Three days itinerary
Having more time, the ideal thing would be to start the day in the direction of the Rano Kau volcano on foot. Take the coastal path towards the Ana Kai Tangata (1) parking lot, where you can start your visit touring this cave. Then a couple meters further on, a sign signals the beginning of the dirt path that ascends to the volcano. It’s an easy path to follow that lets you enjoy the beautiful views of Hanga Roa and the coast on your way up.
Rano Kau crater
Once at the Rano Kau (2) viewpoint, take the left path to border the crater and view the cliffs the competitors climbed down in the Birdman Competition. On the way back, the path to the right leads to the entrance to the ceremonial village of Orongo (3).
Go down the same dirt path to the parking lot and head towards Hanga Roa until you reach the cove and Pea beach (4), an ideal place to watch the surfers. There you can spend some time by the cemetery (5) and go to the Museum of Anthropology (6) (keeping the closing time in mind); and then, finish off the day in Tahai (7), where the sunsets are incredible.
Sunset at Tahai
The day starts off with a visit to Ahu Tahira and Ahu Vinapu (8). You can get there by taking the road, passing the landing strip and the fuel tanks, taking the first turn on the left and the second dirt path on the right.
Pukaos at Puna Pau
To continue on the tour, take the same path back to the road and cross the island in the direction of Anakena. Take the detour to the right that heads to Puna Pau (9), the red scoria quarry with which they made the pukaos.
The seven moai at Ahu Akivi
Return the same way to the turnoff and go left this time towards Ahu Akivi (10). After visiting this magnificent archaeological site, leave the car in the parking lot and go back about 50 feet to the path that ascends towards Maunga Terevaka (11). This walk will let you reach the highest point on the island and have an unrivaled 360 ° view.
Lower down the same road to the parking lot and follow the road, still heading to the coast to Ana Te Pahu (12), or “cave of bananas”. Later, you can explore the area of Ahu Te Peu (13) with its numerous archaeological remains.
Sunset view from Ana Kakenga
Take the road that crosses the island and go straight to the beautiful beaches of Anakena (16) and Ovahe (18). The morning is the best time to enjoy these beaches, as almost no one else is there and you’ll have the whole place almost exclusively to yourself. The organized tours take tourists there in the afternoon. The midday sunlight is the best for taking pictures at Ahu Nau Nau (17).
Ahu Nau Nau at Anakena
After a relaxing morning at the beach, go to Ahu Tongariki (23) by taking the road that crosses in front of the Poike volcano (22), stopping first at Te Pito Kura (19), Papa Vaka (20), and Pu O Hiro (21).
The 15 moai of Ahu Tongariki
From there continue another 3 miles to the famous Rano Raraku quarry (24), where the moai were carved and then transferred to the different ahu distributed throughout Easter Island. Be sure to explore the volcano’s crater, which is accessed by the path on the left.
Moai heads in Rano Raraku
On the way back to Hanga Roa, the coastal road will take you by other archaeological remains that are worth getting to know. Among them are Ahu Akahanga (25), with its houseboat remains, and Ahu Hanga Te’e (26).