Rano Raraku is one of several extinct volcanos on Rapa Nui. Its crater holds one of the  three natural fresh water bodies of the island.
The place is best known as the Moai Quarry. For hundreds of years commercial craftsmen diligently carved huge statues from the soft tuffstone, mostly from the south flank but also from inside the crater.
For some reason demand for and production of the statues abruptly stopped in the 18th century.
The moai's main features were sculpted on the spot after which the statues went on a treasurous route towards their final destination, sometimes 20 km away. How the islanders managed to move these 10 meters tall and 80 tons heavy behemoths is still unknown, but locals insists that they walked.
Tests have shown that these immense moais can simply be moved forward by gently rocking them via ropes attached to the head.
Upon arrival at the ahu,  final features such as the eye sockets were carved, white coral eyes were placed in the sockets and a red headdress called Pukao was put on the head. From now on the moai could radiate his power, called mana.
There are about 400 moais at Rano Ranaku, from almost finished to the early phases of carving.
Some unlucky ones are broken.
At the entrance of the park you can admire and buy locally designed and made products.
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