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Holidays in the Cook Islands

It is easy to see why the Cook Islands are a popular holiday destination, especially for newlyweds. The seemingly endless sea, and the vibrant song and dance of its happy, hospitable people cast a magic spell upon its visitors.

Go on a holiday in the Cook Islands during the Te Mire Kapa ‘Dancer of the Year’ Competitions in April, the Tiare Festival in November where towns are decked out in floral finery, and Te Maeva Nui in July, which celebrates the country’s autonomy through parades, sporting events, and dancing and drumming contests.

Diving, snorkelling, and underwater photography are popular in the warm waters surrounding these 15 islands. Not only is visibility high even at the lower depths, but the coral reefs abound with such a variety of marine life – angel fish, turtles, reef sharks, and sometimes, even humpback whales. Explore the deep-sea terrain of the island of Rarotonga, an extinct volcano. There are caves, wrecks, and “sand rivers” to discover, too.

One of the many primal pleasures offered by a holiday in the Cook Islands is the food. Luscious fruits – pawpaw, peaches, mangoes, and more – await the famished, and a bounty from the sea is usually served with each meal. If Japan has sashimi, the Cooks have ika mata, usually made from flying fish caught at night. The meat is marinated in lemon and salt, then served with coconut cream and root crops.

Purchase a strand of Cook Island black pearls gathered from the lagoons. Head to the Punanga Nui market on a Saturday to buy handicrafts, ukeleles, and tivaivai, flamboyant quilts created by local women. Or get a tattoo!

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