Rano Raraku

Top choice archaeological site in Northeast Circuit

Image by Volanthevist Getty Images

Known as 'the nursery,' the volcano of Rano Raraku, about 18km from Hanga Roa, is the quarry for the hard tuff from which the moai were cut. You'll feel as though you're stepping back into early Polynesian times, wandering among dozens of moai in all stages of progress studded on the southern slopes of the volcano. At the top, the 360-degree view is truly awesome. Within the crater are a small, glistening lake and about 20 standing moai.

On the southeastern slope of the mountain, look for the unique, kneeling Moai Tukuturi; it has a full body squatting on its heels, with its forearms and hands resting on its thighs.


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