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A net of 15 islands in the heart of the South Pacific spread over an area the size of India with a population no bigger than a small New Zealand country town, 14,000 souls. These unique and friendly Polynesians have their own language and government and enjoy a vigorous and diverse culture with significant differences between each island. Despite some 70,000 visitors a year to the capital island – Rarotonga – the Cooks are largely unspoiled by tourism. They offer a rare opportunity for people from the cities of the world to experience a different type of vacation. There are no high-rise hotels, only four beach buggies and very little hype. Ideal for travelers seeking more than the usual clichés associated with the South Seas, each island has its unique qualities and offers the visitor a special experience.


Rarotonga is one of the Southern Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean and is the administrative centre of the Cook Islands. The island is volcanic in origin, mountainous, and relatively fertile. The highest point is Te Manga (2,139 ft). Rarotonga's inhabitants are largely descended from voyagers from the Society Islands and the Marquesas.


This tiny island, only one square mile in size, was settled by Englishman William Marsters in 1863, and its population of 50 are all descendants of him and his three Polynesian wives. Olde English – with a distinct Gloucestershire accent – is still spoken on the island.


Atiu is known as “Land of the Birds,” and you’ll find out why. Located northeast of Rarotonga, Atiu is known for its high coral reef, called the makatea, and offers great limestone caves to explore. Here, you will find many species including some of the rarest in the world.