Half day 1: “Birdman Competition”
Pick up time: 9:30 hrs or 02:00 pm (depending on plane arrival)
After all the moai were toppled, the Rapa Nui people began a new political system that will change their lives and make them organize themselves, choosing a new spiritual leader every year. This was the “Birdman Competition”, a unique ritual that took place at Orongo, a ceremonial city with 54 houses that was built especially for this event.
Orongo & Rano Kau Volcano: You will walk along a trail located in between a 300mt cliff and a 1.6 km of diameter caldera observing the construction of slate houses and observe the “motu” or islets to where the Hopu Manu swam to get the first egg of the Manutara. You will also have the chance to see the amazing petroglyphs representing important religious meanings. We will stop at two breathtaking view points also, one overlooking to Hanga Roa city and the island’s three coasts (southeast-north & west) and another one to the awe-inspiring caldera.
Ana Kai Tangata: Many caves on the island had paintings on their walls, and the only accessible one for visitors nowadays is this one. Around 8 painted “Manutara” or sooty terns can be observed on the ceiling of this cave. Watch the amazing lava formations and powerful waves crush against the caves shoreline.
Vinapu: Ahu (platform) in ruins called Ahu Tahira where you can observe toppled moai and a back wall compared to a one in Saqsaywaman – Cuzco, Peru for its amazing rockwork, constructed and polished for a perfect fit. Walk along the second ahu and find yourself with a female moai carved out from red scoria rock.
Half day 2: “Topknots & Giants”
Pick up time: 9:30 hrs or 02:30 pm (depending on plane arrival)
“They are known as hats but we know they represent hair or topknots”
The Rapa Nui also felt the need to adorn the heads of the moai with the famous “pukao”. These massive cylindrical shaped topknots made with red scoria rock, were scattered near many of the ahu or platforms after the tribal wars which were carved out from a quarry known as Puna Pau.
Puna Pau: We will walk around the trail surrounding many of the abandoned “pukao” or topknots were many of them have petroglyphs representing Polynesian canoes. You will learn the possible ways of how the ancient experts would erect these cylinders on top of the moai. You will then reach the highest point of this small cone observing the red rock where they were carved out from and observe the amazing view overlooking the west area of the island.
Ahu Akivi: the only seven moai facing to the ocean which are said to represent the first seven explorers to discover the island. This ahu was William Mulloy’s first restoration in the year 1960 and it is also said to be orientated astronomically.
Tahai: Beautiful ceremonial site with three important Ahu or platforms with the only standing moai with its eyes on (not original eyes but it’s the original material-white coral) We will also see the only restored hare paenga (ancient boat house).