Cheap Flights to Cook Islands

Cook Islands overview

The Cook Islands is made up of 15 islands lying in the South Pacific Ocean in the middle of the Polynesian triangle. The country is self-governed but closely tied with New Zealand – most international flights to the Cook Islands come through Auckland. The islands, with blue skies, white sand and warm seas, appeal to beach lovers and sports enthusiasts keen to enjoy the stunning landscape. On average 90,000 visitors arrive each year in Raratonga, the capital.

Almost all visitors spend some time on Raratonga, on the small almost circular island, which is surrounded by coral reef. Not surprisingly, it is a popular place for snorkelling and diving. The centre of the island is mountainous and good for hiking and biking.

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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 C.

When to fly to Cook Islands

Peak Season:
April through November is the peak season, when temperatures are cooler and there is less rainfall

Off Season:
Less popular is December through March, however, this is really far from an “off season” as the rainfall is usually only in the afternoon.

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, it's possible to buy a pass and get discounted prices.

Raratonga is only 32km 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 as all flights to the Cook Islands arrive at the airport here. This where the most restaurants and hotels are based. To get a view of the overall islands, take a trek across its 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.
  • Some of the best beaches in the Cook Islands can only be explored by a lagoon cruise. You’ll visit areas that are only accessible by water, with no other holidaymakers – except those from your own boat.
  • North of Raratonga, Aitutaki is the second most visited island. The beaches here are beautiful, and a little 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.
  • 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.

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International departures to Cook Islands