The Cook Islands is not only a beach paradise but a cultural mecca who prides itself on preserving its’ Polynesian heritage. Maori is the local language however everyone also speaks English. It is also one of the few places in the world without chain hotels or high rise buildings, the majority of which are locally owned and operated and not allowed to be higher than a coconut palm tree. Comprised of 15 islands, Rarotonga and Aitutaki are the most visited. The population is very friendly and visitors are always greeted with the standard greeting “Kia Orana”- “may you live on”.
Mangaia, one of the southern islands, is the oldest island in the Pacific. It is 18 million years old!
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