Cook Islands climate
You’ll be hard pressed to find a bad time to visit the Cook Islands. The weather is nice all year long and the temperature averages 28 degrees.
When to fly to Cook Islands
April through November is the peak season, when temperatures are cooler and there is less rainfall
Less popular is December through March, however, this is really far from an “off season” as the rainfall is usually only in the afternoon.
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Getting around Cook Islands
The quickest way to get between the 15 islands is flying. Air Raratonga has flights between eight of them. If you’re planning on visiting more than one island, buy a pass for discounted fares.
Raratonga is only 32km (20 mile) circumference so there is no real need to hire a car. There is a bus services that loops the island. If you want to travel under your own steam, hiring a scooter is cheaper than a car.
Cook Islands insider information
- Raratonga is the largest island and the arrival point for most tourists. It’s possible to take part in a cross-island trek, hiking through the rainforest in the centre. The trek takes between three and four hours and offers stunning views from the summit.
- The main city on Raratonga is Avarua, capital of the islands. Don’t miss the Saturday market, which starts at 8am. Everything is on sale here, from food to jewellery.
- North of Raratonga, Aitutaki is the second most visited island. The beaches here are stunning, and more secluded than those on Raratonga. The much-photographed, One Foot Island has the appearance of the perfect beach: arching palm trees stretch out over white sand towards the turquoise sea. Snorkelling from Aitutaki is excellent.
- A local handicraft in the Cook Islands is Tivaivai, a sewn bed cover, the value of which is said to be determined by how much love and patience was put into its creation.
- If possible, visit a Sunday Mass while you’re on the islands. This is quite an experience and the singing is amazing. Dress for the occasion – certainly no beach wear or overly casual clothes. Islanders will dress up in their Sunday best for church.
- To visit some of the best beaches, take a lagoon cruise. You’ll visit areas that are only accessible by water, with no other holidaymakers – except those from your own boat.