The Best of the Cook Islands [ST-COOK12] - About New Zealand
 
 
7 Days: The Best of the Cook Islands [ST-COOK12]
Starting at
$2,710
Per Person
View Details
Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - (4 Star, Twinshare) Rarotonga (3 Nights), (4.5 Star, Twinshare) Aitutaki (2)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Rarotonga (Return)
  • Cook Islands Domestic Flights - Rarotonga to Aitutaki (Return)
  • US Domestic Flights - not included (as per your own arrangements)
  • Shuttle Transfers - Rarotonga Airport to Accommodation (Return), Aitutaki Airport to Accommodation (Return) including Fresh Flower Ei Meet & Greet service on arrival.
  • All Day Tours are Optional and not included (can be added on request)
  • Visa only required for some South Pacific countries; $15 visa fee per person where applicable.
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
  • Upgrades available on request.
Itinerary Details
(Day 1) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Fly internationally from Los Angeles, USA to Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

If you’re familiar at all with Air New Zealand you know about their funny safety videos that play on their actual flights. These videos have included famous people like Betty White, Richard Simmons, New Zealand’s rugby team “All Blacks,” and now thev’ve added to their guest appearance list Christie Brinkley, Ariel Meredith, Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Davis, and Jessica Gomes – some of world’s famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s models!

“Safety in Paradise!” is created as an actual safety video that will provide the safety instructions for passenger on Air New Zealand flights. It’s instructional and life-saving yet, “It may even have folks on the ground reaching for their oxygen masks!” – Christie Brinkley stated. When you watch this video you’ll be swept away in awe of the perfect beaches, brilliantly blue water, gorgeous tropical landscape and of course the exotic super models as they get the celebrity treatment from the Cook Islands natives. See the luau and feast, watch Ariel Meredith teach some local dancers how to twerk, and picture yourself there basking in this tropical paradise.

(Day 2) - Rarotonga Meet and Greet With Transfer to Your Accommodation

Experience a Meet & Greet upon arrival and relax as you are transferred from the airport to your Cook Islands accommodation.

(Day 2 to 5) - 3 Nights Accommodation on Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Spend 3 nights on the beautiful island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

Ridiculously romantic, this amazing resort and spa is located on the windless sunset coast of Rarotonga where 5 acres of botanical gardens and an endless icing sugar beach caress a sparkling blue lagoon to offer a private secluded haven for couples to frolic in uninterrupted space & unhurried time. Indulge.

Candlelit dinners on the beach under a million stars allow you to get sand between your toes while you feast on exquisite, carefully orchestrated cuisine.

The villas and suites present king bedrooms adorned with lavish textures in neutral tones that warm the soul – this place is sure to unleash your desire with the one you love.

Enjoy pure indulgence with the finest full service luxury boutique resort nesting 36 stand-alone villas, onsite spa & beauty clinic, onsite dive centre, two world-class restaurants & bars, concierge, gymnasium, beautiful waterfall mineral pool and spectacular sunsets.

This amazingly resort and spa is your key for pure bliss and luxurious romantic salvation.

(Days 4) - Free Day to Explore Rarotonga

Enjoy the many attractions Rarotonga has to offer.

Dominated by a once almighty volcanic pyramid, now worn down by time and streams to sawtooth peaks and razorback ridges, the lush green carpeted Rarotonga, is the capital, and the hub of the Cook Islands.

This island paradise is also the youngest island of the group, so unlike its equally enchanting sisters which have been eroded and submerged by age, Rarotonga stands brilliantly upright against the sun. Its vistas are strewn and spiked with jutting pinnacles that fall to terraces and flats planted with bananas, coconuts, paw paw and pineapples that shift into a swampy plateau marked by the inimitable taro patch.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Aitutaki Tour

Take this amazing day tour of the remarkable island of Aitutaki, Cook Islands.

Our Day tour operates daily Mondays through Saturdays. It departs from Rarotonga Airport at 8 am and returns at 5.30 pm. The tour includes transfers to/from airport to your accommodation, flights, island tour of Aitutaki, lagoon cruise and barbeque lunch. Towels and snorkeling gear are also provided.
The Day Tour starts with a coach transfer from all hotels and motels to Rarotonga International Airport for an 8 am departure to Aitutaki. The flight takes 40 minutes on our Saab 340 pressurised airliner during which a tea and coffee are served.

