Young Pioneer Tours

Cook Islands Tours and Travel 2024 – 2025

YPT Tours to Cook Islands

Cook Islands Tours to the small group of islands in the Pacific with interesting history of colonisation and traditional practises. The Cook Islands are comprised of 15 islands located east of Kiribati, Tonga and Samoa. The small collation of islands has an average yearly tourism rate of 114 people – making it one of the least visited places on Earth! Often overlooked as a travel destination, the Cook Islands boasts pristine water, clean and empty beaches and Polynesian-Pacific hospitality as well as unique cultural practices and distinctive experiences.

Group Tours to Cook Islands

The Cook Islands was formerly a stop on the Least Visited Countries Tour, however, will not be included in the Least Visited Countries Summer Tour this year. Group tours may resume in the future.

Independent Tours to Cook Islands

YPT can arrange Cook Island tours independently to suit your preferences, time frame, budget and locations. You can choose from any of our bespoke tours or inquire about specific tours: whether you want to relax and unwind in the Cook Islands, island hop, or snorkel – we can customize an independent tour to what you are looking for.

Example of a Cook Islands Itinerary (5 days)

Day 1 – Rarotonga

  • Arrive at your convenience in Rarotonga – the largest of the Cook Islands and surprisingly well connected to many international airports including Honolulu, Sydney, Auckland and Papeete
  • After arrival, you will check into your accommodation
  • The island is just 32km in circumference and there are No traffic lights, no McDonald’s and no building taller than the highest coconut tree
  • For dinner, try Pacific cuisine at the Blue Water Grill located on the white sand beach of Aroa
  • Overnight in Rarotonga

Day 2 – Rarotonga

  • After breakfast at the hotel and a relaxing morning embracing ‘island time’, you will have an opportunity to explore Rarotonga more thoroughly
  • Take a hike with comfortable shoes to ‘the Needle’, a jagged rock protrusion from the peak of Rarotonga. The last 400 meters provide a challenge, however the views of the island and the lush green scenery along the way is a rewarding trade off
  • On the descend, stop by Wigmore’s Waterfall for a natural plunge pool experience
  • After you have explored the rainforest, it is time to relax for lunch
  • Continuing anti-clockwise around the island, in the early afternoon you can enjoy a late lunch at the Maire Nui Gardens and Cafe where you can take a leisurely walk around the garden and spot botanical wonders
  • In the afternoon, we will relax at Muri Beach, boasting some of the most turquoise waters you have ever seen
  • On the way back, you may be able to spot locals playing a scrap game of rugby
  • For dinner, we will visit the Te Vara Nui Village, which serves great food and cultural performances
  • Overnight in Rarotonga

Day 3 – Rarotonga – Aitutaki – Rarotonga

  • After a very early start, you will head to Rarotonga airport for a day trip to Aitutaki. From there, a quick transfer will take you to the port
  • Once there, you will board a large Catamaran, setting sail on some of the clearest blue waters on earth
  • For lunch, a BBQ will be served
  • You are free to explore the sea by swimming or snorkeling with guidance if required
  • The boat will stop at several small islands throughout the day for exploration
  • In the evening, you will return to Rarotonga via the same route
  • Enjoy a local dinner as we will return late

Day 4 – Rarotonga – Atiu

  • After breakfast, we will head back to the airport and board for another domestic flight
  • This time, we will be taking another short domestic flight to Atiu, a small island with only 400 residents
  • The island is said to be more than 8 million years old!
  • Once we arrive, we will relax on the local beaches and explore the Three Grottos
  • After lunch, we will move deeper into Atiu island and explore the limestone caves within the center of the tropical jungles
  • In the early evening, we will join reef fishing with Andrew and learn all about the Atiuan reef styled fishing 
  • Overnight in Atiu Villas

Day 5 – Atiu

  • We will enjoy a slow morning after breakfast, with the option of swimming or playing tennis at the hotel
  • We will visit the coffee plantations – as Atiu is known for its thriving coffee business with Arabica coffee organically grown, handpicked and dried on the island
  • In the afternoon, we will enjoy a wander around the central villages – Teenui, Mapumai and Tengatangi
  • In the evening, we will unwind with barrels of fruit beer at a tumunu – a local meeting place for local engagement
  • Overnight at Atiu Villas

Day 6 – Atiu – Rarotonga

  • We will enjoy the last breakfast
  • On our final day, we will board a domestic flight back to Rarotonga
  • Once we return to Rarotonga, you can transfer to your international flight.

Bespoke Cook Island Tours

Aitutaki Day Tour

Enjoy a day tour at Aitutaki island – stop at micro islands, enjoy crystal blue waters, snorkel amongst the sea life and relax on a large Catamaran as you sail the sea!

Mitiaro Tour

Fly 1.5 hours away from Rarotonga to Mitiaro, one of the less densely populated islands in the Cook Islands. The island is renowned for its limestone caves and natural pools which make up a large portion of the island’s land mass. Enjoy all the island has to offer, including the Vai Nauri Water Cave.

Snorkeling with Turtles Tour

There is an abundance of sea life off the coast of Cook Islands that you can explore via snorkeling or scuba diving. Cook Islands are home to turtles, eagle rays and reef sharks which you can rub shoulders with under the sea.

Sunset Paddleboarding Tour

The Muri lagoon is a picturesque body of water on Rarotonga Island that connects with the sea. Enjoy the priceless sunsets by paddleboarding with LED paddleboards where you can enjoy the underwater views as well.

Film Tour

With its scenic beaches and growing environmental importance, Cook islands are a great location for film makers and journalists to visit. Through our media arm Pioneer Media, we can plan for productions, journalists, or others to film within Cook Islands from big budget to guerrilla productions. We can also arrange meetings in country, as well as correct visas for journalists wishing to do projects within the Cook Islands.

Frequently asked questions about travel to the Cook Islands

No. All visitors wishing to visit the Cook Islands will be issued a visitors permit on arrival into the Cook Islands, provided they meet the following entry requirements:
> All international passport holders must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond their intended stay in the Cook Islands.
> All New Zealand and Australian passport holders are allowed stay of up to 90 days in the Cook Islands. All other international passport holders are eligible for a stay of up to 31 days, with an extension of up to another 31 days at no fee.
> You must have evidence of a valid outbound ticket or return ticket to your port of origin.
> You must have proof of accommodation during your stay in the Cook Islands.
For the best weather, June, July and August are the best months as it is less humid. The average temperature stays even all year round, with the monthly average high being between 25 – 29 degrees Celsius and the minimum between 20-25 degrees Celsius.

Extreme storms can occur between December and March however these are not so common.
The crime rate in the Cook Islands is very low. However, you should always be cautious about pickpockets who may target tourists in busy areas or on the beach.
The country’s former currency was the Cook Islands dollar. Now, the Cook Islands use the New Zealand Dollar, however, Cook Island dollars may still be in circulation from time to time.
You should ensure your routine vaccines are up to date before travel and you visit your local doctor for advice on any additional vaccines and medicine you might need. In general, bring bug spray to prevent the spread of airborne diseases.
The Cook Islanders are known for their immense hospitality and kindness. It is considered polite to greet even strangers on the street if you are comfortable. There is a concept known as ‘Pacific time’ which means that sometimes service times can be a little longer than usual due to the relaxed culture. Please be respectful and understanding.
At the airport or retail outlets, you can purchase a Vodaphone sim card. There are also lots of Wi-Fi hubs on the main islands.
YPT not only knows some very cool places but also how to save money and make the most of a trip. Cook Island is the definition of off the beaten track and we can take you beyond the touristy places for a unique Island experience.