Image: Cook Islands
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The Cook Islands is a feast for the senses, and affordable with the Virgin Vacations deal we found! $2,099 gets you seven days on two islands of this far-flung paradise, with air from Los Angeles, lodging and all transfers (including internal flights).
updated 2/14/2008 9:29:16 AM ET 2008-02-14T14:29:16

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through March 2008

The deal
Pick any destination in the South Pacific and you can bet on sky-high prices year-round. Airfare is notoriously expensive and accommodation is known to break the bank, too. But we found a threesome of sensational winter deals to the most coveted South Pacific destinations — Cook Islands, Tahiti and Fiji, starting at just $1,499.

Cook Islands escape from $2,099
Something’s cooking in Cook Islands, a 15-island archipelago in the South Pacific. This Polynesian destination is a feast for the senses, and affordable with the Virgin Vacations deal we found! $2,099 gets you seven days on two islands of this far-flung paradise, with air from Los Angeles, lodging and all transfers (including internal flights). This price is good for travel through March 31; it goes up to only $2,149 for later trips. You will spend two nights at Castaway Beach Villas on the main island of Rarotonga and three nights at Samade on the Beach on the remote Aitutaki atoll.

Tahiti holiday for only $1,972
Exotic Tahiti is one of those mythical lands that have been attracting Western sailors, writers, artists, and explorers for centuries. The allure of this faraway French Polynesian archipelago is intact. Despite the high cost of visiting, we found a price-crunching deal by Tahiti Vacations: a seven-night holiday with airfare from Los Angeles, lodging at tourist-class properties, airport-hotel transfers and a guided tour for just $1,972. Three nights will be spent at Hotel Le Mandarin and four nights at Club Bali Hai. Note that this low price is only valid for departures through March 31.

Fiji getaway now from just $1,499
Fiji is among the priciest destinations in the South Pacific but we found a Virgin Vacations deal that offers considerable savings. A six-night getaway is now priced at $1,499, with accommodation, roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, and airport transfers. With this package, good for travel through March 25, you’ll explore the exotic island of Viti Levu, abundant in tropical vegetation, cascading waterfalls and palm-fringed beaches. Lodging included is at Mercure Hotel Nadi near the center of Nadi town, with a swimming pool and private balconies off each room.

The dollars
First and foremost, it’s the included airfare that makes the above specials such a steal. Flying to these far-flung locals would in itself cost you north of $1100. Accommodation costs in these posh destinations are notorious at even the most modest properties, so the savings you’re getting with the above deals are hefty.

The catch
It’s a long flight to these faraway islands, so bring plenty of reading material.

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