Cook Islands Vacation

Far removed from a fast paced life and tucked away in the expanse of the South Pacific is the ocean’s best kept secret. The treasure trove of 15 atoll islands, known as the Cook Islands, is truly a place to disconnect and experience island life. The islands attract active travelers and sun worshippers alike, with opportunities to sit in loungers to soak up the sun (and cocktail) or venture out into the lagoons to explore under the sea.

During our 10 day trip we experienced the tropical beauty of the islands, the delicious food of the cuisine, and the joys of island time.

Sunrise from Titakaveka Beach in Rarotonga Cook Islands
Every morning I would wake to try to catch the sunrise. Sunrise from Titakaveka Beach in Rarotonga.

Scooter driver in Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Scooters are a popular mode of transportation in the Cook Islands. Waiting for the bus in Muri, Rarotonga.

Bus ride on Rarotonga Cook Islands
Car rentals are limited and our first couple of days we relied on the bus to take us around Rarotonga.

Main shops in Averea, Rarotonga in the Cook Islands
Main shops in Avarua, Rarotonga.

Food stall at Saturday Market in Rarotonga Cook Islands
Food stall at Punanga Nui, Saturday Market, in Rarotonga Cook Islands.

Fish hanging for sale at Rarotonga Saturday Market, Cook Islands
Fish for sale at the Punaga Nui Market in Rarotonga.

View of Rarotonga from the cross-island hike
View of Rarotonga and the lagoon from the cross-island hike with Pa’s Trek.

Goats following hiking group on Rarotonga
Goats following our hiking group on Rarotonga during our cross-island trek.

Little home on Titakaveka, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
During our walks along the beach we would see houses of all sizes.

Kayaking on Rarotonga lagoon in Cook Islands
One of our favorite things to do on Rarotonga was to snorkel in the lagoon.

Butterfly fish in coral in Rarotonga lagoon, Cook Islands
The water was incredibly clear, even on days when visibility wasn’t ideal.

Snorkeling in Muri in Rarotonga lagoon in the Cook Islands

Purple sea shell in Titikaveka beach on Rarotonga, Cook Islands
A beautiful purple sea shell I found on Titakaveka beach on Rarotonga.

Muri Outlet storefront in Muri , Rarotonga Cook Islands
Every town on Rarotonga had these little markets, similar to convenience stores, where you could buy food from a limited selection.

Sunset at Muri Night Market on Rarotonga Cook Islands
 Muri has a night market a few times a week where you can buy delicious, inexpensive food and listen to amazing locals play music and sing.

Aitutaki lagoon from Air Rarotonga in the Cook Islands
After our stay on Rarotonga, we flew to the atoll of Aitutaki.

Palm trees lining beach in Aitutaki, Cook Isalnds
Although it doesn’t seem possible, Aitutaki is even more secluded than Rarotonga.

Motu in Aitutaki, Cook Islands
The lagoon’s shape is the perfect container for the many motu (Islands) that you can visit by kayak or boat.

Kayak on private beach in Aitutaki atoll, Cook Islands
One day we purchased lunch at a cafe and kayaked against arm numbing strong winds to the uninhabited motu of E’e.

Eel swimming next to beach in Aitutaki
E’e’s shoreline was overgrown, which forced us to walk along and sometimes in the water where we spotted the eel pictured above.

Sunrise at Aitutaki Villagein Aitutaki the Cook Islands
Sunrise from the back of our hut at Aitutaki Village.

Selfie on Heaven on Earth
Snorkeling in Aitutaki’s lagoon requires a boat ride out to the best spots, some even drop you off at the motu, Heaven where you can enjoy an adukt beverage and walk to One Foot Island.

Palm Tree over lagoon on One Foot Island in Aitutaki, Cook Islands
After walking across Heaven and the channel between the motu, you arrive at One Foot Island.

View of Aitutaki Lagoon from One Foot Island, Cook Islands
The view of Aitutaki lagoon from One Foot Island

Purple seashell on One Foot Islands Beach in Aitutaki Cook Islands
One Foot Island has purple sea shells too.

Over under photo of One Foot Island
One foot Island from the water.

Aitutaki Lagoon from the view point in Aitutaki Cook Islands
Aitutaki’s lagoon as seen from the highest point on Aitutaki.

Paddle boarding on Aitutaki Lagoon by Aitutaki Village
Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Aitutaki posed to be more difficult than I had expected, with high winds and currents making some areas safer to paddle than others.

Cook Islands Christian Church in Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Many of the churches in the Cook Islands are either made of limestone or are painted white.

Food collage of Lunch at Tauono in Aitutaki, Cook Islands
The food on the Cook Islands was beautiful and delicious.  This is our lunch from Tauono on Aitutaki.

Cat in front of bicycle in Aitutaki, Cook Islands
No dogs are allowed on Aitutaki, but the island does not discriminate against cats.

Hermit Crab in Aitutaki in the Cook Islands
Hermit crabs are a dime a dozen here as well.  Stand still and observe the beach long enough and you’ll see plenty of moving shells.

Selfie Riding a scooter on Aitutaki
Car rental is limited and expensive on Aitutaki so we opted for a scooter. If you look hard enough you can see a child clinging to the woman on the scooter in the background.

Sunset on Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Sunset on Aitutaki.

Palm tree on Aitutaki , Cook Islands with slow down sign
Taking a trip to the Cook islands is a great reminder to slow down.

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE COOK ISLANDS? COMMENT BELOW AND I’LL TRY MY BEST TO ANSWER THEM!

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