Hanga Roa
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Hanga Roa Culture & History

Easter Island: Highlights Private Tour

1. Easter Island: Highlights Private Tour

Begin your day with a private pick-up service from your hotel on Easter Island.  Explore the major Rapa Nui archaeological sites near the Rano Kau volcano crater and learn about the famous Birdman legend at the O'rongo ceremonial village. Continue your tour to Ahu Akivi, a site that was first scientifically restored in 1960 with a platform of 7 standing Moai. This platform is characterized as being one of the few located in the center of the island. These statues face the setting sun. Next, feast your eyes on the Ahu Tongariki, featuring 15 standing Moai. Later, learn about how the Moai were built at Rano Raraku site. To end the tour, visit the inspiring turquoise water of Anakena Beach. Timing is flexible and can be spent in any given location as long as you wish. Lunch is not included on this tour but there are places where you can buy a snack and bring it on the tour. When your tour is complete you will be transported back to your hotel.

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Anakena Beach and the Lost Culture of Rapa Nui Tour

2. Anakena Beach and the Lost Culture of Rapa Nui Tour

From your hotel in Hanga Roa, your tour group heads toward the south-east and north-east of the island to visit the Ahu Vaihu, a temple composed of a well-worked stone platform where 8 moais with pukaos are scattered nearby - these are the giant stone statues of heads with hats that are part of what make this island world-famous. Here you can also find the Ahu Akahanga, formed by 4 platforms, 12 moais (head statues) and 8 pukaos (hat statues). From here you can see one of the best preserved villages of the island. The trip continues towards the Rano Raraku volcanic crater, formed of consolidated volcanic ash. Rano Raraku is a visual record of moai design vocabulary and technological innovation, where 397 moai remain. Ahu Tongariki is the most surprising ahu (shrine) on the island, with 15 giant moais. Ahu Te Pito Kura has the largest statue erected on an ahu, the Paro Moai (10 meters, weighing 85 tons) and a pukao with a weight of 11.5 tons. It is believed that the last statue was demolished by 1840. The ahu is located next to a large stone ball that is identified as the center of the world (Te Pito o Te Henua), which according to legend was brought by King Hotu Matua by boat. During excavations, an extraordinary eye pupil of white coral red slag was found, and nowadays it is exhibited at the Museum of the Island. Finish your tour at Anakena beach, known for its white sand beach, warm waters, and its own moais, before returning to your hotel.

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Easter Island: Ahu Akivi Tour from Hanga Roa

3. Easter Island: Ahu Akivi Tour from Hanga Roa

Begin your three-hour tour with a drive from your hotel to Ahu Akivi, one of the few platforms on the island where the moai face the ocean. Legends say these structures represent the seven explorers sent by King Hotu Matu’a before his colonization voyage. Afterwards, continue to the site of Puna Pau, a small red scoria crater. It was here the pukao were made – the hats or topknots placed on some of the moais around the island. Finally, visit Ahu Huri a Urenga, home to a lone statue that appears to be orientated toward the winter solstice, marking the beginning of the season and regulating fishing activities on the island.

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Orongo, Tangata Manu Ceremonial Tour

4. Orongo, Tangata Manu Ceremonial Tour

Depart from your hotel towards the Cave Ana Kai Tangata, where in one of its walls, birds are drawn in a stylized painting, representing Manutara (sea swallows) and whose precious egg was the center of the annual Birdman competition. The Bird Man was appointed by the king and would be the spiritual and political leader during a period of one year. The sacred character is represented as a human shrunken body with a large beak and is sculpted in many engraved stones. Later, you visit the Vinapu sector, an archaeological site that is characterized by its large balsato tiles made to fit carefully in a similar way to Inca constructions of Cuzco. You continue to Rano Kau, a place where you will find a lake with small islands of reeds, lush vegetation and micro fauna. After the tour you will return to your hotel on Easter Island.

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Easter Island: Traditional Rapa Nui Cooking and Show

5. Easter Island: Traditional Rapa Nui Cooking and Show

Get picked up in your hotel on Easter Island and head to the Tera’ai Restaurant. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with live music. Enjoy an appetizer and welcome drink as you are invited to participate in the “Takona” art, a local custom that entails painting part of the face in the old ways of the island. Learn about the tradition of the Umu Pae cooking culture with an introductory lecture and then watch a meal being cooked in the style. Settle in for an authentic Rapa Nui show, consisting of an exciting mix of ancient and traditional dance. Learn about the performers’ garb as well as the history of the island.  If you choose the option that includes dinner, you’ll be taken into the buffet room where food is cooked in the traditional Umu Pae way. Enjoy a delicious and expansive selection of food including sausages, vegetables, chicken, yuca, potatoes, and much more.

