Península Poike

Peninsula in Northeast Circuit

At the eastern end of the island, this high plateau is crowned by the extinct volcano Maunga Pu A Katiki (400m) and bound in by steep cliffs. There are also three small volcanic domes, one of which sports a huge mask carved into the rock that looks like a giant gargoyle. Also worth looking for is a series of small moai that lie facedown, hidden amid the grass, as well as the Grotto of the Virgins (Ana O Keke).

Legend has it that this cave was used to confine virgins so that their skin would remain as pale as possible. It's worth crawling inside if you don't feel dizzy (there's a little path that leads to it, on a ledge, with the unbroken sweep of the Pacific below) to admire a series of petroglyphs.

The best way to soak up the primordial rawness of Península Poike is to take a day hike with a guide because the sights are hard to find.

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