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“Orongo, home of birdman cult” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Orongo

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Tahai, Orongo and Rano Kau Half-Day Tour
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Owner description: This lake-filled crater is filled with remnants of the Birdman cult practiced until 1867.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Orongo, home of birdman cult”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2013

Just thought Easter Island was about the moai statues, think again. The Birdman cult and competition existed here during 1600-1800's. Orongo is the remains (restored) of this village. Worth seeing and learning about. Do a tour to get the best information. Also good view of a volcano nearby too.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank aussietraveller70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Harvest, Alabama
Level Contributor
90 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Probably the number 2 Site on the Island”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

Another review here says Rano Raraku is the number 1 site and I agree. I also agree that you need to study up on the Birdman cult before you visit Orongo. The site does not give enough information by itself to keep most folks interested. But even without a solid grounding in the history, the views are fantastic and you could actually walk here from town -- but I don't recommend walking. I hired Marc Shields, Green Island Tours, for my guide based on the reviews here on trip advisor -- this was no mistake. Marc was excellent. He was flexible, took me where I wanted to go, and told me what I wanted to know. His English was native quality, which is hardly surprising since he is a Kiwi (New Zealander), married to a local Rapa Nui girl. I cannot recommend him too much. One side comment -- the structures on the volcano remind me of the ancient houses on the Orkney Islands. One other comment -- Easter Island is created by three volcanoes (which is why the island is a triangle). The volcano Rano (which apparently means volcano) Kau was the second of the three to break above the surface of the ocean.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank Craig H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Don't visit when you don't know the Birdman cult story”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2013

Another site (Rano Raraku being the first) which you can visit with a discounted ticket obtained at the airport. I recommend to see the Kevin Costner movie about the Birdman cult before visiting Orongo otherwise it may make you bored.

We took a footpath behind the airport and climbed the hill with nobody on the way. It was a nice walk, not very much tiring. On the top, you see the crater and down from there - the village of Hanga Roa as well as the runway cutting the island into two parts.

The Orongo site itself is a small 10-stop trip into the past. What you can see there is some special subterranean shelters, the huge, steepy cliff on which the competitors used to climb up and down to swim to the petty islands which can be seen from the cliff.

It's very windy there, even when you can feel the sun rays I'd recommend to have something windproof and a warm cap.

The walk down along the road might be a bit lenghty. Take it into consideration. Also you should be prepared to get wet several times while walking. The weather is very changeable there.

Visited July 2012
Thank Profi75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
63 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“First thing to do if weather is not windy”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2013

Easter island
Orongo The place is beautiful, it has incredible views of the ocean and of the volcano. The archaeological site is one of the main attractions of the island and it is worthwhile to do it because of the particularity of the area and the relation that the human behavior had with the environment. It is still possible to distinguish some of the petroglyphs and overall the conservation of the site is pretty good.
I will recommend first to actually do the hiking, the path is not rough and even if is windy the area is very protected.
Now, the most important thing to take in consideration for the visit of this place is the weather, if there are stronger winds there is a possibility of finding that the site is close. If the first day that you are there is a nice sunny morning without too much wind, I will recommend to do this first, the path that goes through the site has incredible views but it can turn scary if there is too much wind, because the path runs very close from cliffs and the winds come from different directions, pretty much like pushing you towards the ocean and the volcano. Plus considering that you will not be able to enjoy so much the visit.
We were there with 50 m winds and it was very difficult to even stay still to take a picture. So do this first, everything else is worthwhile but you can do it with all kinds of weather.

Visited April 2013
3 Thank Iguanavoladora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
237 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“A Starting Point”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

Orongo was one of the last places we visited on Easter Island but if I was starting again it would be my starting point. The visitors centre is fascinating and helps with an understanding of the indigenous population and their contact with early explorers. The story of the bird man and the rock carvings is displayed clearly on the walls while outside you can see the island and channel of water that was so important to who headed the community.

Visited March 2013
Thank st8sman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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