Add dates

Things to do in
Rano Kau

Rano Kau

Rano Kau: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

Rapa Nui Highlights Program: 3 incredible tours to discover!

2. Rapa Nui Highlights Program: 3 incredible tours to discover!

- Ahu Akivi Tour: Departure from your hotel on Easter Island to Ahu Akivi, one of the few platforms on the island where the moais face the ocean. These structures represent the seven explorers sent by King Hotu Matu'a before his colonization voyage. After this visit we will continue our journey to the site of Puna Pau, a small crater of red slag, a place where the Pukao, a kind of hat, was made. Finally, visit Ahu Uri Aurenga, which has a single statue and has the particularity of being oriented in the line of the winter solstice, marking not only the beginning of this season (tonga), but also the time of different taboos (prohibitions) that regulate fishing and other activities on the island. Astronomically it also faces east, aligned with two neighboring hills, and Maunga Mataengo and Maunga Tararaina, as well as 2 smaller Ahu nearby. - Half Day Orongo Departure from your hotel to the Vinapu sector, an archaeological site characterized by its large basalate roof tiles made to fit together in a similar way to the Inca constructions of Machu Pichu. We will continue to Rano Kau, a place where we will find a lake with small islands of reeds and lake with exuberant vegetation and micro fauna. Finally we will visit Orongo ceremonial village where the ceremony of the contest of the ceremony of the Birdman contest. - Full Day Anakena Departure from our hotel to the east of the island to visit the Ahu Vaihu and Akahanga, temples formed by platforms or stone altars where the Moais and the Pukaos (the hats or cofias of ancient times) are gathered. Continuing our trip, we will go to Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater formed by consolidated ash, which also contains a lagoon. The volcano has a historical significance for the island, since on its slopes were sculpted the Moais. Today, 397 of these impressive sculptures remain there. Next we will visit the Ahu, a ceremonial platform, the most amazing of the island. Ahu Tongariki has 15 huge moais. But in actually, it is Te Pito Kura that has the largest statue erected on an Ahu, the Moai Paro, 10 meters high and weighing 85 tons. Next to Te Pito Kura we will find a large spherical stone that is identified as the navel of the world: Te Pito o Te Henua. Finally, we will end the day resting at Anakena, the most popular beach on the island. In addition to its natural beauty, what makes it a unique beach is a row of moais that turn their backs to the sea. Anakena is definitely a unique landscape to enjoy before returning to our hotel.

Rapa Nui: Orongo to Ana Te Pahu

3. Rapa Nui: Orongo to Ana Te Pahu

Embark on an extraordinary adventure with our comprehensive tour, unveiling the mystique of Orongo, Rano Kau, Vinapu, Ahu Akivi, Ana Te Pahu, and Puna Pau. This immersive journey spans the captivating landscapes and sacred marvels of Easter Island, inviting you to delve into the rich tapestry of its history and culture. Begin your odyssey at Orongo, a ceremonial village perched on the rim of the volcanic crater Rano Kau. Marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views of the island and the Pacific Ocean, as this sacred site immerses you in the spiritual essence of Easter Island. Next, discover the enigmatic Vinapu, where colossal stone structures echo the island's ancient craftsmanship and architectural prowess. Uncover the secrets of each meticulously placed stone, a testament to the islanders' ingenuity and precision. Continue your expedition to Ahu Akivi, a unique platform adorned with seven moai statues, representing the island's seven explorers. Hear the stories of these mystical figures and their role in Easter Island's intriguing history. Venture into the depths of Ana Te Pahu, a fascinating cave system that served both as shelter and storage for the islanders. Feel the coolness of the volcanic rock walls as you absorb the tales woven into this natural labyrinth. Your journey reaches its zenith at Puna Pau, the quarry of the iconic red scoria topknots adorning many moai statues. Gain insights into the significance of these crowning elements and the intricate process of their creation. Throughout this odyssey, our expert guides will illuminate the historical narratives, cultural nuances, and archaeological significance of each site. Unearth the mysteries that shroud Easter Island, and witness the legacy of a civilization that crafted these marvels in isolation. As you traverse these sacred landscapes, feel the energy of the moai statues and absorb the aura of their ancient guardianship. Our tour is designed not only to showcase the physical grandeur of these sites but to immerse you in the spiritual and cultural depth that defines Easter Island. Join us on this extraordinary voyage, where every step reveals a chapter of a fascinating history etched into the very soul of Easter Island. Let the whispers of the past guide you through this immersive exploration of Orongo, Rano Kau, Vinapu, Ahu Akivi, Ana Te Pahu, and Puna Pau—an experience that transcends time and leaves an indelible mark on your heart and mind.

