Ancient Cook Islands Polynesian culture isn’t only in museums, we celebrate it in our everyday lives. It’s so easy to experience as we love sharing it with visitors.
The Cook Islands is a modern Pacific nation whose people are a cosmopolitan blend of their ancient Polynesian heritage, with a European twist. There are so many ways to immerse yourself in our culture and slip into the laidback life the locals have created. Cook Islanders are happy, friendly and vibrant people who love engaging with travellers and sharing their lifestyle with their visitors. From lazing on the beach, and shopping at the markets to enjoying a cocktail as the sun sets at a local beach bar, the locals are right there with you, sharing in the magic and joy of island life.
Book your spot at an ‘Island Night’ cultural show for an unforgettable cultural experience. Available at a variety of resorts and cultural centres on Rarotonga and Aitutaki, this is an evening where the locals share their exciting history through traditional music, song, dance and food.
Ancient ways of tribal life can be experienced at one of our authentic village tours on Rarotonga or Aitutaki. On the same soil our ancestors lived and died, learn about our tribal customs and rich history of tribal warfare, invasion and cannibalism before the arrival of Christianity. Or take one of our fabulous land or water based tours - we’re always sharing a little bit of our history and culture!
Traditional Church Service
Relax on a Sunday, just like the locals. Attend a church service at one of the many beautiful Cook Islands Christian Churches (CICC) dotted around the islands and be greeted by a warm welcome and some of the most beautiful hymns and harmonies you have ever heard.
Visit Our Markets
One of the best ways to connect with the friendly locals is to visit the vibrant Saturday morning Punanga Nui Markets in Rarotonga. This is the social hub of the island, where tourists and locals come together to enjoy delicious local produce, talented local music and dance performances and authentic Cook Islands crafts.
Rent a car or scooter and self-discover Rarotonga on your own time and in your own way. You can even choose to visit places of cultural and historical significance to the island. Learn of the histories behind some of the most beautiful churches. Self-discover these sites and many more to learn the history and culture of Rarotonga and its people.