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“An amazing place to explore. WOW.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Rano Raraku

Rano Raraku
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Private Full-Day Easter Island Moai Monuments Tour
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Owner description: The island's famous moai statues were carved from the volcanic rock of this mountain and are scattered across its slopes in various stages of completion.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“An amazing place to explore. WOW.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2013

Firstly, the logistics - there are 2 places in the island where you need to have your national park pass to enter - this is one, and the other is Orongo (you buy one ticket to get in to both places - you can buy at both these sites). The cheapest way is for you to get your ticket at the airport. There is a counter on your left just as you get out of the plane. You get a significant discount (around 20% - can't remember exactly) if you get your pass here. Of course, this was at the time of writing.

You should not miss this place on your visit. Of all the sites on Easter Island, I feel that this is the most AMAZING and spectacular. Even as you approach the site in your car, you see this hillside full of incomplete Moais (the heads). The sight when you start walking along the hillside is just amazing. Many Moais in different stages of completion and each very unique. We took our time exploring this place and you should too. Also, once you're done with the quarry side, don't forget to go on the short walk to the back of the hill and see a few other Moais from far. You used to be able to walk up and be up close with the Moais but not anymore.

Your Easter Island trip will not be complete if you don't visit this site.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank PerantauDunia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Oslo, Norway
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The best site in Rapa Nui!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2013

Have seen the quarry before, but missed the volcano crater back then, the sight was worth another trip in itself!

Visited December 2012
Thank ToveSkil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
el cerrito, california
Level Contributor
124 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“Remarkable ancient statues”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

Rano Raraku Park is the most important park on the island. There is an entrance fee of $30 to enter. The other park on the island where an entrance fee of also $30 is charged is Oronga Park. Before you enter the customs area of Matavari Airport in Easter Island, you can buy a discount ticket from a Park kiosk on the left for $50 for these two parks. You also get a very good map of the island.

Here, on the slopes of the Rano Raraku volcano, are hundreds of moais, some standing up, most of them fallen down, and some only partly chiseled out of the living rock. This is work in progress. Only simple hand tools were apparently used to perform the work. As you walk up the slopes from the park entrance, you hike up straight at the first intersection to come at a nice, friendly lake. In the distance you can see hundreds of moais scattered on the slopes of the volcano. But there is no path to get there for the casual tourist. You have to go back to the intersection and then turn left into the section of the park, where you can get a closer look at the many moais, standing, supine, or only partly chiseled out. Some of the paths here are fairly steep and a walking stick would be helpful.

Almost all of these moais you see on the slopes have fallen during transport. You can see that because they don’t have eye sockets yet. Some of them have been righted up later. The statues are actually mostly in the ground; only the top part is visible. The bottom part may be still 10-15 feet deep underground. The eye sockets are only chiseled out, after the statue has been erected at its intended location. A recent article by National Geographic claims that this was to facilitate the transport of the moai, as it is “walked” to its destination. Alvaro, our guide, claims, that the eye sockets have religious significance, and are only carved in after the moai is standing, because he can then “see” and does his job in protecting his people. So far it is not clear how these huge stone statues have been transported dozens of miles to various parts of the island.

For more notes on the moais in Easter Island, go to my travel blog

Visited December 2012
3 Thank ploddinghappily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
1,083 reviews
689 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 497 helpful votes
“Absolutely a must for a visit to Easter Island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

This is the site where the moai were quarried and the different ones that remain there suggest the means by which they were carved out of the volcanic rock. If you walk the site and look closely, you will see many standing upright, some partially angled and some still supine. You will also see that the moai range in size, with some of the largest remaining on the site as if they were the last, perhaps a victim of size competition? Most moai that have been transported to ahus that are associated with former villages are looking inward toward the village and away from the sea but the quarry where they are carved has them mostly facing the sea or upward as they are carved. Some of the faces show evidence of skin manifestations of smallpox and these are thought to have been added retrospectively after western man brought this affliction to the island. This is a huge site and you must climb some steep steps to get close to some of the supine moai so wear good shoes and bring a walking stick or two if your knees demand it. The kneeling moai at the far end of the site is unique; it even has feet under it if you walk around it but their photo documentation requires some augmented lighting.

Visited January 2013
Thank mjrg59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

Rano Raraku is an extinct volcanic crater where most of the Moai were carved. Now the trip up the dirt path is a little tough. The ground is uneven and there aren't many handrails, but the reward when you get to the top is all worth it.

Visited January 2013
Thank obcbreeze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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