Capital City: Avarua
National Airline: Air Rarotonga
Why visit Cook Islands: Scattered over a vast expanse of empty ocean the size of Western Europe, the tiny Cook Islands is a castaways dream come true. If you’ve ever fantasised about escaping to a remote desert islands then look no further than the 15 fascinating islands within the Cook Islands. The jewel in the crown is Rarotonga, the largest island – a bewitching blend of craggy mountains, dense jungle and glorious bone-white beaches – but you really need to get out and explore some of the other islands as well. The hook-shaped atoll of Aitutaki, the second most visited by tourists, sits at the top of one of the world’s largest coral lagoons. Then there’s the small, rocky island of ‘Atiu, with its limestone caves, coffee plantations and bush-beer drinking.
Aitutaki, Cook Islands
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