Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are self-governing but are in free association with New Zealand, which looks after defence and foreign relations. There is a large amount of emigration there. Though there are 15 islands, the vast majority of visitors only visit Rarotonga, with some flying on to the idyllic lagoon and beaches of Aitutaki. It is a popular destination for people with round-the-world tickets.

Rarotonga has a few small coastal settlements, a coastal road around the perimeter, and an empty, hilly interior perfect for hikes if you tire of the beach. Cycling and scuba diving are also popular. Rugby Union, not surprisingly, is the most popular sport.

Country

Cook Islands flag

Why you should go:

There are no touts.

Why you shouldn't:

It can be expensive to get there.

Map of Cook Islands