Ah, The Cook Islands. A truly awesome location. Some might call it Paradise found, and it looks like it surely will be because Survivor is scheduled to shoot on Aitutaki later in 2006.
We found the Cook islands to be a very uncrowded, friendly place to go to relax, do some deep-sea fishing, enjoy the beaches, take hikes, and just unwind.
Rarotonga is an island that is surround by one road, which takes about an hour to get around. The road is lined with native tropical flora. There are no stop signs or traffic lights on Rarotonga, and the most popular vehicle you see is a scooter. Sure you can rent a car if you like so you can avoid the dreaded "Rarotonga Tatoo," a burn you often get if you wreck your scooter.
Rarotonga is much less expensive than neighbor French Polynesia. It is also a lot less developed, though it is beginning to become more so.
Neighboring Aitutaki has a lagoon as beautiful as the one at Bora Bora, and there are even some over the water bungalows if your hoping to try one of those.
The Cook islands are magical place. Most everything is imported so food is a bit on the high side. Accomdations range from average to high end, with the island noticably not having the major chain hotels. Better accomodations include Reflections, Sokala Villas, White Sands Villas, and the Pacific Resort on Aitutaki. There are almost hourly flights between Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
I highly recommend that you spend some time on Rarotonga and Aitutaki, especially if you want to relax. Often you can go out on a beach and not see a soul for hours. It is a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the South Pacific.
I will post a few photos that should give you a good idea of how beautiful these islands are.