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The above table lists round-trip flights to Rarotonga, Cook Islands with popular carriers. The trend-based fare (date, time mentioned) are non-warranted and subject to change. The fares are a total of base fare, fuel surcharges, airport or airline taxes and our service fee. Baggage fees may be additional. Check our Terms and Conditions to know more.

Rarotonga, Cook Islands Travel Guide

Rarotonga is the most populous of the Cook Islands, and tourism serves as the backbone of its economy. Around 67.5% of the nation’s GDP comes from the tourism industry. Rarotonga maintains its identity as an ecotourism destination. Rarotonga is home to species like Kuhl’s lorikeet which are on the verge of extinction. The species is exploited mainly for its red feathers. The national flower of the Cook Islands is the Tiare maori or Tiale maoli (Penrhyn, Nassau, Pukapuka).

Most of the global artists of the Cook Islands hail from Rarotonga. Artists include painter (and photographer) Mahiriki Tangaroa, sculptors Eruera (Ted) Nia (originally a filmmaker) and master carver Mike Tavioni, painter (and Polynesian tattoo enthusiast) Upoko’ ina Ian George, Aitutakian-born painter Tim Manavaroa Buchanan, Loretta Reynolds, Judith Kunzlé,

Airport in Rarotonga Cook Islands

Rarotonga International Airport

Rarotonga International Airport is the gateway to the Cook Islands and the city. The airport is located in the town and district of Avarua, Rarotonga, 3 km west of the downtown area on the northern coast.

The airport handles domestic as well as international flights with Air New Zealand, Air Rarotonga, Air Tahiti, Jetstar Airways, and Virgin Australia airlines. Compare cheap airfare to Rarotonga but don’t miss to take note of their on-time performance.

Air Rarotonga operates domestic inter-island flights: daily flights to Aitutaki, regular flights to Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke and Mitiaro, and occasional flights to the remote northern atolls of Manihiki, Tongareva (Penrhyn) and Pukapuka.

Nonstop Flights to Rarotonga from US Cities

From Los Angeles, you are most likely to find a nonstop flight to Rarotonga Island – RAR. However, from other locations in the US you are less likely to spot any direct flights to Rarotonga. No worries! Connecting flights present more choices. Compare and find cheap airline tickets to Rarotonga. Table below gives you an overview of the flight route, airlines, and number of stops involved on the route and might help you find the best route and book cheap flights to Rarotonga.

Destination + Airport Code


No. of stops| Layover Airports

From Los Angeles (LAX) to Rarotonga (GZO)

Air New Zealand (Nonstop) United Airlines

Virgin Australia Intl

Air Canada

Nonstop, 1 or 2 stops

Brisbane (BNE)

Honiara (HIR)

Munda (MUA)

Honiara (HIR)

From San Francisco (SFO) to Rarotonga (GZO)

United Airlines

Air New Zealand

Alaska Airlines

1 or 2 stops

Los Angeles – LAX

Auckland, New Zealand – AKL

Honolulu – HNL

From NYC to Rarotonga (GZO)

Alaska Airlines

Air New Zealand

United Airlines

Cathay Pacific

1 or 2 stops

Los Angeles – LAX


New Zealand – AKL

From Denver to Rarotonga (GZO)

Air New Zealand

United Airlines

1 or 2 stops

Los Angeles – LAX

Auckland, New Zealand – AKL

From Indianapolis to Rarotonga (GZO)

United Airlines

Air New Zealand

Alaska Airlines

1 or 2 stops

Houston – IAH

Auckland, New Zealand – AKL

Some airlines operate code-shared services. Our customer service representative can help you find the best one so that you get not just the cheapest plane tickets to Rarotonga but also the best in-flight experience.

How Long is the Flight to Rarotonga, Cook Islands?

If you are flying to Rarotonga for the first time, most likely you are to have the curiosity to know the flight time and flight distance. The table below lists flight distance and flight time from US cities or airports.

