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The largest spiritual site of its kind on Easter Island, Ahu Tongariki comprises a long platform and 15 carved stone figures, known as moai, of varying shapes and sizes. The indigenous Rapa Nui people used to congregate in this central location, which was the capital of the southeastern part of the island. Spend time learning about the ancient practice of crafting moai and discover what each statue symbolizes.
Like many of the other moai on the island, these statues were toppled by the islanders during civil wars. Later, they were heavily damaged when a tsunami hit in 1960. Visit the site today and find the statues standing once again following a 5-year restoration project undertaken in the 1990s.
Get up-close to the platform to inspect and admire the craftsmanship that went into producing each of these statues. Note the pukao (a type of hat or headgear) on the statue standing second from the right. This is carved from a light red volcanic rock, which contrasts with the darker head and body beneath it.
Walk around the platform and examine the statues’ serious-looking faces. All 15 figures stand side by side and face the sunset during summer solstice.
Take photos of the row of giant heads against the backdrop of the blue sky. Behind them are seemingly endless stretches of green hills and in front is the ocean. One of the best times to come here is at dawn, when the sun casts its glorious light over these magnificent models.
Relax on the lawn in front of the site and contemplate the extraordinary history of the Rapa Nui people. Discuss what you’ve learned about their civil wars and their isolation from other societies with family and friends.
Ahu Tongariki is located in the Hotu-iti district in southeastern Easter Island, just 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) from the volcanoes of Poike and Rano Raraku. There is a fee to enter the Rapa Nui National Park and access the site.
Would you like to make your time spent at Ahu Tongariki even more memorable? Don't miss the chance to try a few of these activities:
Why not think about buying a Rapa Nui Full-Day Tour Anakena? It's one of the most exciting experiences available here.
If you're after even more activities, take a look at our Hanga Roa things to do page.
Situated by the ocean, this aparthotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ahu Akahanga, Puna Pau, and Vaihu. Ovahe Beach and Anakena Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated near the airport, this spa resort is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ahu Akahanga, Puna Pau, and Vaihu. Ovahe Beach and Anakena Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated in Hanga Roa, this hotel is 3 mi (4.8 km) from Terevaka and within 6 mi (10 km) of Anakena Beach and Ovahe Beach. Ahu Nau Nau and Ahu te Pito Kura are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated in a rural location, this vacation home is within 6 mi (10 km) of Vaihu, Ahu Akahanga, and Puna Pau. Mercado Artesanal Municipal and Ahu Hanga Tetenga are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated in Hanga Roa, this luxury property is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Vaihu and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Ahu Akahanga. Puna Pau and Ahu Hanga Tetenga are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated in Hanga Roa, this vacation home is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Vaihu and 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Ahu Akahanga. Ahu Hanga Tetenga and Vinapu are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated near the airport, this cabin is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ahu Akahanga, Puna Pau, and Vaihu. Ahu Nau Nau and Ovahe Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated near the beach, this lodge is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Vaihu and within 3 mi (5 km) of Ahu Akahanga and Vinapu. Puna Pau and Ahu Hanga Tetenga are also within 6 mi (10 km).
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