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Rano Raraku

This volcanic crater was the quarry for 95% of the island’s Moai. The giant heads were carved directly out of the volcanic rock and then transported to their ahus. You can see faces and bodies in the rock itself, and almost 400 Moai are still found in the area, including El Gigante, a 20-metre tall Moai still attached to the rock face. You can climb to the rim of the crater for an impressive view.

Ahu Tongariki

This is the largest Ahu on the island, with 15 Moai, including the largest standing Moai. The site was restored in the 1990’s, and the statues have some interesting markings, including goatee beards.


There are several beautiful beaches on the island for swimming, Anakena has golden sands and palm trees, and is said to be the landing site of the island’s first colonizer. The Moai of Ahu Nau Nau overlook the beach, and contain white coral eyes, bringing them to life.

Rano Kau and Orongo

Rano Kau is one of the most spectacular locations on the island, with the large crater and lake on one side, and a near-vertical 300-metre drop to the ocean on the other. Here are the remains of the ceremonial village of Orongo, which was the centre of the birdman cult, where an annual race was held to bring back the first sooty tern egg from a nearby islet. There are many petroglyphs here of human figures with birds’ heads and beaks.

Ahu Akivi

This island site is unusual, as it is not on the coast and the 7 Moai face inland, not out to the ocean like at all other sites.