Goway Islands Expert Teresa Ferrari recently returned from her 12th trip to the Cook Islands, where she visited the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Sharing some of her memorable experiences, Teresa has some tips and reasons why you should recommend the Cook Islands to your clients
Where are the Cook Islands and how do you get there?
The Cook Islands are located in the heart of the South Pacific, in the same time zone as Hawaii. There is one non-stop flight, 10 hours in duration from Los Angeles to Rarotonga. This flight departs on Saturdays with Air New Zealand. Passengers can travel in economy, premium economy or business class. Rarotonga, is also about 2.5 hours from Tahiti by air.
What did you see and do in the Cook Islands?
I was able to enjoy quite a bit on this trip: we relaxed on beautiful white-sand beaches and enjoyed the stunning lagoons, which offer great snorkelling just steps from your accommodation. We also took in some cultural tours and Polynesian shows (such as the Over Water Dinner & Show). The Cook Islands is all about relaxation and taking things at a slow pace.
Any favourite accommodations and how do they differ from other tropical destinations?
‘The Cooks’ offer a wide variety of accommodations from simple, inexpensive lodges to private luxury villas on the beach. A lot of the resorts are ‘self-catering,’ so they have kitchens or kitchenettes, which make the Cook Island an excellent option for a long-stay program like Goway’s. Some of my favourites are Sea Change Villas, a boutique property offering villas with private plunge pools and stunning views of the lagoon. For more of a resort feel, I like the Crown Beach Resort, which has multiple restaurants, a Polynesian Spa and one of the most beautiful locations for a sunset on the island.
Since you’re an islands expert, how do the Cook Islands compare to other South Pacific islands like Tahiti, Fiji, and Samoa?
The Cook Islanders are extremely friendly. As mentioned, accommodation is mostly small and locally owned, so you get a good opportunity to get to meet the locals. Rarotonga is typically a more affordable destination compared with neighbouring Tahiti and is closer to North America than Fiji or Samoa.
What tips can you offer travel agents when recommending this destination?
The Cook Islands is a great honeymoon destination, as it’s secluded and beautiful. It is also great for families. I would recommend spending a few nights on Aitutaki which is a 40-minute flight from the main island of Rarotonga. Aitutaki is like a slice of heaven on earth and known to have one of the most beautiful lagoons in the South Pacific. This island is home to Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, the only property featuring overwater bungalows in the Cook Islands.
You can contact Teresa for any questions on the Cook Islands or for assistance in creating the perfect vacation package for your clients.
Phone: 1-800-667-6601 x 6921
Email: [email protected]