How to Travel to the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands: Heaven on Earth

It’s no big secret that my very favorite part of my entire two-week trip to was our side jaunt up to Aitutaki. Sadly, we were only there a grand total of two days, but I saw enough to know that I want to go back. Pronto.

How to Travel to the Cook Islands

From there, we took a day cruise on board the Titi-Ai-Tonga-Vaka through the lagoon and all the islets, and to say it was stunning simply doesn’t do it justice.

How to Travel to the Cook Islands

All of the isles pretty much looked the same—in fact, in my pictures I’m not entirely sure which is which!—but one of them, Exile Island, was the filming spot for the 2006 Survivor season. Now, I’ve never seen an episode of that show, but seriously, Survivor producers? Seriously? Like it’s so hard to survive in paradise with ample wild chickens squawking about and fish just off the coast to serve as food sources. If I were those who signed on to the current season in the Brazilian jungle, I’d want my money back.

Next we stopped and had lunch at what will forever be my most favored slice of Utopia: One Foot Island.


And hey, look who I found milling about there. It’s everyone’s favorite nomad, Johnny Jet! We even dressed alike for the occasion. (If you don’t already get his newsletter, sign up for it; he’s awesome!)

There were so many sea cucumbers everywhere (see those black spots in the water?) and starfish, as well. I probably shouldn’t touch the wildlife, but I was never good at keeping my hands to myself.

Here he is up close:

It didn’t stop there. We may or may not have played football with the coconuts…

…and fondled the ubiquitous hermit crabs, as well. Oops!

Perhaps the coolest part of the whole experience is that when you reach One Foot Island, they open a little snackshop that doubles as a post office, where you can even get your passport branded with the “official” One Foot Island stamp. Well, no one told me this in advance, so I left my passport in my room. No bother, I bought a postcard—spoiler alert, SVV!—had it stamped for my beau and sent it by way of—what’s slower than snail?—mail. Hopefully, he will get it in the next 17 to 365 business days. (Note to all going to the Cooks: Keep your passport on you so you don’t miss out on fun opportunities like having U.S. Customs contain you every time you come back into the country for having a giant foot decorating one of the pages of your document of entry.)

The snorkeling everywhere was pretty awesome, and there were even a couple giant clams like in Australia.

There was a little fish feeding involved, too. All in all, it was a perfect day and one of the odd times when I feel guilty that this? Is my job.

  • March 30, 2009

    Sigh. That was so the break from work I needed right about now. Great photos! And I love that you can’t ID which islands are which. We’ve, uh, had that problem.

  • March 30, 2009

    Wow! It looks so lovely! I enjoy living vicariously through your travels 😀

  • March 30, 2009

    I would not have been a very good “Survivor” as I would have died and gone to heaven.

  • March 30, 2009

    I adore your job, and reading! about it. Coveting your hermit crab fondling, I am, and planning a trip to Some Paradise, Somewhere with Chris soon and very soon. (Chris has never even seen Hawaii! For shame.)

  • March 30, 2009

    Your posts give me wander lust. Seriously.

  • March 30, 2009

    That blue starfish! I didn’t even know they came in that color. I need to get out more…like out of this cubicle…

  • March 30, 2009

    Guilt be damned! You get rained on and stuck in airport delays, too, and it takes skill for people to live it through your eyes instead of dying inside with jealousy. There is a reason most people’s vacation slides don’t attract a mass following… 🙂

  • March 30, 2009

    looks beautiful! The pictures were like a little get away for me…now back to work

  • March 30, 2009


  • March 30, 2009

    If I could jump into one of your pictures, I would. Would someone please figure out the technology on that for me? Thanks!

  • March 30, 2009

    Where did you stay/would you recommend to stay while on the Cook Islands? My fiance and I are considering the Cook Islands as a possible honeymoon destination. Thanks!

