Credit: David Kirkland, Pacific Corner, Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Which tropical paradise is on your bucket list…Hawaii, Tahiti, or perhaps Fiji? While all these destinations offer sun, sand, and relaxation, for a truly off-the-beaten-path experience consider the Cook Islands. Located in the South Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand, the Cook Islands, comprised of 15 major islands spread over nearly 850,000 square miles, offer crystal clear lagoons and enchanting Polynesian culture, and are easily accessible with nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Rarotonga.
Several members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) offer five to 15-day tour independent itineraries to the Cook Islands. Each of the following provide travelers with peace of mind knowing all the planning details have been taken care of and with the flexibility to go at their own pace.
- Goway Travel’s “15-Day Cook Islands Vacation” independent travel package offers travelers a flexible and hassle-free vacation. This two-week trip includes roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles to Rarotonga, 12 nights in an accommodation of the traveler’s choice, and roundtrip transfers. During the trip, guests can snorkel, meet the people who call the Cook Islands home, or just unwind on the islands’ white-sand beaches. Available from November 2018 to March 2019 from $1,899 per person. www.goway.com
- Travelers can unplug from everyday life during Down Under Answers’ “Recharge: The Cook Islands” itinerary. The 12-night independent vacation includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, stays in a villa and a beachfront bungalow, daily breakfast. Guests also will enjoy use of snorkeling equipment and kayaks and lagoon cruises through the Rarotonga Lagoon and the Te Vaka. This trip is available now through March 15, 2019 from $5,899 per person. www.duatravel.com
Credit: Pacific Resort Hotel Group, Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Cook Islands
- GOGO Vacations’ “Luxury Cook Islands Vacation Package” lets travelers explore the Cook Islands in style. Vacationers will spend five nights at the five-star Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa, enjoy a bottle of wine upon arrival as well as a snorkeling cruise for two. The trip includes roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles and hotel transfers. Guests who book now through September 30, 2018 for travel by March 31, 2019 can receive the fifth night free. This package is available from $2,095 per person. www.gogowwv.com
- Guests on Islands in the Sun’s “7-Day Two Island Getaway: Rarotonga & Aitutaki” trip will enjoy two of the Cook Islands’ most picturesque destinations. The week-long trip includes time at the Pacific Resort Rarotonga and the Pacific Resort Aitutaki in a Premium Beachfront Bungalow, as well as transfers between each. Honeymooners also will receive a bonus bottle of wine, small gift and flowers in the room on both islands. This romantic getaway is available through March, 25 2019 from $3,429 per person. www.islandsinthesun.com
For more USTOA member packaged travel to the Cook Islands, visit https://ustoa.com/why-we-travel/cook-islands.