7 reasons to visit the Cook Islands

By MiNDFOOD

7 reasons to visit the Cook Islands
You won't want to leave this picturesque archipelago in a hurry. 

After a year deprived of international travel, nobody needs a reason to to take a trip to the alluring Cook Islands. But if you’re looking for one – or seven – you’ll find plenty of inspiration here.

Beaches

Comprised of sixteen idyllic islands in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands deserves its reputation for being home to some of the world’s best beaches. The cerulean lagoon of Aitutaki, the archipelago’s second-most-visited island, is impossibly beautiful with long stretches of powder white sand framing warm waters fringed by tropical jungle.

Diving

There are plenty of watersports on offer in the Cook Islands, from boating to kayaking. But one of the best ways to get a glimpse of the archipelago’s marine assets is by strapping on a tank. A handful of companies offer diving excursions and you can even learn the sport if you’re not licensed. The good news is that shallow reefs mean you can snorkel if diving isn’t for you.

Markets

Don’t miss the Punanga Nui market in the heart of Rarotonga. Farmers and fishermen sell their produce, and tropical fruit, delicious snacks and fresh juices are plentiful. You can also purchase local goods such as sarongs and black pearl.

Cuisine

Meal times are meant to be shared, and families and friends gather to enjoy traditional dishes such as barbecued seafood and baked taro with lashings of coconut cream. Try our Mango, Cucumber and Prawn salad for a taste of the Cook Islands.

Culture

Polynesian culture is alive and well in the Cook Islands – think drumming festivals, the swish of traditional dress and tales of marauding tribes and seafaring pirates. There are a number of galleries and museums across the islands, but we recommend participating in the ‘island nights’ hosted by most resorts.

Resort Life

Forget big hotel chains – the Cook Islands stands out for its blissful boutique resorts. Visitors can look forward to overwater villas, as well as accommodation with distinct local flavour in terms of design and decor.

Nature Rush

There are numerous trekking trails looping over Rarotonga. Nature lovers, bushwalkers and birdwatchers will not want to miss Atiu Island, home to fewer than 600 people and several species of indigenous birds.

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