On arrival at Aitutaki you will be taken on a short island tour by ‘le truck’ lasting around one and a half hours and during which a stop is made at the local village market where souvenir T-shirts etc. can be purchased.

Then it’s on to the highlight of the day – the lagoon cruise. Departing from the wharf opposite Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa, you will board the 21 metre catamaran Titi-ai-tonga. (Translation: “Wind from the South” the name of a historic trading schooner that used to serve the island early last century).

There is time for snorkeling and swimming before stopping at a motu (small islet on the fringing reef) for a tasty barbecue lunch, cooked right on board. Anyone who has not snorkeled before will find our lagoon tour guides only to happy to help you experience the wonder of the lagoons underwater world.

Snorkeling gear and towels are provided on the lagoon cruise. We recommend you bring a light change of clothing, sun protection, and lots of extra film or memory cards for your camera.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Lagoon Cruise

Lagoon cruises are one of the best ways to spend an unforgettable time in the lagoon waters of Rarotonga.

Discover the lagoon and inner reef area of Rarotonga where marine life is abundant aboard a Glass Bottom Lagoon Cruiser. Swim and snorkel amongst schools of colourful Butterfly, Wrasse and Trigger fish, see giant clams in their natural habitat and top off the experience with a BBQ lunch on a remote uninhabited offshore island with Pacific Island singing and a performance.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Nature Walk

One of the Cook Islands more colourful characters will take you on a magical half day tour of the island, learning about its history, culture and native herbal lore.

Pa’s Nature Walk is a less vigorous tour and is suitable for everyone. Pa takes you to the interior of the island, explaining the history and culture of his ancestors as well as explaining the many medicinal uses for the fauna and flora of this island.

Learn about the local medicinal plants used by his ancestors. Referred to by many publications as ‘the South Pacific’s most famous experienced guide’, Pa will recite stories of wars, famines and great migrations as passed on to him by his forefathers.

Most of the walk is over even terrain in lush Rarotongan rainforest and on open ground. Suitable for everyone. Remember to bring sturdy walking shoes, insect repellent and your camera. This is a half day tour.

Photo Credit: Cook Islands Tourism

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Jungle Quad Bike

Offering thrills and challenges driving your very own 4-wheel quad.

Get lost deep in our beautiful lush and preserved jungle driving your very own 350cc Yamaha Grizzly Quad! This 90% off road adventure will see you venturing through 2 – 3 hidden valleys in Turangi and get a close view of the great Te Atukura Mountain.

The Quads are fully automatic and orientation is given at the beginning of the tour. We recommend comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty! Bring mosquito repellant and wear your swimsuit for a quick dip at the waterfall at the end of your tour

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Safari Tour

Experience Raro the local way!

See breathtaking panoramic views, travel the ancient road (Ara Metua) built by the Cook Islands ancestors, see ancient Marae’s (sacred sites) and find out about local traditions, culture & customs. Prepare a traditional underground oven (Umu) then while it’s cooking, head off for your safari tour and return to enjoy the Umu feast for lunch!

Photo Credit: Cook Islands Tourism

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Sunset Sail

Welcome aboard the S.V. Southern Cross a 58ft Sailing Vessel based in Rarotonga.

This special 2-hour Sunset cruise departs around 5pm (dependent on daylight savings) providing scenic sunsets and stunning views of Rarotonga. Refreshments and snacks provided. We recommend bringing a bottle of something special for this magical cruise.

Visit the Local Farmer's Market on Saturday

Visit the Local Market on Saturday morning for freshly made food, ripe fruits, and more.

The Farmers Market is buzzing on Saturday mornings. To enjoy the Punanga Nui Markets like a local, drag yourself out of bed early (7-8am). You’ll get to see a plethora of local seasonal produce.

The favourites – passionfruit, mangoes, etc sell out quickly. Ask the friendly locals for advice on the ripest fruit and best eating, as they are sure to give you the best advice. If you haven’t tried “nu” (the juice of a young coconut) you can pick up a drinking coconut for around a dollar!