  • March 30, 2009
    Janet McKnight

    So what is your job? Is there a position available? Where can I send my resume? 😀

  • March 30, 2009

    Wow, and I thought my job was great. I love all the islands, One Foot best.

  • March 30, 2009

    Nice. that is SOME starfish!!! After two days of rain, I am ready for that trip you were on!

  • March 30, 2009

    The blues in the sky & water are breathtaking.

  • March 31, 2009

    The closest I have been to so much marine life was in an aquarium, that must have been amazing.

  • March 31, 2009

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I am so jealous of you!

  • March 31, 2009

    oh survivor….you make us think y’all are roughing it…but really? looks like paradise.

  • March 31, 2009

    OMG, amazing… I’m only 102 days away from my first big solo trip to Australia. Your snorkeling video made me all kinds of psyched for The Great Barrier Reef!

    Love your blog,

  • March 31, 2009

    WAIT!? Hermit crabs actually live in Nature? Because I thought they only lived in Mall Kiosks with Professional Sports Teams Mascots painted on their shells?

    (Your photos are lovely, by the way 🙂 )

  • April 1, 2009

    Hey Kristin,
    You could put me on any of those islands and starve me to death (need to lose some poundage) and I would have still stayed there FOREVER!
    p.s. psst, i’m giving away stuff at my blog =]

  • April 1, 2009

    God, that is gorgeous. What I wouldn’t give to be there right now!

  • April 2, 2009

    Great post! It brings back wonderful memories of my wedding in Rarotonga and honeymoon on Aitutaki 8 years ago. My husband and I plan to return for our 10th anniversary. We went to one foot island and the survivor island too. We were so relaxed after two weeks in the Cooks. I highly recommend them.

  • July 10, 2011

    I love your work. I try to keep up with you. Whew!

    Marilyn Morris

  • January 13, 2012

    I’ve never seen a blue star! This place looks amazing! The Survivor contestants sure got lucky 😀

  • March 18, 2012

    So, you can’t just decorate your passport with whatever you want to personalize it? I was going to put unicorn stickers on mine:)


  • March 13, 2016

    More evidence to convince my spouse that we really need to spend time here! Thank you!
    Cindy recently posted..Share the road Arizona desert edition – four mode road signMy Profile

    • March 13, 2016

      I think that’s a swell idea! And also: Can I come? 😉

  • June 28, 2016

    Wow! It looks so lovely! I enjoy living vicariously through your travels

  • August 24, 2016

    Awesome! I thought this is in Palawan Philippines. 🙂 Nice article though.

  • September 21, 2016

    Brilliant Post! Thanks for sharing! Look forward to reading more like these! Cheers

  • October 17, 2016

    wow! looks so beautiful and I love this islands,
    awesome post!

  • December 14, 2016
    Mutoni Tracy

    Amazing experience you had there.Would so much love to visit Foot Island to.

  • February 13, 2017

    Uau, que trajeto legal , penso que um dia vou largar meu trabalho e vagar pelo mundo viajando
    Sucesso! Nice post.

  • March 18, 2017

    I wish good luck in your travels, I follow your blog and I really like what you write
    Gabriel recently posted..Método Fan Art – Aprenda Passo a Passo Como Desenhar MangáMy Profile

  • April 18, 2017

    I always visit your site and every day is a surprise, so keep hugs.

  • May 7, 2017

    wow! looks so beautiful, but Da Nang, Vietnam also have beautiful islands like Cu Lao Cham, Son Tra ..

  • May 22, 2017

    Looking awesome, so lovely pictures ,thank you for sharing the ultimate pictures, well done.

  • June 5, 2017

    The photos are really beautiful. Congratulations, wonderful place.
    Rodolfo aurélio recently posted..O que comer para emagrecer, conheça alguns alimentos que ajudam a emagrecer e perder peso rápido!My Profile

  • July 27, 2017

    One Foot Island looks awesome! I would’ve probably played with the starfish and hermit crabs too. Lol

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