Parque Nacional Rapa Nui

Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

The vast majority of Rapa Nui falls within the boundaries of this national park. Think of it like an open-air museum with mysterious archaeological sites and scenic hikes through barren volcanic cones. Spending the extra cash on a guided tour, or on an islander who can explain what you are seeing, is a very worthy investment.

Respecting these sites is essential – avoid walking on the ahu (revered by locals as burial sites) or removing/relocating rocks from archaeological structures. There are ranger information stations at Orongo, Anakena and Rano Raraku.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rapa Nui (Easter Island) attractions

1. Ana Kai Tangata

0.22 MILES

This vast cave carved into black cliffs sports beautiful rock paintings with birdman motifs. However, when we passed through it was closed due to falling…

2. Caleta Hanga Piko

0.75 MILES

Easily overlooked by visitors, the little Caleta Hanga Piko is used by local fishers. Facing away from the caleta, the restored Ahu Riata supports a…

3. Playa Pea

1.28 MILES

For a little dip, the tiny beach at Playa Pea, on the south side of Caleta Hanga Roa, fits the bill (though it's more of a rocky cove than a sandy oasis).

4. Ahu Tautira

1.34 MILES

If you've just arrived and can't wait for your first encounter with the moai (large anthropomorphic statues), head straight to Ahu Tautira. This site…

5. Caleta Hanga Roa

1.37 MILES

Your first encounter with the moai will probably take place at Ahu Tautira, which overlooks Caleta Hanga Roa, the fishing port in Hanga Roa at the foot of…

6. Iglesia Hanga Roa

1.49 MILES

The unmissable Iglesia Hanga Roa, the island's Catholic church, is well worth a visit for its spectacular carvings, which integrate Christian doctrine…

7. Orongo Ceremonial Village


Nearly covered in a bog of floating totora reeds, the crater lake of Rano Kau resembles a giant witch's cauldron and is a wild greenhouse of endemic…

8. Ahu Tahai

1.92 MILES

Ahu Tahai is a highly photogenic site that contains three restored ahu (ceremonial platform). Ahu Tahai proper is the ahu in the middle, supporting a…