Cook Islands: The Gem of the South Pacific

Kathleen Schultz on her Cook Islands trip

Located in the South Pacific between Tahiti and Fiji. You will find the Cook Islands, known for beautiful clear blue waters and laid back atmosphere. The destination has a 28 miles circumference and quite easy to get around. The main island is Roratonga and is easily to get to with weekly flights from LAX, and even better for a stop over from New Zealand or Australia. 

The Cook Islands are great for couples and families alike. One can rent a scooter or car and explore the many hideaways, with the freshest cuisine at little out of the way places, or snorkel on a number of beautiful beaches. There are several accommodations to choose from. Most are stand-alone units right on the beach with full kitchens; others are larger and have restaurants and bars on property. 

Saturday market is a highlight and a must for visitors looking for local souvenirs genuine pearls and great local foods. The waffles are my favorite! The Mooring Café, is home to the best fish sandwiches and salads on the island! 

We took a side trip to beautiful Aitutaki. We landed on a small airstrip and started our adventure at the Punarei Cultural tour. Here we learned the traditions of the Aitutaki people. We made our lunch plate from banana leaves and assisted with the traditional underground feast. You can do a day trip to snorkel in the crystal clear waters, or I recommend staying a few days to enjoy all there is to offer. There are several accommodation options to choose from. Another must is to cruise on Aitutaki's world reknown lagoon, snorkeling, visiting motus and stopping at One Foot Island where you can get your passport stamped.

Cook Islands have two seasons, wet and dry. The weather is warm and tropical year round with gentle breezes and mid 80 degrees.

Kathleen Schultz