Travel Planning
Cook Islands
Travel Planning
Cook Islands

Cook Islands at a Glance

The Cook Islands are tiny specks of land scattered across the vast South Pacific. Here you'll find the stunning, rocky scenery of Rarotonga and a series of even more beautiful beaches scattered across the smaller islands. 

Most people head to the Cook Islands simply to relax. The reef diving and snorkeling is easily accessible and is filled with beautifully colored tropical fish. White, crushed coral beaches are a stunning place to set up a beach blanket and do some reading. If you really need to get off the beaten path, head to the progressively smaller and smaller islands where you'll find mysterious caves, coffee plantations and black pearl fields.

If you need some time off the beach, the largest island of Rarotonga is your best bet for exploring. Rugged mountains, tangled rain forest and sheltered lagoons can be your island playground.  

What to Expect
High Season
May - August, December
Low Season
January - April, September - November
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Language: Maori, English
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport Rarotonga International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      All travelers to the Cook Islands need a valid passport and an onward ticket. For stays longer than 31 days you will need to apply for an extension. Due to the Cook Island's close ties with New Zealand, New Zealand nationals automatically qualify for a 90 day stay. For more information American travelers can use the U.S State Department website as a resource. 

      Need to Know

      Severe Weather The Cook Island's have monsoonal rains, cyclones and humid temperatures from December - March. At all times of year its important to protect your skin from the strong sunshine.  

      Safety Concerns The Cook Islands have very limited crime problems. Even so, don't leave your belongings unattended, lock doors and keep your passport secure. Be aware of the dangers of the reef. Coral cuts can be quite painful and sea snakes, poisonous cone shells and other creatures can be dangerous. 

      Health Concerns Travelers are usually most comfortable if they are wearing insect repellent. The mosquitoes can be vicious. during the wet season. Undertows and riptides are present at certain beaches. Ask around to find safe swimming spots. Avoid eating reef fish as they are poisoned with ciguatera and will make you sick. Visitors should boil their water or only drink purified water when outside of the town of Avarua.