Many people on Terevaka's summit... with all the horses, it was quite nearly an *actual* zoo. Hard to find solitude from which to contemplate the vast ocean, the views of which were almost dreamlike. Even the walk up through grassland was marred by a Chilean family who decided to range their 4x4 hither and yon.
Rano Kau, however, was surprisingly deserted despite being much easier to access. The colors and verticality of both the crater lake and ocean were surreal... especially the blue-within-blue of the Pacific. Never seen anything else like it to this day.
Be advised that Easter Island is increasingly being sold by LAN as a "beach holiday" destination despite the island's sole accessible beach having no ability to absorb the numbers. Combined with the growing number of overseas tourists and influx of mainland Chileans who view the island as a frontier to be exploited (or a place to hide from authorities/creditors), it adds up to a place that is in danger of losing its most precious qualities.
November 5, 2005
Today, my wife, daughter, son, and I all climbed Rano Kau. Like Rano Raraku, Rano Kau also has ruins, but they are from a different time period. Rano Kau has a very interesting history. The site known as Orongo is on the summit of Rano Kau. Orongo was the main ceremonial site on the island and many petroglyphs of the "birdman" or on the stones surrounding the rim of the volcano. There are ruins of 47 stone dwellings on the summit of Rano Kau. For every September between 1460 AD and 1866 AD (406 years!), there were birdman festivals on the peak. A race was staged where the participants would make the dangerous swim to the off-shore island of Motu Nui to find the first egg of the sooty tern bird. The winning participant would then carry the egg to the top of the peak Rano Kau and would be proclaimed as "birdman". The winner was thought to posses supernatural powers.
We cheated and got a ride part way up the mountain from Hanga Roa, but there was still plenty of hiking to be had that day. Shaylee was carried by her mother, and Kessler walked the entire way. We all enjoyed the nice views when climbing to the summit. There was an interesting forest of eucalyptus and ferns to pass through en-route to the summit. There were lots of lizards that the children like to watch. Once on the crater rime, the views of the crater are spectacular. There was also a great view of the ocean below. We all enjoyed visiting the summit and ruins before heading back down the peak. We ate lunch at a perfect spot in the eucalyptus forest.
On the way back, we visited several big sea caves and the crashing ocean. We visited the inside of the largest sea cave, but neglected to look at the ceiling. After we got back, we learned that many ancient paintings were all over the ceiling of the cave!!
November 6, 2005
Today, I climbed Maunga Terevaka, the highest peak on Easter Island. The trip looked too long for the children, so they went with mommy and hiked along the coast and visited the beach. I took a taxi to Ahu Akiva where there are seven huge moai statues at the trailhead. You can’t miss this trailhead! Unfortunately, I found out that the digital camera I had brought had a dead battery, and I had not brought a spare.
Maunga Terevaka was a nice walk across the grasslands with fine views across the island. It is the longest hike, but actually the most gentle of all summits that were visited on this trip to Polynesia. Other than the statues at the trailhead, I didn’t see any ruins on the peak. After summiting, I visited the interesting forest and crater lake south of the peak, and then I returned to the trailhead. I decide to take a more direct route to Hanga Roa instead of following the roads all the way back. This turned out to be a good move, but I’m still kicking myself for not having a spare battery for the camera. I headed directly west and passed north of Maunga Roiho. There were some old 4wd tracks and horse trails at first, but the route become more rugged closer to the coast and crosses some rough lava fields. Along the way, I found two huge lava tube caves and a large carving of a sword fish(?). No tour groups make it out here, nor are these places ever mentioned in the books, so it was really thrilling to just stumble on them. Finding them unexpectedly was such a neat experience. After reaching the coast, I waked along the 4wd track to the south and reached Hanga Roa, passing many statues near the town along the way. It was a long day, but a great hike.
Tevevaka on Dec 24, 2014 from Ahu Akivi, marked trailhead to the right side of parking area. Rano Kau on Dec 26, 2014 from Ana Kai Tanata. The high point of Rano Kau is on the east side of the crater, not on the Orondo side. Trip reports to follow with more details.
Maunga Terevaka: Feb 18th 2008. We had Terevaka to ourselves - the island's highest point seems much less popular than the other sights on the island. We hired a scooter and drove to Ahu Akivi, and climbed from there in 1 hour.
Rano Kau: Feb 13th 2008. Excellent half day hike from Hanga Roa, the view from the mirador was stunning.
Easy climb, wonderful view on top. This island is a must-see !
It was a great experience to see this famous site. We had rented horses in Hanga Roa and made it to Rano Kau in a day trip.
Climbed with Dad, Mom, and sister Shaylee.