"Quarrying the moai." Top 5 Page for this destination Easter Island Things to Do Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Easter Island Things to Do: 304 reviews and 693 photos

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by TheWanderingCamel
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Without a doubt, the most extraordinary place on Easter Island is Rano Raraku - the moai quarry. All the great statues were carved here from the rock face of one of the island's three main volcanoes. Here you'll find moai in all stages of completion - with more than 160 still actually attached to the rockface, lying at all sorts of angles to each other.

At first, you barely notice them as your eye is drawn to the statues that are littered all over the slope facing the road, about 50 of them, mostly upright - or nearly so - buried anywhere from mid-torso right up to their necks in the soil, their blank eyes staring seawards - an amazing sight, but there is much more to come.

A path from the carpark leads you up the slope to the bare rockface and, as your eye adjusts to the bumps and curves in the grey volcanic tuff, you realize you are gazing at scores of unfinished statues - a stack of four like drawers in a chest; twins lying side by side up the slope. Others are on their backs - sharp noses pointing directly to the sky, a "keel" of rock along their spine the only thing attaching them to the mountainside. Looking down the slope as you climb you see a broad forehead and nose right at your feet. One monster is over 20 metres high - did they have a plan for moving him?

Nowadays, you can only gaze on the sculptures from the track. What must it have felt like to walk among and around them as visitors could do in earlier times?

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 17, 2007
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