The “Truly Cook Islands” dish called Ika Mata is marinated raw fish in lime and coconut juice. You can’t visit Rarotonga without trying this delectable dish! Race down to the Lazy Diner, better known as the Red Hut, for this treat, freshly made each day.

You mught also try Poke (pronounced ‘po’ as in ‘pork’ and ‘ke’ as in ‘keg’), made with local fruit and cassava/tapioca. You should also consider the Chicken and Taro Root dish, which incorporates coconut milk, taro, shallots, and ginger. There is an abundance of freshly made pastries, tropical fruit smoothies, and fresh waffles in addition to these local favorites.

Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to see local and visiting cultural groups doing a fundraising performance at the market – this is another chance to enjoy Cook Islands drumming, singing and dancing and of course, it’s also great for photos.

Everything shuts down around midday, so arrive early and enjoy all the excitement the locals have to offer!

Photo Credit: Cook Islands Tourism

(Day 5) - Cook Islands Domestic Flight, Rarotonga to Aitutaki

Fly domestically in the Cook Islands from Rarotonga to Aitutaki.

(Days 5 to 7) - 2 Nights Accommodation on Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Spend 2 nights on the beautiful island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands.

Welcome to one of the world’s most secluded boutique island resorts – offering luxurious Aitutaki hotel accommodation.

Surrounded by the crystal clear turquoise waters of Aitutaki lagoon, the idyllic atoll of Aitutaki is a magical destination. Explore the sights. Enjoy the sophistication of delicious cuisine, attentive high quality service and modern resort facilities.

Discover true relaxation. With just 27 luxurious suites, villas and bungalows all situated within steps of the Pacific Ocean, this breathtaking resort is secluded and peaceful. Enjoy a five star luxury experience in South Pacific style.

Cruise Aitutaki’s magnificent lagoon aboard a unique Polynesian style craft.

Today, visitors to Aitutaki can experience the beauty and the bounty of the lagoon and surrounding waters on the Vaka boat, Titi ai Tonga, meaning “Wind of the South.”

The 21 metre boat is a contemporary Vaka style with many similarities to the ancient Polynesian voyagers, but with some modern comforts.

Every morning at 10am from Mondays to Saturdays, the sound of the conch shell signals the departure of the Vaka for six hours of lagoon magic.

There’s snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing to do before tucking into to an island BBQ lunch of fresh caught ocean fish served on board and accompanied by a full bar service.

Visit several motu (small islets) and beach comb at One Foot Island before returning past the old TEAL flying boat base. Impromptu entertainment by the crew will have you tying pareu, weaving coconut leaf plates or humming island tunes.

They are always happy to provide snorkeling lessons for first timers.

(Day 7) - Transfer From Your Accommodation to the Airport

Travel from your Cook Islands accommodation to the airport.

(Day 7) - Cook Islands Domestic Flight, Aitutaki to Rarotonga

Fly domestically in the Cook Islands from Aitutaki to Rarotonga.

(Day 7) - International Flight, Rarotonga to Los Angeles

Fly internationally from Rarotonga, Cook Islands to Los Angeles, USA.

 
Detailed Pricing
Approximate Pricing Double Occupancy Sole Occupancy Permitted USA Departure Dates & Fare Rules
Land Content Only $2,710 $4,494 International return flights from the USA are not included. Please see detailed itinerary (above) for more information on inclusions. Itinerary can commence any day (subject to availability).
Special (Economy Class) $4,002 $5,785 Feb 25 2018 - Dec 31 2018
Subject to Availability.
International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable, Non-Changeable. Other Dates may also apply. For details phone Toll-Free: (888)359 2877
Business Class $5,130 $6,913 Business Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.
  • a) All prices are USD$/person (including all Taxes). Subject to availability. Other Conditions Apply (see Terms and Conditions).
  • b) Land Content Only represents the pricing for the full itinerary as detailed, except the International Flights from the USA (and return) are NOT included.
  • c) An Infant (Lapchild) must be less than 2 years old on the date of departure. Infant must travel with at least one adult. An infant with a seat pays the price of a Child.
  • d) A Child must be aged between 2-11 years on the date of departure. Child must travel with at least one adult.