If you are heading to Easter Island anytime soon, you are in for a treat – it is completely fascinating!
Here are six places you absolutely MUST visit during your stay:
1. Rano Raraku Quarry
The quarry is completely captivating and is scattered with both finished and half-finished moai statues, resting in the hillside.
It appears that one day production just stopped half way through and you can see statues carved into the rocks at all stages of their development including the largest moai ever found which is 21 meters in length.
Not only are the statues incredible to see but the views from the quarry are absolutely breathtaking and reach across to Tongariki (The Famous 15) set against the ocean.
2. Ahu Tongariki (The Famous 15)
Ahu Tongariki is an absolute must and The Famous 15 are perhaps the best known and most photographed of all of the moai. Lovingly restored at a cost of $2 million back in 1996 after they were knocked down by the 1960 tsunami they stand proudly with their backs to the ocean, overlooking their family land.
The best time of day to go is around lunchtime or early afternoon as the sun will be shining on their faces at that point but will not yet have disappeared behind the quarry hills.
3. Orongo Volcano
The Orongo volcano is located around 15 minutes outside of Hanga Roa by car or can be walked to in around 3 hours.
There are two viewpoints from which you can stand on the edge of the top of the volcano (yes you read that right) – seriously! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first went up there…
Would there be bubbling magna?
Would it be a big black hole?
In fact it was a crater filled with greenery and lakes. A tranquil setting with fruit trees, bushes and flowers planted around the inside. It was spectacular to see and a place you simply must not miss.
4. Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum
A museum is not usually where I choose to spend my spare time. I have a very short attention span and history just does not float my boat… usually.
The museum in Hanga Roa is compelling. It’s small so you can work your way around in 15-20 minutes and it gives you a succinct history of the island and moai statues including how it all came to be. It is well worth a visit, especially since it is free!
5. Anakena Beach
WOW. That is the word I would use to sum up Anakena.
It is almost as if it is on a completely different island. Where most of the island is like a cross between the Cornish coastline and the rolling green hills of New Zealand, Anakena is made up of a beautiful white sandy beach, a crystal turquoise bay perfect for snorkelling, palm trees scattered across the hills either side and 7 moai statues standing proudly on the sand.
It is surreal, beautiful and the perfect place to spend an afternoon. There is also a small cafe nearby where you can buy drinks and snacks, with friendly staff, great beer and delicious cocktails.
6. The South West Coast
If you are like me and love to watch the ocean, be sure to check out the south west coast of the island, best viewed from the cliffs next to the Hangaroa Eco Hotel (you can’t miss it, it’s the one with the black flags and protest boards outside!).
The island is so windy that the waves are huge and absolutely batter the coastline – a sight that I could watch for hours. The ocean seems even more choppy on the coast as you head around to the famous Tangariki site so keep an eye out on your way!
I hope you have an incredible time 🙂 Don’t forget to check out my post ‘12 Things You Should Know About Easter Island’ before you go!