RAPA NUI - WHAT TO SEE/DO
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Explore the history of the island
Rapa Nui is most famous for the statues known as the Moai, there are many routes that one can take around the island to see all the different variations of Moai. If you head up to Rano Raraku on the Northwest Circuit you will be able to see ‘the nursery’. The Volcano quarry here holds the hard material from which the Moai were made. Step back into the early Polynesian time and explore the various stages of progress of the Moai statues, that appear on the southern slopes of the volcano. If you look into the crater, there is a small lake with twenty Moai standing around it.
Another great spot and perfect photo opportunity is Ahu Tongariki, which is the largest ahu ever built. Gazing over a level village site there are around fifteen statues in place. In addition to this, there are some scattered ruin remnants displaying petroglyphs; some showing figures of a turtle with a human face, a birdman motif and then a tuna fish. In 1960 there was a tsunami that flattened and scattered the statues and a lot of the topknots far inland, and now only one Moai has its topknot.
One of the most dramatic sites on Rapa Nui is the Orongo Ceremonial Village, located on a strip of land between the beautiful crater lake of Rano Kau on one side, and the edge of a cliff that drops into a cobalt-blue ocean on the other. This is Rapa Nui's ceremonital center and boasts having one of the most dramatic landscapes in the South Pacific. From here you can see the offshore islands of Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao. The houses here are built into the slopes with horizontally overlapping stone slabs that are partially covered with earth, giving them a subterranean appearance.
Explore the depths Rapa Nui is a perfect place for underwater activities due to the crystal clear waters that offer visibility for up to 180ft. With the water temperature ranging between 18 and 26 degrees which just adds to the experience. You won't find many large coral reefs, however there are still a few coral species to be found. The fauna that is found in the waters consist of 160 species, with 26% being endemic to the waters around Easter Island. When diving through the underwater volcanic landscapes you can explore the seabed of caves, cliffs and the many lava platforms. Although placed here in modern times, there is even an underwater Moai, as well as sea turtles and tropical fish. You can also dive from Motu Nui and Iti.