Discover archaeological wonders on the southwestern coast of Easter Island on this half-day tour, including 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. The cave paintings of Ana Kai Tangata and the stone masonry homes of Orongo village. Watch the waves crashing against cliffs while you imagine the history of the place, and admire the crater lake near the inactive Rano Kau volcano. As you explore, learn about Rapa Nui culture and the legends surrounding the mysterious birdmen. Pickup and drop-off from Hanga Roa hotels are included.
After hotel pickup in Hanga Roa, you're 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 re-board the minivan and travel south to Ana Kai Tangata, a cave along the coast.The only cave on the island to contain ancient pictures, many believe this location served as the starting point of the annual Tangata Manu ritual practiced until around 1800. As you listen to the rhythmic crashing of the surf against the cliffs and hear ancient legends, imagine the men selected from each tribe leaping from the cave and swimming toward the islet of Motu Nui to collect the first egg laid by a sooty tern. Many drowned or were killed by sharks. The first man to return with the egg was rewarded with riches for his tribe for the rest of the year.
Leave the cave and set sights on the Rano Kau volcano and its crater lake. Capture this dramatic landscape from three different vantage points before your guide takes you to the village of Orongo at the southern tip of the island.
Orongo contains 54 restored oval-shaped houses constructed out of slabs of shale, each with a small square entryway overlooking the ocean. Note the abundance of birdmen petroglyphs here, and learn about the site's use as a ceremonial center for birdmen rites between 1600 and 1866. After your guide's introduction to village lore and legend, spend a little over an hour exploring the site on your own before transport back to your hotel.