Best 15 Cities to Visit Cook Islands in 2022

Cities to Visit Cook Islands:Are you fed up your monotonous life? Do you need a change? Should it be an incredibly luxurious one? So, this is the place you should visit amidst thousand and one places to feel relaxed in a luxurious way, Cook Islands.

You might get confused! There are many cities to visit in Cook Islands. Indeed, Cook Islands are a group of incredible and stunning islands could be counted as 15 in number. Rarotonga , Atitutaki, Mitiaro , Aitu , Mangaia , Palmerstan , Manuae, Takutea , Mauke , Penrhyn , Rakahanga , Manihiki , Pukapuka , Nassau and Swarrow are the 15 islands in Cook islands. The islands got their name to celebrate the first human being that stepped into this land, Captain James Cook, the great explorer in 1823.

Cities to Visit Cook Islands
Cities to Visit Cook Islands

History of Cook Islands

Cook Islands were first named as Hervey Islands by the British. But in order to celebrate the arrival of Captain James Cook, the group of islands re-named as Cook Islands. Several decades earlier, the ownership of the Cook Islands holds by New Zealand. In 1865 New Zealand offered independence to these 15 islands and now these islands exist with free association with its ancient owner, New Zealand.

Owners of a Unique Culture

Through these islands stand close by English territory; they have a uniqueness of culture of their own. Cook Islanders have their own languages, cultural features, economy and national identity which could be boasted as their own. Cook Islands have nourished with the influence of both Christian culture and Polynesian heritage. Christian influence banned all the celebrations, but islanders adjusted their religious beliefs with the colourful Polynesian cultural rituals. First Christian church was built in Atitutaki in 1823 and it became famous as a limestone or coral rock church.

People of Cook Islands

The beautiful scenery of Cook Islands is not the sole reason which attracts the travellers. Cook Islanders are very generous and their friendly manner attracts the travelling spirits to the island. If you visit this fabulous island, you‘ll never reject an invitation for a night out offers y the islanders. These warm hearted and smiling faced locals love the travellers a lot and ready to welcome you anytime with genuine care. These elegant sets of islands possess the recorded lowest numbers if inhabitants of the world, but are actually rich with the most amazing wonders of nature with an incredible biodiversity.

Cook Islands Economy

Economy of Cook Islands mainly depends on tourism. Also it considers as “high income country” by the organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. Minor exports of the country made up of handicrafts, fruit products, fish fillets and frozen fish, the main trade partners of this island is Japan, Thailand, China, Spain and France.

1. Rarotonga

If you prefer to visit the most populated island among the15 islands of Cook Islands you should definitely select Rarotonga which is located 658 meters above sea level. This incredible island is the home to the capital of Cook Islands Avarua. The elegance of Rarotonga increases through the idyllic, white sandy beaches, tropical lagoons which can be seen in the island. If you need comfortable refreshment, Pacific Resort Rarotonga and its luxurious villas and spa is for you. This island is full of a variety of landscapes to feast the eyes of the visitors and consists of numerous natural attractions.

Read More:Rarotonga | Cook Islands

2. Atitutaki

Let me introduce you the island Atitutaki, the paradise full of bliss amongst all the 15 islands. You can reach this beautiful island after a 40 minutes flight from north of Rarotonga. Atitutaki is the second most visited island of Cook islands which is home to around 2000 of the islanders.

In order to provide soothing comfort to visitors, 5 stars luxury resort of Atitutaki is ready with an atoll like sanctuary consisted with a great deal of animals and plants. Not just the nature’s elegance, Atitutaki is holds the oldest church, conveying the life story of Christianity. Also, you would be surprised to see the ancient airstrip built during World War ll.

Read More:Aitutaki | Cook Islands

3. Mitiaro

Would you love to plan your visit to one of the smallest islands in Cook Islands? If yes, island Mitiaro is open for you. Mitiaro is located in the north of Rarotonga and it consisted of more than 200 inhabitants spread over four villages. If you visit Mitiaro, you will be able to feel the comfort of stunning freshwater lakes with a large population of eel. The most incredible scenery which makes the island Mitiaro is limestone coves and the water which seems crystal clear.

Read More: Travel guide of Mitiaro

4. Aitu

Aitu is recognized as the 3rd largest island of Cook Islands. It has been the house for an array of animals and birds which increases its beauty. Aitu is a stunning island consisting of 5 villages that carry about 400 inhabitants. Also it has 28 maiden beaches, which the elegance has been hidden from the world.

Because of the abundance of insects and animals, Aitu was termed as “Enuamana” in ancient times. If you are willing to visit this paradise, you will be treated with a cup of coffee, unique to Aitu with roasted coconut cream.

Read More:Atiu Island – TripBucket

5. Mangaia

If you need visit to a historical place Mangaia Island is available as the oldest of Pacific. The legend of Mangaia runs back to 18 million years. Mangaia is the second largest island in Cook Islands. It spreads over 52 km. You can taste the food culture of Mangaia with Yummy Mangaian Donut which the largest you have seen ever.

Not only the historical priority, but the incredible natural scenery also provided by the island would stick your eye to the network of caves, freshwater lakes and rock pools. Also native bush and steep cliff add another extraordinary elegant to the beauty of Mangaia.

