The sensual Cook Islands are situated in the South Pacific between Hawaii and New Zealand. It is a beautiful archipelago made up of 15 populated islands spread over an area of 2.2 million square kilometers of ocean. Although the islands are in free association with New Zealand, the archipelago remains an independent democracy.
For many travelers, the Cook Islands are one of the Pacific’s best-kept secrets. Its remoteness and isolation give this archipelago an appeal out of all. If you stray from your usual travel route and visit the Cook Islands, you will be fascinated by its natural beauty, its simple charm and its ideal climate. The people here are known for their warmth and calm.
The North and South Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are divided into two sections, the southern and northern parts. There are 9 southern islands, and they are a combination of volcanic islands and coral atolls. Many of these islands are known to be very stunning in the archipelago. Volcanic peaks generally dominate the horizon of the southern islands. But looking down, you’ll also be captivated by its expanses of white sand and calm blue lagoons.
Rarotonga, largest Southern Island with the blue lagoon
Rarotonga is the largest island in the south and the communication cum transportation center of the entire archipelago. This island is surrounded by a beautiful blue lagoon. Rarotonga also has fine white sand beaches that are lined with palm trees. The near-shore coral reef is exceptional for snorkeling enthusiasts. Rarotonga is full of tradition and culture. Here, music and the arts are integral parts of island life. Singing in the church, string bands, weaving, making crafts are seen everywhere, and also the traditional drum made of hollow tree trunks, an iconic symbol of Rarotonga.
Aitutaki is another famous southern island, whose popularity is mainly due to its natural beauty. It has been praised as the most beautiful of all the islands since its discovery in 1789. During the 20th century, it has earned a reputation as a wedding paradise and a honeymoon island. Couples from everywhere come here to experience the romantic atmosphere and the magical landscape of the island. The other southern islands of the Cook Islands include Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke, Mangaia, Takutea, Manuae, and Palmerston.
The northern group of the Cook Islands consists of six islands. They consider themselves more remote than their southern counterpart; but they also have their fair share of white sand beaches and wonderful lagoons. Therefore, they are the destinations for explorers, adventurers and artists who really want to get away from civilization.
The people here are carrying out village life and social standards that are distinct from the other islands. The people of Pukapuka, free of interference from the Western world, have been able to create an autonomous system that focuses on the welfare of the community rather than the citizen. They also strive to follow the conservation practices of their ancestors, which safeguard food supplies and ensure self-sufficiency. All of this makes Pukapuka a truly interesting place to visit and discover.
Suwarrow is the low coral atoll, which is the southernmost of the Northern Cool Islands group. It’s called Treasure Island, and it’s the setting for several romantic stories. The other similarly interesting islands in the northern group are Penrhyn, Rakahanga, Nassau and Manihiki, known for their black pearls.
There are a lot of activities for you to enjoy here, windsurfing, fish feeding, snorkeling, canoeing. You can even take some hula lessons! But if that sounds like too much energy to you, that’s fine too. You can choose to spend your days lounging by a sparkling pool or lagoon, basking in the sun on the endless beaches, or casually touring the islands, to understand local history and culture. There are many shops where you can buy local arts and crafts, jewelry and souvenirs. When looking for a place to dine, there are plenty of restaurants, bistros, bars, and cafes for you to try some delicious tropical delicacies.
A luxury honeymoon in the Cook Islands is surely something dreams are made of. The Cook Islands are without a doubt a haven of tranquility, serenity and beauty, which is why many people choose to get married or honeymoon on these islands. If you’re already married, this is the perfect place to reaffirm your vows or just spend a romantic week or two away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you are considering getting married in the Cook Islands, please note that the bride and groom must be in the Cook Islands for at least three full days before the ceremony to obtain a legitimate marriage license. You will need to arrange for the necessary documents as part of your planning process.
One part of the island’s spectacular beauty that you may want to explore further is the refreshing lagoons that can be found on several of the islands. While these crystal clear lagoons are impressive, they are even more incredible as you navigate them.
No matter where you go in the Cook Islands, you will feel the warmth and delight and joy of being in such a magnificent destination, a true metaphor for heaven on earth, a place where reality and fantasy easily interchange!
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