Orongo - Vocano Rano Kau

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Easter Island, Chile
(32) 210 0580

Orongo - Vocano Rano Kau Easter Island Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
533 reviews
Rano Kau Nov 11, 2016
One of the most amazing natural sights on Rapa Nui is also one of the easiest to reach, as a road winds up from Hanga Roa (you can also hike) to a viewpoint right on the edge of the crater of Rano Kau. Here you look down into the lake within its depths, on which floats a blanket of torturo reeds (the same as those found at Lake Titicaca and used by the Uros people there to construct their floating islands).

The eruption of Rano Kau, about two and a half million years, was one of three that created Rapa Nui (the others being Terevaka, its highest point, and Ranu Raraku, the site of the moai quarry). Its crater is more than a kilometre across and is dramatically located right by the sea near the ceremonial village of Orongo – so close to the sea, in fact, that one side of the crater has been eroded by the waves outside, creating a dip through which the sea waters can be seen. Our guide explained that in time further erosion will lead to the collapse of the crater wall with the result that the fresh waters of the lake will spill into the salty sea. It was down this dip that the competitors in the Birdman egg race ran, to reach the sea and swim across to Motu Nui.

The sheltered inner walls of the crater, where the winds are felt less strongly than anywhere else on the island, have long been used by the Rapanui to grow more tender crops – looking down we could see tomatoes and even grape vines growing here. Scientists have been able to analyse the earlier vegetation on the island by study what grows here as it has been less affected by deforestation – the last native Toromiro tree specimen was rescued from here in 1950 and was used to save the species from extinction. A sign here describes the crater as “the last haven for biodiversity in Rapa Nui”.

Near the viewpoint you can see a large rock with petroglyphs depicting the Birdmen – fenced in for protection but easy to see and photograph. To the left (as you look at the crater) a path leads around the rim and if you have more time than we did you can follow this as far as the dip on the far side, but even a short walk along is worthwhile as it affords views of the crater from different angles
Rano Kau
Rano Kau
Petroglyphs at Rano Kau
Petroglyphs at Rano Kau
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andrejav andrejav
751 reviews
Orongo - Volcano Rano Kau Jan 17, 2012
Rano Kau volcano towers over the city of Hanga Roa and it is very easy to hike. You just need to come to the outskirts of the city, follow the road that goes under the airport and you’ll get to the path that leads to the crater. If you want to cheat, you can just follow the road, or take car uphill, but it is really nice walk that goes through the forest and it is nice to stop and look surrounding area. Path exits on the parking lot where you can come close to the crater and enjoy crater lake and lots of small islands in the water. This crater used to be main source of fresh water and due to its not easily accessible slopes some of the original trees and plants are preserved here. Island was rented to a sheep farming company that had people placed in the concentration camp style area (Hanga Roa) and the sheep actually ate everything they could, hence there was no trees that survive it…

Orongo is a religious center of the late islanders that celebrated bird god. Beautiful carvings still exist on many rocks around the shrines and super cool dwellings are located on both side of the path. That area is national park and you’ll have to pay a fee to get in (or come after hours and roam around as much as you want)
View from the volcano
patches of forestation project
Beautiful carvings
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