“Kia orana” (“may you live on”) a local greeting you will surely hear if you visit the Cook Islands, a group of fifteen islands scattered over two million square kilometers and located in the South Pacific Ocean. They fall into to two distinct groups, the Northern Group and the Southern Group, with the Southern Group containing over 90% of the population. The people are mostly Polynesian, Cook Island Maoris, and are related to the Tahitians and the New Zealand Maoris. Most of the populations live on Rarotonga, and in the southern group. The people are very open and friendly and are happy to introduce you to their culture.
In addition to all of the outdoor activities like snorkeling, fishing, hiking, and learning how to climb palm trees, there is always shopping. Every Saturday, the local Punanga Nui marketplace comes to life from 6 -12 pm. It is located in Avarua Township. Comprised of individual huts, if you’re looking to buy a souvenir or some local food to experience, then this is the place for you! Handmade artifacts, t-shirts, pareus (sarongs), ukeleles, island CD music, tivaivai (local quilts), produce, and carvings are all available for purchase here On certain days, live entertainment plays in the rotunda in the middle of the marketplace. For cultural enrichment, tour the Rarotonga’s art galleries which range from high art to funky or possibly get an authentic Polynesian tattoo?
The weather in Cook Islands is mild to very tropical. The average maximum temperatures are around 25C in the winter and 29C in the summer. Rainfall primarily occurs in the summer, usually in the form of afternoon storms.