2 days - Easter Island Highlights

4. 2 days - Easter Island Highlights

Embark on an enchanting 2-day odyssey, delving deep into the heart of Rapa Nui's extraordinary wonders. On the inaugural day, trace the rugged coastline of the island's southern reaches, beginning at the hauntingly beautiful Vaihu, where ancient moai statues stand sentinel against the backdrop of the azure Pacific. Journey onward to Akahanga, an archaeological treasure trove where toppled moai lay in solemn repose, whispering tales of centuries past. As the expedition unfolds, find yourself amidst the surreal landscape of Rano Raraku, a volcanic quarry where colossal statues were hewn from the earth, giving birth to the enigmatic moai sculptures that dot the island. The grandeur of Tongariki awaits, a colossal platform crowned by 15 towering moai, their stoic gazes casting an awe-inspiring aura over the landscape. Continue to Te Pito Kura, a sacred site steeped in legends, and bask in the sun-kissed serenity of Anakena, a pristine beach framed by swaying palm trees and ancient moai. The second day invites you to explore the island's eastern wonders, commencing with Orongo, a historic village perched atop the breathtaking cliffs of Rano Kau. Marvel at the volcanic crater's expansive views before venturing to Vinapu, where the precision of ancient stone masonry manifests in the intricate walls reminiscent of South American civilizations. Traverse to Puna Pau, a red scoria quarry that provided the topknots for some moai, adding a unique dimension to the island's sculptural legacy. Journey further into the mystique with a visit to Ana Te Pahu, a network of caves that unveil hidden chambers and ancient petroglyphs, offering a glimpse into the island's spiritual essence. Conclude the exploration at Ahu Akivi, a sacred site where seven moai stand gazing towards the ocean, defying the conventional placement of these colossal statues. This immersive 2-day excursion promises not only a visual feast of ancient wonders but also a profound connection to the island's storied past. Discover the secrets that lie beneath the surface, and let the echoes of Rapa Nui's history resonate through each extraordinary site.

Ahu Vinapu, Rano Kao and Orongo City Half-Day Tour

5. Ahu Vinapu, Rano Kao and Orongo City Half-Day Tour

Explore the breathtaking landscapes of Easter Island on a half-day tour to Ahu Vinapu, Rano Kao and Orongo City. Following the transfer from your hotel in Hanga Roa, you'll be driven to the Ahu Vinapu ceremonial complex. The ceremonial center of Vinapú includes one of the largest ahu in Rapa Nui. This ceremonial center has an extraordinary platform, which stands out for having an architectural structure composed of large slabs carefully wedged, similar to the Inca constructions of Cusco. Then head to the Rano Kau volcano, where the slopes offer an impressive view of the islets of Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao. Rano Kau has a crater lake that is one of the island's 3 natural bodies of fresh water. Continue west to the village of Orongo, where birdmen were worshipped between 1600 and 1866 AD. The village consists of approximately 50 elliptically-shaped, shale-wall homes with a small square entry overlooking the ocean. Arranged into 2 uneven rows, the lower row ends at Mata Ngarahu, the sacred precinct where the birdman used to be worshiped. This is also the location of one of the most profusely-decorated petroglyphs on the island. As you explore, listen to some incredible legends about Easter Island from your guide.

Easter Island: Private North & West Highlights Tour

6. Easter Island: Private North & West Highlights Tour

Immerse yourself in Easter Island's culture, history, and folklore during this private tour. Follow your guide to the island's most important landmarks. This tour included pickup and drop-off at all island hotels. First visit Anakena Beach, the most beautiful beach of the island where the capital of the ancient society was located. In the sand stands a monument with the best preserved restored Moais of the entire island. The visit will focus on the archaeological and historical aspect of this area. Then, head to Te Pito Kura with the largest statue that ever reached an ahu platform, reaching almost 10 m tall. See the small volcano at Puna Pau where the red scoria stone was quarried for the moai statue topknots and Ahu Akivi, the only monument with Moais that are looking out towards the sea. Stop for lunch and enjoy a free snack or feel free to go to any restaurant of your choice during the break. After lunch, continue the tour to Tahai, a village known for its remarkably ambitious and hard-working tribesmen. Continue on to the Rano Kau crater which boasts one of the most stunning views of the whole island. Its crater lake was one of the most important sources of drinking water in ancient times. Finally, make a stop at Orongo, a ceremonial stone village dedicated to the Birdman competition, located at the ridge of the volcano Rano Kau. From within Orongo, take in the fantastic views of the crater of this volcano.

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.

