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Hanga Roa Tours

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Easter Island: Half-Day Archaeology Tour

1. Easter Island: Half-Day Archaeology Tour

Rapa Nui National Park, a wildlife sanctuary spread across most of Easter Island and a UNESCO World Heritage site, contains about 900 moai sculptures as well as 300 ahu, or ceremonial platforms on which the carved figures stand. Sculpted from solidified volcanic ash, these statues are believed to represent the spirits of ancestors and high-ranking members of each tribe.  After hotel pickup from Hanga Roa, travel south with your guide into the park and to Ahu Tahai, a ceremonial platform that has a unique moai, a stone giant that stands alone, but is protected by its more than 13-feet, imposing figure. Continue north to Puna Pau to see how some moai sport a different look. You'll notice they have pukao, or topknots, made out of red scoria on their head. It's believed the volcanic rock was used to impress rival tribes. Roughly 30 pukao are located in or near the Puna Pau quarry, the source of the red scoria. Afterwards, proceed to Ahu Akivi, where you’ll see a line of seven moai looking out toward the ocean. The moai here each stand 16 feet tall and weigh about 18 tons. What's mysterious about these sea-facing figures? It's an unusual sight considering how the other ahu moai stand with their backs against the water. One theory behind their unusual position is that these moai symbolize the 7 explorers from the Polynesian homeland of Hiva and were sent by the chief to find the island of Rapa Nui. According to this hypothesis, these statues face the ocean in the direction they came from. The last stop will be the Ahu Huri a Urenga, one of the 25 platforms that is not on the coast, but in the interior of the island and which corresponds to an agricultural area. After your engaging exploration of ahu moai, you’ll be taken back to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Hanga Roa

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 17 reviews

Excellent tour, great guide

The pickup time for the tour was rescheduled for an earlier time, but for some reason this was not communicated to me directly. Instead, a message was left for me at the non-existent “front desk” of my inn, so I missed the pick up for the original tour. The company rescheduled me for the next day, which was just as well because it was raining steadily on the original date. For the new date, the pick up time and method of communication were clarified, and the tour itself was great. The guide spoke great English and shared his knowledge of island history, customs, and culture as we toured the sites. Side note: a fellow traveler who took the tour on the rainy day didn’t enjoy it was much. The guide for that group didn’t provide much background or commentary, and the rain made walking difficult.

Totally Worth It

We received a nice pleasant easy going tour that allowed us to enjoy much better the island`s treasures


Safety pin!! Cristina the impeccable guide with her kindness and knowledge !! 100% recommended!

Very informative. The guide was very personable. We really learned alot and enjoyed our guide.

Daniela was a great guide! She explained the history very good!