Read More:The Amazing Island of Mangaia

6. Palmerston

Palmerston is the island which Captain James Cook actually set his foot on. You would feel the shades of real historical pride when you step here. This island was uninhabited until 1860. William Masters is the first inhabitant with hi two wives and according to the historical facts, they were the beginners of civilization on the island Palmerston. 50 local inhabitants can be seen currently in this island. The unexplained beauty of this island could be illustrated through magnificent lagoons. The small islets which rise above the coral reef make picturesque scenery.

Read More:Palmerston: The island at the end of the earth

7. Manuae

If you prefer to be alone in an atoll covered with magnificent coral, Manuae is the best island for you to visit in 2022. Manuae is a very small atoll spreads over 6 sure kilometres. It has mainly consisted with two islets. This was the first island discovered amongst the 15 islands. Manuae Island is uninhabited until the expedition of scientists and who came to the island in 1965. It is an undisturbed and protected marine reserve for sea turtles and other sea lives.

Read more:About Manuae – Cook Islands

8. Takutea

In Takutea, you will be able to see the features of an island which is really small. It spreads over 1.2 square kilometers and smaller than Manuae. In the beginning Takutea is uninhabited. Still there isn’t any permanent population. Almost all the land has filled with coconut palm trees. Takutea is an important sanctuary for wild life. This island is specially a home for several species of birds. Red Tailed Tropicbird’s feathers use as a material for their traditional costume.

9. Mauke

Mauke is most isolated among all islands. Therefore this is another chance for the traveller to feel the comfort of loneliness in Cook Islands. Island Mauke is located in 40 kilometres away from Mitiaro. Approximately this island is half in size when it compares with Rarotonga. About 300 inhabitants are there in the island. Mauke consists with really picturesque sceneries for its visitors. The island defines as “garden of the islands. Fertile volcanic soils have nourished tropical plants and trees in this island.


If you prefer to experience the stunning nature, Penrhyn is the best place for it. This is the north most islands and is obviously an atoll. Penrhyn is located in 1365 square kilometers northeast of Rarotonga. The beautiful island Penrhyn got her name from a ship, the first ship to pass this atoll in 1788. Penrhyn is important because its large enclosed lagoons, which spread over 223 square kilometers, the longest atoll at all. Also this is a tough atoll, which have really expensive boat and flight trips.


Rakahanga is located in the deep northern group 1100 kilometers away from the island Rarotonga. One can have a good view of fruitful vegetation in this low populated island. The island basically made up of four islands and islets. Geographically the location could be praised a lot. Rakahanga is the sole home for the variety of animals and plant species. At the same time, the thickly grown vegetation highlights the beauty of Rakahanga much. Coconut crabs and Green sea turtles are the symbols of wonderful natural inheritance. Rakahanga consists of low number of inhabitants and about 80 people have selected it as their home. The land has 100% solar power and consumes the natural energy in an effective way.

Read More:Rakahanga, Cook Islands


It should be unbelievable to visit Manihiki on your way to Cook Islands. Manihiki consists with an atoll and stunning set of islets more than 40 which highlight the incredible beauty of the island. You may surprise to see the occupation of inhabitants of Manihiki. Obviously they are the strongest contributors of the economy of Cook Islands through exporting Black pearls. Manihiki is home for the large abundant of Black pearls and also it is the primary export of Cook Islands. Other than black pearls, Manihiki is important for marine life. You will be lucky to taste a yummy dish of milkfish and parrotfish, two of the famous dishes you can find in Cook Islands.


This opportunity is for you, who prefer to experience danger. The island Pukapuka has won fame as “Danger Island” and fame for the dangerous coral reef and surf at the same time. Pukapuka stands in the northern group of the Cook Islands. It mainly consists of a stunning coral atom and 3 islets. Visitors are attracting to the beautiful surroundings abundant with elegant corals in this island.

This dangerous island provides home for over 500 inhabitants. These islanders have their own language, customs which are different from other Cook Islands. Islanders use the language Pukapukan, which is unique. Also you will be able to experience Kirikiti, the favorite game of Pukapukan islanders which is known as Samoan Cricket for theist of the world.


Nassau is the sister of Pukapukan Island and stood in close proximity to each other. Nassau consists with the stunning beauty of its surrounding which attracts visitors. The land spreads over 1.3 square kilometres and 70 residents occupy the island. Nassau is famous for is fruit and taro and considers as the “small garden of Eden”.1


At the end the most romantic island in the world is ready to welcome you. This is islanding Swarrow, the most stunning among the 15 islands in Cook Islands. Swarrow has made up of 20 small islets around a large lagoon and spreads over 150 square kilometres. In the book “An Island to Oneself “Tom Neale describes the experiences he had in Swarrow as a sailor who solely occupied the island. It is difficult to reach the island which is located in a declared nature reserve.

Cook Islands government appoint two caregivers every five year to take care of the island Swarrow. You will be really excited to travel to the Cook Islands which have a great history, perfect culture, friendly and warm hearted islanders, strong economy and also a stunning, fabulous and valuable environment and unique biodiversity. Definitely, it will be difficult to find another which is as special as this place except Cook Islands.

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61 thoughts on “Best 15 Cities to Visit Cook Islands in 2022”

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