you can buy your souvenirs here
a view of the Rano Kau volcano
a tourist gives scale to the moais, remember 60 % is below ground
a lake, reeds, trees and moais in the background
finished moais had to follow this steep and narrow slope on their way out to fame.
The inside of the Rano Raraku crater holds a large freshwater lake with Totora reeds
growing along its borders.
is the same plant that florishes in Lake Titicaca
and some scolars see it as proof of an early link between the Rapanui
and Peruvian cultures.
However recent studies suggest that the reed has been growing on the island for at least 30.000 years,
long before any human settlement of the Americas. This points more to an avian link.
Half buried in the eastern slopes sit
some 70 moais as proof that also the inside part of Rano Ranaku was used as a quarry. Bringing these moais safely out
of the crater must have been quite a feat.
The crater is centerstage of the annual Tapati triatlon
with canoeing, swimming
and running around with heavy banana heads on the shoulders.
Near the crater is the Centro Artesanal Rano Ranaku with local souvenirs.
They also provide drinks and lunch to thirsty and hungry tourists.
a small steep path lead to the inside of the crater
Totora reeds grow at the borders of the crater lake. Its average depth is about 5 meters
looking towards the hills in the center of Rapa Nui
heading for the outdoor lunch