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"Ahu Vinapu" Top 5 Page for this destination Easter Island Things to Do Tip by pure1942

Easter Island Things to Do: 304 reviews and 693 photos

  Red coloured moai
by pure1942

Ahu Vinapu is one of the island’s most important and unique archaeological sites. Given its importance it is surprising that many visitors do not make it to this site. If not part of an organised tour, people tend to miss Vinapu. Given its isolated position on the south coast, at the far end of Mataveri Airport, people are put off striking out for Vinapu on foot as it does involve a long, rather tedious walk along a dirt road running alongside the airport. With your own transport it is much easier to reach and gives the option of visiting in the evening when the organised groups have finished for the day leaving you to enjoy Vinapu in peace.
There are two important ahu at Viinapu and one in particular has been the source of controversy for years. The mortarless and precise construction of one of the ahu in particular has led many (most notably Jean Hervé Daude and Thor Heyerdahl) to theorise about a connection between the ancient Rapa Nui people and the South American Incas. The masonry work of the ahu bears a striking resemblance to the skilfully cut stone of the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Inca sites in South America. While these theories are hotly disputed by most academics and archaeologists, it is interesting to note the similarities in construction.

Another interesting find at Vinapu is the unique, red coloured moai standing in front of one of the ahu. This highly unusual moai displays features not usually associated with moai including legs and although headless now, would have originally had two heads! Again this bears a startling resemblance to some pre-Inca statues found in the South American Andes feeding certain theorist’s claims of a South American, Rapa Nui link. Originally, a wooden platform would have run between the two heads where bodies of the deceased where placed until decomposed, after which they were then buried.

The other moai at Vinapu have not been re-erected sand lie face where they were overturned before the mid 19th centruy.
If you are a plane spotter, you might want to time your trip to Vinapu to coincide with the arrival of one of the LAN flights as the flight path into Mataveri airport flies just by Ahu Vinapu and gives a great view of the huge planes approaching and landing.

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  • Updated Nov 2, 2011
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