Birdman Cult and Caves

8. Birdman Cult and Caves

Embark on a captivating journey through Easter Island's cultural and natural wonders with our comprehensive tour. Starting at Ahu Akivi, the captivating platform with seven moais, you'll delve into the island's mysterious moai culture and learn about their celestial orientation. Next, Ana Te Pahu awaits, a ceremonial cave on the slopes of Rano Kau, adorned with petroglyphs and paintings depicting the island's rich history and traditions. Immerse yourself in the enigmatic allure of this sacred site. Moving on to Puna Pau, witness the quarry that supplied the distinctive red scoria topknots for many moais. Marvel at the craftsmanship and significance of these topknots, gaining insights into the island's skilled artisans and their symbolic expressions. Explore the Vinapu sector, where precision and artistry converge in the megalithic architecture reminiscent of South American cultures. The intriguing similarities to structures like those in Cuzco will leave you pondering the island's connections and influences. Rano Kau, a majestic volcanic crater, beckons with its panoramic views and unique ecosystems. Delve into the geological history of Easter Island, surrounded by the tranquility of this natural marvel. Finally, the tour culminates at Orongo, perched on the rim of Rano Kau. Immerse yourself in the mystique of the birdman cult, with its ceremonial village and petroglyphs, as you absorb breathtaking vistas of the Pacific. The intricate connection between culture and landscape unfolds before you, offering a profound understanding of Easter Island's past. This comprehensive expedition is not just a tour; it's an odyssey through time, unraveling the mysteries of the moai, the island's ancient rituals, and the geological wonders that shape its identity. Join us for an unforgettable exploration of Easter Island's treasures, where history and nature converge in a mesmerizing tapestry of discovery

Orongo: The mythical city of kings

9. Orongo: The mythical city of kings

Get ready for a magical experience with Hare Nua Tours & Experience! Our 3 to 4 hour tour will take you to discover the mysteries of the Rano Kau volcano and the ceremonial village of Orongo. We will begin our adventure at the Rano Kau volcano, a sacred place for the ancient inhabitants of Rapa Nui. Here you will be able to admire its majestic beauty and learn about its importance in the culture and religion of the island. Then, we will head to the ceremonial village of Orongo, where you can immerse yourself in the history and mythology of Rapa Nui. You will be able to see the famous petroglyphs and have a breathtaking view of the ocean and neighboring islands.

Private Tour: Birdman cult and Caves

10. Private Tour: Birdman cult and Caves

Embark on an exclusive and unhurried private tour, carefully crafted for flexibility, exploring the captivating wonders of Ahu Akivi, Ana Te Pahu, Puna Pau, Vinapu, Rano Kau, and Orongo. This personalized journey promises an intimate encounter with the rich history and breathtaking landscapes of Easter Island. Our adventure begins at Ahu Akivi, a unique archaeological site featuring seven restored moai statues. Nestled in the heart of the island, these figures are strategically aligned with the equinox, showcasing the ancient Rapa Nui people's astronomical knowledge. Delve into the mysteries of the birdman cult as you explore the captivating petroglyphs and learn about the cultural significance of Ahu Akivi. Next, we venture to Ana Te Pahu, a mesmerizing cave system that served as shelter for the island's early inhabitants. With its intricate network of tunnels and chambers, this natural marvel offers a glimpse into the resourceful ways the Rapa Nui people adapted to their environment. Marvel at the ancient graffiti adorning the walls, providing insights into the daily lives of those who sought refuge within. Our journey continues to Puna Pau, the quarry where the distinctive red scoria stone was extracted to craft the topknots (pukao) adorning the moai statues. Gain a deeper understanding of the craftsmanship involved in creating these iconic headpieces and appreciate the cultural significance attached to the use of different materials in the construction of these colossal statues. As we explore Vinapu, prepare to be captivated by the intricate stonework reminiscent of the Inca civilization. Witness the precision of the megalithic structures, including a fascinating wall believed to have architectural similarities to those found in South America. Uncover the theories surrounding the connection between the Rapa Nui people and ancient Andean cultures. Rano Kau, a majestic volcanic crater, beckons us next. Absorb the panoramic views from the rim, taking in the lush vegetation surrounding the crater lake. Delight in the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in this unique ecosystem, and learn about the geological forces that shaped Easter Island. Our final destination is Orongo, a ceremonial village perched on the edge of Rano Kau. Immerse yourself in the history of the birdman cult, symbolized by the intricate petroglyphs and the ceremonial village structures. Gain insights into the fascinating competitions that once took place here and their role in the island's social and religious fabric. Throughout this private tour, savor the freedom to explore each site at your own pace, guided by an expert who shares in-depth knowledge and stories. Embrace the flexibility to linger at points of personal interest, ensuring an enriching and unforgettable exploration of Easter Island's cultural and natural wonders

13 activities found
Sort by:

Other Sightseeing Options in Rano Kau

Want to discover all there is to do in Rano Kau? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rano Kau

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 16 reviews

An excellent tour that covers all the main highlights of the island. My guide was very knowledgeable and gave a personal account of the facts and stories associated with the sites. The timing was excellent and there was plenty of time to see everything.

Tomy is hands down the best guide on Rapa Nui! His knowledge is second to none, and he's just a fun and easy-to-talk-to person. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have been paired with him.

We had two wonderful days. First day with a small group of 5 people and second day with a private guide. Unfortunately I don’t remember the guides name. But she made our day and was so kind!

Very good, very nice and cool guide (thanks, Enzo), was able to explain well and was very flexible between driving and telling stories in Spanish and English! Always my pleasure!

Very good, good information, right amount of time, good guide