Found on the lower slopes of the Terevaka Volcano, the Rano Raraku volcanic crater is where Easter Islanders quarried rock to make their world-famous moai head statues. Today, 397 moai sculptures remain scattered on the site, many of which are incomplete. Inspect the vast range of moais, which includes the island’s largest statue and other distinctive figures.
If you are visiting Easter Island for its moai, look no farther than Rano Raraku. Bring a camera to take photos of the statues, hundreds of which are planted in the ground around the crater. Look for the tallest moai on the island, which measures 71 feet (22 meters) in height. This massive moai is almost twice as tall as any other head sculpture and is estimated to weigh between 352,500 and 401,000 pounds (160 to 182 metric tons).
Examine the bizarre, deformed sculptures that seem to have been abandoned midway through the process. Many moai projects are believed to have been halted after the carvers encountered unbreakable rock.
Note how several of the moais outside of the quarry are buried up to their shoulders. These statues lack a pukao (traditional hat) and their eyes have not been carved. They are also among the few moai left unscathed from the island’s civil wars.
Don’t miss the bearded Tukuturi statue, which is much more realistic in style than most typical moais. Notice how it is in a kneeling position, with its head gazing up at the sky. This posture mimics the position of choir singers during important festivals known as riu. Legend has it this statue was a depiction of a moai sculptor and that it was erected to watch over all the craftsmen.
Rano Raraku is one of the seven main sections of the Rapa Nui National Park. You must pay a fee to enter the park, though Chilean natives get a discounted price.
Find Rano Raraku near Ahu Tongariki in the southeastern part of the island. Driving here from Hanga Roa will take about 30 minutes.
Situated in the historical district, this hostal is within 1 mile (2 km) of Ahu Tongariki and Rano Raraku. Ahu Hanga Tetenga and Ahu te Pito Kura are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated by the ocean, this aparthotel is 1.9 mi (3 km) from Ahu Huri a Urenga and within 6 miles (10 km) of Vaihu and Ahu Akahanga. Ahu Nau Nau and Ovahe Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated in Hanga Roa, this luxury resort is within 3 miles (5 km) of Ahu Huri a Urenga, Vaihu and Ahu Akahanga. Ahu Hanga Tetenga and Puna Pau are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated in Hanga Roa, this bed & breakfast is close to Ahu Huri a Urenga, Ahu Akahanga and Vaihu. Local attractions also include Ahu Hanga Tetenga and Ahu Akivi.
Situated near the airport, this spa resort is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Ahu Huri a Urenga and within 6 miles (10 km) of Vaihu and Ahu Akahanga. Puna Pau and Ahu Nau Nau are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated near the airport, this cabin is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Ahu Huri a Urenga and within 6 miles (10 km) of Vaihu and Ahu Akahanga. Puna Pau and Ahu Nau Nau are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated in Hanga Roa, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Museo Antropologico Sebastian Englert, Ahu Tahai and Hanga Roa Anthropological Museum. Ahu Vai Uri and Ahu Kote Riku are also within 2 miles (3 km).
This family-friendly Hanga Roa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Pea Beach, Mercado Artesanal Municipal and Ahu Tahai. Museo Antropologico Sebastian Englert and Hanga Roa Anthropological Museum are also within 1 mile (2 km).