under the sea, you’ll find various marine species such as angelfish, moray eels, Moorish idols, parrotfish and wrasse.

    The place is off-limits to motorised boats so your children can safely swim in the waters. You can also try kayaking in the seas or sit back on a beach chair while watching the sunset.

  7. Take a Romantic Walk in the Maire Nui Gardens

  8. Want a change of pace from the ocean? Drop by the Maire Nui Gardens, located a few minutes away from Titikaveka Beach. This lovely garden spans seven acres and is home to different plants and insects.

    Take your partner on a peaceful walk inside this horticultural wonder. Don’t forget to stop by and smell the tropical flowers along the way! Get a chance to visit this attraction and more with our Island Villas holiday package.

  9. Experience Maori Culture in Te Vara Nui Village

  10. The Te Vara Nui Village offers an authentic cultural experience for travellers in the Cook Islands. Get to know more about the local Maori people with an interactive guided tour and fun activities.

    The tour brings you a taste of the island’s culture through local delicacies, lively cultural performances and more. You’ll look forward to fishing and coconut husking with the locals! Discover a different side of the Cook Islands with our Chill Out in Paradise holiday package.

  11. Explore the Capital City

  12. When visiting the Cook Islands, you can’t miss the capital Avarua. This laidback town, sitting in the north of Rarotonga, has plenty of attractions worth visiting.

    Drop by the Cook Islands Library Museum for a glimpse of the island’s history. If you’re looking for souvenirs, the Perfumes of Rarotonga carry tropical fragrances that you can bring home. After a long day of walking, enjoy a hearty seafood dinner at one of the beachfront restaurants.

  13. Explore the Hidden Wonders Inside a Shipwreck

  14. The Cook Islands hides bountiful treasures under the sea, like the "Boiler" shipwreck in the northern part of the island. It’s easy to spot from a distance because the tip of the ship juts out of the water. Swim alongside the marine creatures living inside this wreck.

    Another popular shipwreck spot lies off the shore of the capital Avarua. This century-old Matai shipwreck is known for its rusty top sticking out of the water.

  15. Walk Around the One Foot Island

  16. one foot island cook islands attraction

    The Aitutaki Lagoon experience isn’t complete without stopping by its most visited motu, the Tapuaetai or the One Foot Island. True to its name, it’s easy to explore the island on foot.

    Bask in the Pacific sun while walking along the beautiful powder-white sand beach. You can also take a swim along with the giant clams, trevally and vibrant corals dancing in the waters. See the best islets in the Aitutaki Lagoon with our Tropical Charm holiday package.

  17. Hike Across the Islands

  18. If you want to experience a new hiking adventure, try the cross-island track across the Rarotonga. The path starts at the north coast and traverses through dense forests until you reach the southern coast.

    The trail offers stunning views and iconic landmarks, such as the Te Rua Manga or the Needle Mountain in the north and the Wigmore’s Waterfall or Papua in the south.

  19. Learn About Cook Island’s Marine Life

  20. Are you taking your kids on their first holiday? The Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre in Rarotonga is a great place to start! It has interactive displays that will introduce your little ones to the lively sea creatures from the Cook Islands.

    Your kids will learn about the island’s coconut crabs, stonefishes and hermit crabs. They can also get a closer look at baby turtles and blue sea stars.

  21. Cruise Along the Aitutaki Lagoon

  22. Witness heaven on earth in the Aitutaki Lagoon. Its glimmering cerulean seas dotted with 21 small islands offer a gorgeous view that will leave you in awe.

    The best way to explore this lagoon is through kayaking, but you can also cruise by boat. Don’t miss out on the terrific snorkelling spots in the islet of Maina and more! Find your safe place by the tropics with our Escape to the Cook Islands holiday package.

  23. Climb Up Mount Maungapu

  24. Mount Maungapu is another must-visit place when touring the Aitutaki. This mountain stands 124 metres tall, making it the tallest mountain on the island.

    The hike up to the peak takes about half an hour, but the breathtaking views of Aitutaki at the summit make the climb worth it.

  25. Roam the Arutanga Settlement

  26. If you’re looking for a quiet retreat, you’ll feel at home in the quaint Arutanga in Aitutaki. Unwind from the thrills of the sea and take a relaxing stroll around town. Feel the slow pace of island life while visiting the quiet harbour and historic Cook Islands Christian Church.

    Explore the Best of Cook Islands With Us

    The Cook Islands is a dreamy paradise filled with beautiful sights and natural wonders. Every traveller will find a place for themselves here—from romantic beaches, Maori villages and idyllic charming towns.

    Fulfil your dream escape to the South Pacific tropics with our Cook Islands holiday packages.

Some popular packages from Cook-Islands Travel & Holiday Packages