Cook Islands

 
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Visitors to the Cook Islands are warmly welcomed, by both the people and the weather, and treated to a relaxed lifestyle. Swaying palms and sandy beaches invite exploration of the clear turquoise waters teeming with colorful fish and coral. White birds contrast with the blue sky and bright flowers abound. Experience Polynesian culture and the atmosphere of Hawaii of 50 years ago - yet with modern amenities. Hike across Rarotonga, kayak in the lagoons, relax in the sun, have dinner at sunset on the beach - the choice is all you.

  

More About Cook Islands

Overview

The archipelagos of Cook Islands are surrounded and protected by coral reefs providing warm, clear, turquoise water. Many colorful fish inhabit the coral and are fun to watch and photograph while snorkeling, diving or even just wading out into the lagoons. These idyllic atolls and motus are comprised of 15 islands located in the Pacific Ocean, directly south of Honolulu. Rarotonga is the largest and tallest island at 14,750 feet and hosts the largest population. In contrast, Aitutaki is 6.9 miles long and 404 feet in elevation. It is easily accessible by a short flight from Rarotonga. Your Cook Islands vacation starts at the international airport located on Rarotonga in the capital city of Avarua. The Cook Islands currency is the New Zealand dollar. Driving is on the right side and while your driver's license is accepted, obtaining a Cook Island driver's license makes a unique souvenir. Rental cars are available, and scooters are a preferred mode of transportation by visitors and locals alike. Public bus transportation, going clockwise and anti-clockwise on the main road around Rarotonga is also available. Buildings are no taller than the tallest coconut tree and there are no common commercial businesses such as fast food restaurants or department stores - shopping malls are left behind for locally owned, boutique shops. Attending the Punanga Nui Saturday Market in Avarua, Rarotonga is a must where locals and tourists shop for food, flowers, pearls, local crafts and more plus enjoying local entertainers. Learn about the history of the Cook Island Maori who populated the islands through the story telling of song and dance at the market or a dinner show. Dine waterfront, and watch spectacular bright orange sunsets, with shots of pink and blue, when the large bright sun dramatically drops into the ocean. A vacation to the Cook Islands is truly relaxing, fun and educational for all members of the family.

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Before You Go

Airport Check-In: It is recommended that you reconfirm your flight information and check in for your flights at the airline’s website 24 hours prior to your scheduled departure. Please bring all your final documents with you. It is important to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to departure for all domestic flights, and two to three hours prior to departure for international flights. For domestic flights within the Cook Islands, you are required to check in one hour prior to departure.

Required Documents: U.S. citizens must travel with a valid passport and a ticket for return or onward travel. There may be additional requirements for international travel, such as inoculations or visas, and some countries require that passports be valid for six months or longer beyond your stay in the country. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens might be different, and visitors are encouraged to verify the documentation/visa requirements with the nearest consulate or embassy. Rules are subject to change at any time, without notice. For the most current information, please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov.

Newlywed Information: Tickets and other travel documents must exactly match your current passport and other identification. If not, you could be denied boarding and no refund will be forthcoming. For requirements and information regarding marriages performed in a foreign country, please visit the consulate of the particular country.

Honeymoon Packages: Some hotels require you to present a marriage certificate or license in order for you to receive the honeymoon package. Please bring your marriage documentation with you if you are traveling on a honeymoon package.

Luggage: Baggage allowances and fees vary by airline. For airline baggage fees and policies please visit https://www.costcotravel.com/Info/Airline-Baggage. If baggage fees do apply, this cost will be additional and must be paid directly to the airline.

Departing: There is no departure tax payable at the airport when leaving the Cook Islands.

Duty Free/Customs: When returning to the U.S., the duty-free allowance may vary by country. Please visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens for information regarding U.S. Customs and more.

Travel Health Information: For the most current worldwide health information, consult your family physician or the official website for the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/travel or by phone at 1-800-232-4636. You’ll find information on recent outbreaks, required vaccinations, insect protection, illness and injury abroad, and more.

General Safety Tips: By taking a few simple security precautions before and during your vacation, you can help ensure that you, your traveling companions, and your valuables are as safe and secure as possible.
  • To make it easier to replace your passport it it’s lost or stolen, in addition to your passport, take a photocopy of your passport information page (keeping it separate from your actual passport).
  • Carry only a limited amount of cash, just enough for gratuities and incidental purchases. Major credit cards are widely accepted and can be replaced if lost or stolen.
  • Always lock your hotel room door (including patio and balcony door on any level of the building) and use the peephole before opening the door.
  • Store your valuables (such as cash, credit cards and airline tickets) in the hotel’s in-room safe or front desk safety deposit box.
  • If you must carry valuables on your person, do so in a pouch or money belt concealed under your clothing. Purses and backpacks can be easy targets for thieves.
  • For complete and current safety and security information, including travelers’ tips, public announcements, travel advisories and more, please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov.

Climate:
Average Fahrenheit Temperature:
May through September: 66° to 77°
October through April: 70° to 82°

Water Safety: Bottled water is recommended.

Local Currency: New Zealand Dollar

Currency Information: The airport, banks and most hotels have currency exchange facilities. Major credit cards and travelers checks are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops.

Electricity: The voltage is 240DC/50 cycle. A universal adapter/converter is recommended.

Telephone Information: Direct dialing for local and international telephone calls is available from most hotels and from most public phone booths.

Local Language: Maori

Attire: Although dress is informal, brief attire is not recommended when visiting towns or villages.

Do Not Forget: Visitors are reminded to bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, reef walking shoes, swimwear, insect repellent and after-bite medication, personal prescriptions, a camera, film/memory card, an extra camera battery and a disposable underwater camera. During the rainy season, lightweight rainwear is advised.

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