This post continues a series on a 6 day trip to Easter Island in March of 2018. For this series I’ve divided the posts by area of the island and archaeological site rather than chronologically as we visited the top sites more than once. See the Easter Island page for an outline of all the posts in this series and our complete day by day itinerary.
To organize our independent tour of the island we used A Companion Guide to Easter Island which is a great resource for both archaeological information and photography tips including best time of day to visit the sites. We did find that they are tightening restrictions on visiting the sites, e.g., enforced visiting hours and strict limitations on where you are allowed to walk within the sites, making some routes suggested in the guidebook inaccessible.
Center Island Sites
The central highlands of Easter Island offer expansive views out to the sea as well several interesting archeological sites including Ahu Akivi, a stunning sight when the last rays of the sun hit these majestic moai.
The late afternoon light on the green and golden hills was beautiful on the drive up to Ahu Akiva. The dark clouds passing overhead threatened rain creating a dramatic mood.
The restored Ahu Akiva with seven standing moai is best seen late in the day. On this afternoon the passing clouds sometimes left the maoi in shadow but soon the sun would come out again leaving them brilliantly lit against a backdrop of dark stormy clouds.
You can’t get very close to the front of this platform. This is true of all the more intact sites. You can, however, walk all the way around the platform.
We thought that Akivi might be interesting at sunset as it faces west. We arrived close to closing time, 8PM. Luckily, the guard at the gate wasn’t too picky about folks walking around the platform after hours but we did have to leave our car at the gate.
Although the moai glow in the last light the sun soon slips behind the trees so there is no silhouette view of the moai against the setting sun.
Puna Pau Quarry
March 19 – Afternoon Visit
This small crater is the quarry where they carved the red top knots. On the way up the hill to the rim of the crater there are a few impressive top knots scattered about still waiting for their placement on top of the moai abandoned at the quarry.
Although there is not much inside the crater the views from here are worth the short climb.
Ahu Huri A Urenga
March 19 – Afternoon vist
Despite the long name this is a single moai in a field along the road from Hanga Roa town to Anakena beach. He is known for his four hands.
Continuing on to Anakena Beach the road across the center of the island passes through a eucalyptus forest and beautiful open pasture land.