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Travel to Cook Islands, the best kept secret of the PacificAll About Travelling
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Travel to Cook Islands, the best kept secret of the Pacific

Oct, 09 || 2 Comments | Tags: ,

Cook Islands is a group of 15 islands and atolls isolated, spread over a total distance of over 1400 km in the South Pacific Ocean, between French Polynesia to the east, and Tonga to the west. The islands are divided, geographically, into two groups – the northern and the southern – offering a total area of ​​land of 241 square miles, scattered on nearly two million square miles of ocean. Cook is at a distance of 3,400 km north-east of New Zealand, under the influence of which exist as an independent territory, amounting to a total population of 19,000 people, mostly Maori.

Southern group contains the largest islands: they are made from a mixture of high relief, volcanoes, coral and atolls. All constituents of this group islands are inhabited, except Manuae and Takutea. In the same group is the most important of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga, which houses the capital chain of atolls, Avarua. Located about 1,000 kilometers north of the islands in the south is the northern group, whose islands, with the exception of Nassau, formations atolls are all small to medium. Compared with the South Cook Islands, they are isolated and less developed.

Aitutaki

Rises to an altitude of 4,000 meters from the ocean floor of the Pacific, has an area of 18 square kilometers and is a great “almost atoll” triangular islands of Southern Gruplui and second most populated island Cook with about 2,000 inhabitants. Aitutaki Island is surrounded by a reef with thickness up to one kilometer, which closes with the great island Araura a very transparent lagoon, located in the expansion. Maximum altitude reached the island about 123 meters, the hill Maung Pu.

Along Araura, there in Aitutaki other 21 small patches of land, called motu and that form, added, 2.4 square miles of land. Aitutaki Lagoon is famous for its central uninhabited islands turcuoaz and full of palm trees. Another advantage is that, until now, was exempt from mass tourism, although it offers few facilities for visitors. It is said that the most important attraction of the place would be Tapuaetai small island, that offers the best views of the lagoon and, hence, it can go, depending on the tides, the sand bed of the lagoon, until quite a distance high land.

Atiu

Enuamanu known as the third largest island of Cook, located in the southern group and having an area of ​​27 square kilometers, Atiu is a volcanic island surrounded by mostly limestone reef, the coral fossilized, with a height of three up to six meters. Reef is narrow, with width up to 100 meters, and a lagoon close and narrow. From the edge of this platform, the ground rises gradually to a plateau area slightly hilly terrain.

Atiu Island is famous especially for a long history of growing coffee. Population counts 600 inhabitants of the place, and most of their settlements are concentrated in the central hill. People living in five villages of the middle island radiand the periphery of a man-shaped silhouette. Manifest a special interest tourists arrived here Kopeka caves, located deep in Makati, the jungles of Atiu.

Mangaia

Mangaia, or Auau Enua, is the second largest – nearly 52 square miles – and the southernmost of the Cook Islands. Around them was an ancient coral reef, which rises steeply from the shore directly before sharpen the interior of the island. Geologists estimate that Mangaia is aged at least 18 million years, making it the oldest island in the Pacific. It lies at 4750 meters above the ocean bed, has a central volcanic plateau, like many southern Cook Islands and is surrounded by a ring of high cliffs of fossilized coral called Makati and raised in this case, multiple layers, to 60 meters.

Maximum altitude of the island is 169 meters, the rank-Moti, close to the center island and capital of Oneroa village Caress is where half the population is concentrated around the island. Since ancient times, and even today, coconuts are an important culture of the place, offering food, fluid and fiber.

Manuae

Uninhabited atoll is a group of islands south Cook, located on top of a submerged volcano, which descends 4,000 feet underwater, until the ocean floor. Atoll comprises two small islands to the west and you Manuae You have an east, totaling an area of ​​land of 6.17 km square had one either side of a transparent lagoons size of approximately 13 square kilometers. A coral reef surrounds the atoll, neexeistand any crossing point along the entire ring reef. The island is a marine park and an important breeding area for birds and turtles in central Pacific.

Palmerston

A true coral atoll, Palmerston island consists of a number of sandy islets, located along a dark ring around a reef lagoons in the Southern Group Cook Islands .. The largest island is Palmerston, North Island, Lee To Us, Leicester, Primrose, Toms and Cooks. Total area of land formed by the islands is approximately 2.6 square kilometers, while coral cover 15 square kilometers and lagoon covers no less than 56. There are several ways to access small reef for boats, although no input is not safe for large vessels.

Palmerston enjoys a tropical climate but is exposed to strong hurricanes. All the islands are covered with coconut and pandanus trees. Island’s population consists of about 50 individuals, all descendants of an English named William Marsters. Electricity and other utilities are available on the island, and a recent telephone station set provides a permanent connection with the outside world.

Rarotonga

With an area of ​​67 square kilometers and is located in the southern group, Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, but also the most populated, hosting, according to census 2006, 14,153 inhabitants. Cook Islands parliamentary buildings and the international airport, are all in Rarotonga, the largest group of islands in the South Pacific. The island is a popular tourist destination with many resorts, hotels and motels. City leader here, Avarua, located on the northern coast, is also the capital of the Cook Islands. Rarotonga is 4,500 meters above the ocean floor and has a circumference of 32 kilometers. Te Manga, with a height of 658 meters is the highest peak on the island

Land is surrounded by a lagoon separating the reef island over a distance of 100 meters of all-round. Southeast of the lagoon, the widest and deepest, is very popular among tourists for swimming, snorkeling, diving and boating. White sandy beaches and full of palm trees spread on the island and can be practiced even Raemaru climbing, mountain island. A major attraction is the waterfall Wigmore. Popular activities on the island are cycling, horseback riding, fishing offshore, boat tours, scenic flights, dancing, tennis and plenty of others. There are plenty of churches open.