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Easter Island: The Moai Trail Private Archeological Tour

6. Easter Island: The Moai Trail Private Archeological Tour

Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at your hotel in Hanga Roa. Begin your journey near the village of Akahanga, which was a significant ceremonial center or ahu. See the stone heads of Easter Islands, which are known as moai. Learn about the tribal wars which took place on the island and the moai which were knocked down during the fighting. Visit the remains of hare paenga, the boat-shaped stone houses which were built by the island’s ancient inhabitants. Continue to the Ahu Tongariki, which is the largest ahu on the island and contains 15 moai. See the Rano Raraku and quarry which is the source of the volcanic rock used to carve the moai. Admire the 400 moai in various stages of carving. Follow the route to Ahu Te Pito Kura, where the highest statue on the island is located, as well as the Paro moai. Marvel at the spherical stone next to the ahu. This massive stone was said to be the navel of the world (Te Pito or Te Henua), which according to legend, was brought to the island on Hotu Matua’s boat. Head to the white sand beach of Anakena where Ariki Hotu Motua and his sister Avareipua arrived at the island. Visit the Ahu Nau Nau, an the archeological site of an ancient complex construction. At this site are 5 Moai with pukao which have Petroglyphs on the back of the statues. At the end of your tour, you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel in Hanga Roa.

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Easter Island: Birdman Cult Private Tour

7. Easter Island: Birdman Cult Private Tour

Explore the site of the last great stage of Easter Island on this guided day tour from Hanga Roa. Depart from your hotel in a comfortable private vehicle to begin your adventure. Visit the sprawling ceremonial site of Ahu Vinapu to see some of the most advanced masonry in the world, then continue north to Puna Puna to see alternative representations of maoi sculptures, the famous "Easter Island heads". You'll see the distinctive red knots atop their heads, made from red scoria, an igneous rock with a vibrant red color. Next, see the colossal moai sculptures of Ahu A'kivi, a line of seven 16-foot (5-meter) effigies that gaze solemnly out to sea; the sea-facing direction of the sculptures has confounded archaeologists for years due to the fact all of the other sculpture faces inwards. Visit the amazing Rano Kau volcano crater and learn about the famous Birdman legend at the O'rongo ceremonial village, consisting of approximately 50 elliptically shaped, shale-wall homes with a small square entry overlooking the ocean. Before your journey back to the hotel visit Tahai, which comprises three principal sets of heads from north to south: Ko Te Riku (with restored eyes), Tahai and Vai Ure.

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Easter Island: Moai Sites and Anakena Beach Private Tour

8. Easter Island: Moai Sites and Anakena Beach Private Tour

After pickup from your hotel in Hanga Roa, start the tour with a visit to Ahu Vaihu and Akahanga. These temples are where Pukaos hats have been placed on top of some Moai statues. Akahanga originally contained about a dozen Moai and is believed to be the burial site of the Polynesian king Hoto Matu’a. Continue the journey and head to Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater that also contains a lagoon. The volcano has historical significance for the island, because the Moai were carved on its slopes. Currently, 397 of these impressive sculptures remain there. Then visit the most amazing Ahu, a ceremonial platform, on the island. Ahu Tongariki is the largest ceremonial site with an impressive row of 15 upright Moai. It is one of the most visited tourist spots in Easter Island. The Tongariki Moai underwent a restoration process, not only due to the collapse caused by the tribes that lived there, but also due to a large tsunami that damaged and moved some statues. Finally, finish the day resting in Anakena, the most popular beach on the island. In addition to its natural beauty, what makes it a unique beach is a row of Moai that face away from the sea. Admire this unique landscape before returning to your hotel.

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Easter Island: Poike Volcano Private Hiking Tour with Guide

9. Easter Island: Poike Volcano Private Hiking Tour with Guide

Explore the wonders of Easter Island and its famous archaeological sites on this hiking tour. See monumental statues and delve deep into to history and culture of the island with your expert guide. Stop by Vai a Heva, Ana Okeke, Kava Kava Kio'e, and Motu Maratiri. Begin your day with a private pick-up service from your hotel on Easter Island. Explore several Rapa Nui archeological sites near the Poike Peninsula. Make your way to Vai a Heva, a huge carved head, which possibly served to collect rainwater and was used in rituals alluding to the vital resource. Next, see the renowned moai carved with trachyte stone brought from the Rano Raraku quarry. Continue trekking to Ana Okeke. This cavern on the Poike cliff is also known as "the cave of the virgins". See the Uka Neru petroglyphs referring to the ceremony of confinement of women. It is said that the natives gathered here to observe the stars. Continue your tour to Kava Kava Kio'e, the most eroded place on the island with an incredible desert landscape of red earth. Soak in panoramic views of the landscape from Motu Maratiri viewpoint with Ahu Tongariki in the background. After a full day of island explorations, return to the starting point and head back to your hotel in Hanga Roa.

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What people are saying about Hanga Roa

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 27 reviews

Hotel pick-up / drop off by collective taxi and welcome drink. Cute Hawaiian face drawing (just rubbing powder falling off) and English / Spanish explanation of the Polynesian cooked underground food. Not much food but the show is done very well by a group of excellent dancers and players.

The voucher indicated that they would pick us up at the hotel between 6.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. We had to wait until 19.42 at the hotel reception until they arrived. In the reservation process it is indicated that the local operator would contact me to confirm.

Excellent tour and excellent guide (Sebastian). We loved every minute of our 7 hour tour. So much valuable information was shared during the tour and what better way than a Rapa Nui guide!

A fair and accurate tour. When you go with children, it is difficult to take them on full-day tours. In this tour you see an important part of the Island, but in a very limited time.

Very happy with tour. Would have been good to have local contact information included.