The Cook Islands are often described as the best kept secret in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are a group of fifteen and cover about 92.7 square miles in land area. Rarotonga is the main island and houses the majority of the population of the Cook Islands. The islands are located between American Samoa and French Polynesia. There are two main geographical grouping which form the Cook Islands; these are the Northern Cook Islands which are a group of atolls and the Southern South Islands. Names of islands in the Cook Islands include Aitutaki, Manuae, Nassau, Manihiki, Palmerston Island and Winslow Reef. Languages spoken in the Cook Islands are Cook Islands Maori, English and Pukapukan. There are many dialects, some of which include Atiu, Mitiaro, Penrhyn, Mangaian, Mauke and Rakahanga-Manihiki.

The Cook Islands are a parliamentary representative democratic associate state. Under this system, the Queen of New Zealand is head of state and functions through a representative. The person in charge as head of state is also the head of government and is known as the Chief Minister. Both of the government and the parliament of the Cook Islands have legislative power but only the government exercises executive power. There is a judiciary which exercises its powers independently. The Cook Islands participate in organisations such as the World Health Organisation and UNESCO and are not members are the United Nations.

The Cook Islands were first habited by Polynesians who came from Tahiti. Eventually, Spanish, Portuguese and English navigators made their way to the Cook Islands. It was a British Captain, James Cook who arrived in 1773 and 1777, in honor of whom the Cook Islands were named. For a very long times, European nations did not send fleets out to the islands which left them abandoned to a certain degree after the initial sightings and settlements were made of Rarotonga in 1814. It was only until in 1821 that missionaries and Europeans began to actively travel and move to the island. In 1881 the Cook Islands became a protectorate of the British. Currently, the Cook Islands have administrative subdivisions. Island councils are established on all the islands that are inhabited and are regulated by the Outer Islands Local Government Act 1987. The island of Nassau is administered differently by Pukapuka.

The people of the Cook Islands are considered to be very talented because of art forms such as wood carving, weaving, contemporary art and the weaving of patchwork quilts which is known as tivaevae. These activities are an important economically and socially as tradition to Cook Islanders.

Tourism is the Cook Islands have become an important part of the economy. The islands, however, have been negatively affected by the lack of natural resources, natural disasters and undeveloped infrastructure. Progress made in agriculture allows for the export of citrus fruit and copra. Other sectors such as manufacturing involve the processing of fruit, handicrafts and clothing. More economic activity is being sought by stimulating foreign investment and opening up new sectors in fishing, banking, financial services and mining.