Takutea

Located in the southern group, the island size of 1.22 square miles is uninhabited and has been designated natural sanctuary for animals because, especially red-tailed birds tropicalelor here. Takutea Cook Islands is the only one that has never hosted a permanent population. Altitdinea peak on the island is six meters above sea level and the land is densely populated with coconut palms.

Mitiaro

Mitiaro is in the Southern Group Cook Islands, is of volcanic origin, covers an area of 22.8 square kilometers and is sinking in the South Pacific Ocean waters to a depth of 4,500 meters. The island is surrounded by a belt of fossilized coral, with a height of six to nine meters, feature sudic.Centrul islands island group is almost flat, slightly swampy and contains two freshwater lakes. Beaches are limited, but is formed from place to place, crystal clear pools ideal for swimming in underground caves of limestone and marine life to see the place. Four villages are scattered across the island and there is even a school here, resident population numbering some 220 ​​individuals.

Manihiki

Manihiki is an atoll in the North Cook Islands, with an area of four square kilometers. The place is known as Pearl Island, is a triangular atoll considered one of the most lovely islands in the entire group. Extraordinary lagoon, 10 km wide, is dotted with 43 small motu, arranged along the reef. The latter offers an excellent environment for swimming and snorkeling among the coral and fish tropilcai multicolored. Diving is a major attraction of the island, and visitors are allowed without problems, to descend underwater without equipment, but to do this with the bottle and suit, need a permit.

It also fished well in waters over the reef, exotic fish species are easy to catch. The island is famous for its black pearls, and around the lagoon pearl farms are even equipped arranged. Farm tours can be arranged, explaining and demonstrating the growing process inseminations or extraction of pearls and shell. There are two villages on the island, Tauhunu largest and Tukao, the lowest.

Mauke

With an area of 20.3 square kilometers, is an island of Mauke northern Cook Islands group, measuring 6.4 kilometers from north to south and 4 km from east to verses. It is composed of a central plateau of volcanic rock, covering 5.4 km square which rises to maximum height of 30 meters. The island is surrounded by a fossilized coral reef, which separates the limestone inside the perimeter. Laguna formed inside the reef is very small, allowing the show admiring waves hitting the shore. Mauke has a special atmosphere and its inhabitants are still the old customs of hospitality, very friendly to visitors.

People who come here from afar must adapt to a rhythm and a very different lifestyle. Shops are few and far apart, often closed and limited supply of products. And the number of visitors is limited, island council decided that there would not have to be places for more than 40 people simultaneously. The island has permanent power and three beaches, the best way to explore is probably the rented bicycle. Formed roads are deserted and quiet coral.

Nassau

Located in the northern island group with an area of ​​only 1.2 square kilometers, Nassau is up to nine feet above sea level and is surrounded by a narrow coral reef. It is covered with palm trees and one of Northern Cook Islands to open a lagoon. The island is rich in marsh land and small forests of fruit, and in nearby waters can fish with abundant fish. Island’s population is 71 people, whose families live in huts covered with leaves and fibers. Island was seriously damaged in February 2005, Cyclone Percy, but restoration was completed and the island now has a completely new school. Because the place has no airport, access is possible only surfing in Rarotonga, a three-day journey at sea.

Penrhyn

It is the most isolated and the largest atoll (the lagoon) of the 15 Cook Islands South Pacific Ocean. Penrhyn is situated high above the submarine volcano Cook, 4876 meters high from the ocean bed up top. The island contains a ring of coral around a length of 77 kilometers and lagoon inside and has an area of 233 square kilometers. Land area of these islands in the northern group is 9.84 km ², and wrinkling of relief, reach the peak, the height of five meters. Ground population is about 200 inhabitants. “Cultivation” and the collection of black pearls is the only significant economic activity of the island. Also, the menu consists of everyone here, especially in seafood, as well as locally grown plants such as coconuts and fruit bread.

Pukapuka

It is an atoll in the northern chain of islands Cook, consisting of three small islands, about a reef which closes prntr a beautiful lagoon. Land area covers a little over three square miles and yet, here, an ancient culture and language of any other dinstinct have developed over the centuries. Archaeologists have discovered traces of human settlements dating from 2,000 years ago and the closest associations seem prehistoric to Western Samoa and other islands.

Of all inhabited islands in the Cook group, is probably the most isolated Pukapuka. Form the island is somewhat of a fan with three propellers and even has an airport, but flights from the capital Rarotonga here are very rare. The island is geographically closer than the rest of Samoa Cook Islands, so five hours flight from Rarotonga operates only when available government charter, every six weeks. The islanders say their main wealth is the “pretty girls”.

Rakahanga

It is located in the northern group of Cook Islands reprezina one of the quietest places on Earth. Atoll is nearly rectangular shape, and surrounded by reef lagoon bathe two main islands and seven motu, or islets, which fill gaps between larger islands. Total area of land is 4.1 square kilometers. Crabs abound in lagura and fishing is abundant off the reef, where large turtles abound. Also, the vegetation is lush, impunatorii palm trees coconut bread and covering the island.

Suwarrow

Nordic Group is part of the Cook Islands and was inhabited by Polynesian in Prehistory. In 1978, the island was declared Cook Islands National Park, only a matter of fact, thanks to rich marine and bird fauna on maintenance. Atoll has one of the best ports in the Pacific. Quadrilateral and has a circumference of 80 kilometers, and the reef and a lagoon close to 19 per 13 km. The island has a mysterious past and has been described years ago as “the most romantic in the world”.

Reef atoll surrounding a width of up to 800 meters. Scattered around the outer reef are around 40 small islands, no larger than 0.1 square kilometers in area. Aggregate Suwarrow islets of land offers a total of only 1.68 km square, forming the second smallest island of Cook.

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