The Cook Islands are “the South Pacific the way it used to be.” Unspoiled, no big fancy resorts. Down to earth, small and personal. You can drive all the way around the main island of Raratonga in just one hour – unless you stop every mile or so to enjoy a beach!
While there are weekly flights from LAX, the easiest way to visit the Cooks is to take a side trip while you are in New Zealand.
The natives are Maori, and the country has strong ties with New Zealand. It is a very popular beach holiday spot with New Zealanders, and offers a lot of simple self-catering cottages as well as luxury villas and upscale hotels.
Our favorite: the tiny atoll of Aitutaki – a short flight from Raratonga. What a place! A bit of land surrounds an immense lagoon filled with colorful tropical fish! A few days here are guaranteed to unwind the most frazzled nerves!