Flight Route

Flight Distance

Flight Time

From Los Angeles to Rarotonga

4,683 miles/7537 km

9 hours 52 minutes

From New York to Rarotonga

6,946 miles/11179 km

14 hours 24 minutes

From San Francisco to Rarotonga

4,731 miles/76013 km

9 hours 58 minutes

From Denver to Rarotonga

5,484 miles/8826 km

11 hours 28 minutes

From Indianapolis to Rarotonga

6,329 miles/10185 km

13 hours 09 minutes

Whether you are booking one way or return flights to Rarotonga, it’s important to keep in mind the time difference between your city and the destination because a huge time gap exists. For instance, Rarotonga is 6 hours behind Indianapolis.

Best Times to Visit Rarotonga Cook Islands

Winter and early spring, i.e., from May to October, are the best times to visit Rarotonga Cook Islands. The seasons bring a great combination of warmth and sunshine, which encourages and inspires tourism. The season is best for taking a plunge in a variety of endless water activities. Relax on the beach, dive into crystal clear water, practice kitesurfing, and hike across the Cook Islands!

Things to Do in Rarotonga Cook Islands

1. Snorkelling and Diving

A Cook Islands holiday is incomplete without snorkeling and diving. The crystal clear and warm shallow waters of the Cook Islands contribute to amazing snorkelling conditions. Discover the mysterious yet beautiful underwater world occupied with coral reefs and hundreds of brightly colored fish. If you are looking for a perfect snorkelling place, look no further than the Aroa Marine. It is a natural breeding ground for tropical reef fish. You may also spot parrot fish, Moorish idols, wrasse, angel fish, and lots of others.

2. Cross Island Walk

Challenge, enjoy and relax – taking a cross island walk is a mix experience of all. Though you may hike anywhere, there are some famous hiking spots in Rarotonga, where you may also find guided tours run by local operators. Most of the trails are well maintained, but there are some really challenging steep sections—extremely dangerous in wet weather. It’s best to experienced hiking during dry and cool season. On your path, you may come across streams and the most exciting—the 413m Te Rua Manga (Needle).

3. Kitesurfing and bodyboarding

Experience an adrenaline rush at Cook Islands. Whether you are an advanced bodyboarder or stand-up paddleboarder, your holiday to Rarotonga has got everything for you. Wondering about the best place that can make your dream come true? Head to the Aitutaki lagoon. Its crystal clear warm water together with steady winds makes it an ideal kiteboarding spot for all skill levels. Be flexible with moving to nearby islands like Honeymoon Island and One Foot Island to discover the best condition. Want to get some training? Contact any of the sandbars located there to improve your skills. Aitutaki Island has ample space where you can enjoy riding on the wave without struggling with others.

4. Whale watching

Family vacation or honeymoon vacation – no matter what inspired yours, whale watching is something that will spice up your holiday and make it an unforgettable experience. Watch majestic creatures anywhere, no matter which island you are on. During the migration season, from July to October, whales travel through the Cook Islands to the warmer waters of the South Pacific to mate, rest, and give birth to their calves.

How to Book Cheap Flights to Rarotonga Cook Islands

1. The cheapest day for departure and arrival

Rarotonga makes the list of every weekend vacation destination. If you are flexible, try to skip the weekend flights; instead go for a mid-weekday flight. This will help you to save money booking cheap air tickets to Rarotonga.

2. The cheapest months to holiday in Rarotonga

The wet season starting from late November and ending with April or May is the cheapest time to visit Rarotonga. November to March could also help you plan an affordable Rarotonga holiday. However, the season is prone to oceanic disturbances. It’s the cyclone (hurricane) season. Take note of our Rarotonga weather forecast to avoid getting trapped in such a situation.

3. The cheapest time of the day to leave for Rarotonga

Most of the locations in the US are 6 hours plus ahead of Rarotonga. Hence, boarding a redeye flight to Rarotonga could be a great money saving idea. As not many travelers want to spoil their sleep, you could have an advantage regarding find low cost flights to Rarotonga.

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