Ovahe, the intimate pink beach
The wild beauty of Ovahe
In addition to the magnificent Anakena beach, origin of the history and culture of the Rapanui people, the Ovahe beach stands out for its wild beauty.
Ovahe is located just over a mile from Anakena beach in a southeastern direction, but due to the lack of signaling and the poor accessibility, it has retained its almost untouched character.
This small beach, which is rather a cove, is surrounded by cliffs of reddish volcanic origin. Its waters are of turquoise color and its fine sand is of pink color product of the mixture of the red volcanic slag and the eroded white coral.
Ovahe was the place of residence of the ancient natives. You can still see caves on the cliff wall and remains of an ancient ceremonial crematorium. Occasionally, the beach is impacted by large swells that remove large amounts of sand that is slowly recovering naturally. In the year 2012, this phenomenon produced a detachment of stones that left in sight ancient archaeological remains, among which bones were found dated in more than 200 years.
From the environmental point of view, Ovahe is one of the last redoubts of the original coastal flora of Rapa Nui, such as the Boerhavia acutifolia that is only found here. To protect these species from extinction, protection work is being carried out by CONAF, which seeks to restore endemic species and avoid invasive species.
Things to do at Ovahe beach
Due to its hidden location, Ovahe is perfect for sunbathing and enjoying the tranquility and relaxation, especially if you arrive early in the morning when the beach is usually deserted. Lonely travelers or couples choose it for its intimacy and privacy.
Weekends can be somewhat more crowded since Rapanui families often choose Ovahe opposite Anakena to spend the day and escape the tourists.
The water is warm and the transparency is even greater than in Anakena, which makes it a privileged place for fishing, snorkeling and diving.
More information about diving on Easter Island
Corals here are more abundant than elsewhere and you can see a wide variety of multicolored fish and sea turtles.
Precautions and advices
Ovahe tends to have more waves than Anakena and the currents can become dangerous. Officially it is not suitable for bathing. So there is no lifeguard stand, no food and no toilet facilities.
It has to be taken into account that the access is a bit complicated, since the path is almost nonexistent and requires walking on the volcanic rocks. It is advisable to wear sports shoes with a thick sole that allows the grip to the ground.
The rise of sea level at high tide greatly diminishes the practicable beach surface and can make difficult the return by the rocks.
In addition, due to the erosion of the cliff, little detachments of pebbles and rocks can happen, that sometimes give visitors some scare.
Being prudent there is nothing to fear, but these slight inconveniences that are part of the wild nature of Ovahe, make Anakena beach more recommended for people with reduced mobility and families with children as it offers more security and better services.
Two beaches on the same day
Due to the orientation of Ovahe and surrounded by a high volcanic hill, the best time to enjoy the sun and take pictures is in the morning. In the afternoon the beach stays in shade. This can be a problem for some, but it can be a blessing for others, since that circumstance allows refuge from the sun on the hottest days.
At the west end of the beach there is a rocky path that ascends the cliff and allows a different perspective. From here, if you continue along the coast, you can walk to Anakena beach in about 10 or 15 minutes. Another option for those who have rented a vehicle is to travel the short distance that separates one beach from another.
How to get to Ovahe beach
Ovahe is situated at a bit more than 18 km from Hanga Roa. To get here, take the same main road that crosses the island and connects Hanga Roa with Anakena. Approximately one kilometer before reaching the end, take a detour by a dirt road that opens to the right and continue for about 200 meters then turn left.
After about 350 meters you will reach a small esplanade that ends in a stone wall where the path leading to the beach begins.
In order to visit Ovahe it is necessary to rent a car, motorcycle or bicycle, since most agencies that organize the tours and excursions do not include it in its route.
Another possibility is to take a taxi that leaves you in Ovahe and then pick you up at a certain time in Anakena, which we can reach it by walk.