Isla de Pascua has been designated a World Heritage site, not only because of its overwhelming and exotic beauty but also because it keeps alive the mystery of Rapa Nui culture. The world is still captivated by the magnificent Moais and its traditions. This isolated volcanic island, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean combines the beauty of its panoramic views with archaeological enigmas that fascinate its visitors. Plenty of activities can be done in the island; horseback riding, scuba, fishing, traditional dances, navigation and gastronomy combined with the amazing archaeological areas.
Main Touristic Attractions
- Rano Raraku – Anakena Tour: This excursion includes a visit to Ahu Vaihu temple, located 10 km away from Hanga Roa. The temple consists of a perfectly carved stone platform with 8 Moais and 8 pukaos spread nearby. The tour continues through Ahu Akahanga, where the best preserved villages of the island can be visited. Then a stopover to the amazing Ahu Tongariki with its 15 Moai, is the biggest Ahu of the island. After that we will visit the large spherical stone that hailed to be the navel of the world by the Rapa Nuis (Te Pito or Te Henua). Later we arrive to Ahu Nau Nau in Anakena beach, where 5 moais with its pukaos can be seen. The excursion takes us to the Rano Raraku volcano, where most of the Moais of the island were found. There, we can see almost 400 moais in different stages of construction. The tour finishes in the amazing Anakena beach.
- Ahu Vinapu – Puna Pau Tour: The tour starts with a visit to Vinapu the meeting point of three Ahus. The first one has 6 fallen red painted Moais, the second one shows a two headed apparently feminine moai and only some stones of what it was the third Ahu can be seen. Then the road takes us to Puna Pau quarry, an archaeological site east of Hanga Roa in a small crater. The pukaos were carved in this place. Next stop is Ahu Akivi, the first scientifically restored Ahu of the Island in 1960. The platform with 7 moais is one of the few located in the center of the island. All the statues there face the rising sun. The tour then takes us to Te Pahu cave. This place was used as shelter in times of conflict.
- Rano Kau – Orongo Tour: The tour starts towards the Tahai Archaeological Site, a ceremonial place where we can find the Ahu Vai Uri, Ahu Tahai an Ahu Lo Te Riku. Then we reach Orongo, a ceremonial village. This ancient and magnificent city is located on top of the RonaKau volcano. On the rim of the crater there are 50 oval-shaped houses, built with stone slabs and all with a small entrance facing the sea. The most important ceremony of the second period of the island was carried out here: the election of the Tangata Manu (bird-man)
- Hanga Roa – Anakena Bike riding: 18 km of bike riding along the wonderful inner road, surrounded of nature and a semi-tropical weather. Anakena beach invites you to cool down in the refreshing clean water before our return to Hanga Roa.
- Hanga Roa – Ahu Akivi bike riding: A friendly road through Hanga Roa’s typical neighborhoods where you can see how the Rapa Nuis live today. We finish at Ahu Akivi with a great view of the landscape.
- Poike Volcano Trekking: The tour starts ascending this impressive volcano. We will walk along Vai a heva. A face sculpted in a stone used by the ancient rapa nuis to collect water. We keep ascending until we reach the summit of Puaka Tiki, the highest place of the area with an amazing view of the center of the island. We begin the descent towards the cave of the virgins, Ana O Keke. In that cave, according to the legend, virgin women were kept to be offered to the future king (Ariki). From this point we finally descend to Taha Taha O Ruhi to have a meal and to rest.
- Terevaka – Anakena Trekking: From Vaitea we start the ascension to Maunga Terevaka , the highest point of the island, 511 ms over the sea from where all the island can be appraised panoramically with a 360º view. From there we descend to Anakena beach specially known for its white sands and crystalline waters.
- Ara O te Moai Trekking: The walk begins in Ara o Te moai following an ancient path used by the Rapa Nuis to transport the Moais. We will be able to see several moais that have collapsed along the trail. Then we ascend to Rano Ranaku ,the moai quarry. From there we will have great views of the crater. The route ends with a walk around the volcano finally arriving to One Makihi, full of natural pools on the rocks.
- Volcán RanoKau Trekking: The excursion begins walking along the patrimonial and archaeological coastal route until we reach Mataveri Otai where we can find food crops endemic to the region and the CONAF forestry nursery. The route continues towards Rano Kau volcano, where we ascend to the crater. Inside the crater we will find plenty of native plants and unique petro glyphs.
- East Coast – Terevaka: The west coastal route amazes us with its caves, ahes, petro glyphs and different kinds of Hare Vaka (Houseboats). The trip begins visiting the two windowed cave (Ana Kakengay) and continues to the ancient village of houseboats, Ahu te Peu, with their perfect stone carvings. The tour continues towards Puna Pau, a quarry where the reddish pukaos (moai‘s hats) were carved and it ends in the lava tunnels and ancient caves used as shelter by the rapa nuis during the war.
- RanoRaraku-Anakena: This expedition begins walking along one of the least explored paths of the island, in the Vinapu area where we can find Ahu Tahira. Its perfection reminds us of Machu Pichu walls. Then we follow the route of the Moais, where we are explained the building process of the colossal Moais. Here we can find the largest Moai found in an Ahu. Finally we arrive to the impressive quarry at Rano Raraku Volcano where the giant statues were carved. Dozens of unfinished moais lay there. The road ends at Anakena beach where we can enjoy its warm waters.
- RanoKau – Orongo: In the afternoon we begin this expedition to the town of Ranga Hoa where will be able to see plenty of spectacular Moais. Then we will walk to the Vitare area until we reach the impressive crater of Rano Kao volcano. We also visit the ceremonial village of Orongo with its 50 oval-shaped stone houses. In this place the Tangata Manu and the Bird-Man competitions took place. We end the expedition going down the west hillside of the volcano until we reach the Ana Kai Tangata cave, full of Manutara (swallows) paintings.
- Dance Shows: There are three main spectacles: Grupo Polinesia, Grupo Karikari and Grupo Mata Toa.
- Surf and Scuba: This island is perfect for those who love water. It is famous for its warm waters, excellent visibility and big waves for surfing.
Local tourism agencies
AKU AKU is a ground operator specialized in Polynesia destination, with more than two decades of experience in Easter Island. Our company has the infrastructure and services to satisfy the particular needs of tourists, families and big groups. Our services have been tested for many years taking care of visitors coming from different countries and cultures.
Rapa Nui Travel www.rapanuitravel.com
We are an agency in Isla de Pascua with several years of experience providing advisory services and planning trips to worldwide destinations. We have a wide network of contacts, skilled staff and comfortable vehicles which help us provide support services in planning and leading tours.
Kia Koe Tours www.kiakoetour.cl
We organize complete programs and tours (individual or for groups) with staff well trained in Rapa Nui culture (trekking, scuba, horseback riding, etc.)