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Fri, 11/09/2012 - 22:00
Carrying the name of Captain James Cook who spotted them in 1770, the 15 islands famous for black pearls, marine and tropical fruit exports combine main characteristics but differ from each other culture wise. With powerful influences from French Polynesia, the Cook Islands have the Tiare Mori as their national flower and the official language besides English is a unique dialect called Cook Islands Maori. Guided by the anthem called “God is Truth”, the former believers in Tangaroa, the god of sea and fertility have preserved ancient old art forms like wood carving and a specific type of quilting, the so called tivaevae.
Located in the South part of the Pacific Ocean between French Polynesia and American Samoa, the 15 major islands covering an approximate surface of 240 square kilometers are divided into two main categories: the Southern Cook Islands and the North Cook Islands where the coral reefs predominate. With tropical climate and hot sun no matter the season, the Cook Islands became one of the favored touristic attractions in the Australia and Pacific region.
The native population centers mainly in the Island of Rarotonga, seen as the capital in the bunch of fifteen. Almost perfectly circular, with only 32 kilometers circumference, this small island combines natural beauty observed easily its topography and the marine variety. Above sea level, Rarotonga impresses with mountain peaks, rainforests, crystal-clear waterfalls and palm trees offering shade on the white sandy beaches. The marine wildlife is very diverse and the circular shaped island with old tales of fishermen gods is encircled by coral reef.
Atiu is another island in the bunch nicknamed the “island of birds and legends”, Mangaia represents the oldest surface of land in the group and Pukapuka is famous for the traditional unusual social customs.
Climb and hike in the mountains, relax your eyes in the evergreen rainforest, sip a delicious cocktail in the shade of a palm tree. Snorkel and admire the spectacular sights of the underwater world with fragile coral reefs and a multitude of different colored species. Rent a motor scooter and observe the island beauty in the most frequent manner. Learn more about the spiritual emphasis and the old traditions of tattooing or wooden carving. Have fun taking a drumming lesson, try paintball or the native dance moves. Admire the sunrise and sunset in a romantic tropical paradise and be willing to spot the cultural differences between the islands in order to enhance your Cook Islands experience.
“Cook Islands” is the name given to fifteen small tropical paradises with great variety and impressive appeal. The legends and traditional rituals combined with the serene, calm, immaculate environment can make these islands become one perfect travel destination.