Fodor's Expert Review Cross Island Walk
Rarotonga is a small island, just 67 square kilometers (26 square miles), but its jungle-like interior harbors ancient temples, called marae, waterfalls, and dramatic rock formations. The best way to explore it is via the Cross Island Walk, which begins in the Avatiu Valley in the north and wends through rain forest past Te Rua Manga mountain, known as the Needle. The walk takes about four hours. It's best to tackle it as part of an organized tour such as those run by Adventure Cook Islands or Pa's Trek, the latter being a gentle nature walk led by an expert (Pa) in agriculture and nature's healing plants. Some tours include mountain climbing, and most visit the marae. The Cook Islands Vistor Information Centre in downtown Avaru, near the ANZ Bank, is the best resource for booking a tour and finding out more.