Explore the culture, traditions, people and history of the Cook Islands during this scenic and informative visit to the Highland Paradise Cultural Village.
Depart the pier with your guide, a Cook Islands' warrior, for the drive to the Highland Paradise Cultural Village located on Mangaroa Mountain. This 500 year old village was once lost in time and taken over by the surrounding jungle, but has since been rediscovered and opened to visitors. En route to this 200 acre site, your guide will inform you about the lives of the native Cook Islanders prior to the arrival of the missionaries. Upon arrival at the village, you will begin your immersion into the local culture by learning about the spiritual marae and voyaging skills of the island's forefathers. Here, you will view perfect replicas of village houses as they once stood, along with sacred placs of worship, where battles were fought and the site of human sacrifices. You will also see the High Chief's rock throne and canoe navigator's compass rock along with discovering how important the coconut tree is, the many ways of tying the colorful pareu and how to make flower garlands. You will also have the opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine and tropical fruit.
The highlight of your visit will be a passionate and colorful performance of native dancing and music that embraces the true spirit of the island's culture.
Following your visit, you will be transferred back to the pier where your tour concludes.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the transportation and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Swimwear and revealing clothing is not acceptable. Cameras or video coverage are not allowed during the Tapu lifting ceremony held at the sacred marae site.