Alright, I admit it. I got a little click happy on Easter Island. During our six days exploring this tiny and mysterious island I took a little under 1,400 photos. This may seem excessive to many, and low to others, but having the gorgeous moai statues as the subject of your photography makes it incredibly easy to take as many shots as possible.Armed with a rental car from our friends at Insular Rent a Car, we spent three of our days driving in Easter Island and processing many of the best shots in my favorite style – HDR. The following are some of our favorites from exploring Rapa Nui.
The 15 moai at Tongariki are perhaps the island’s most famous. If you drive up along the coastal road in the early morning light you will be in for a huge surprise as these massive statues, quite literally, appear out of nowhere.
But the grounds at Tongariki contain far more than just these magnificent moai on the ahu. There is also a large fallen moai, several topknots (stones placed on the moai’s ahead like seen above), broken moai heads, and rock carvings from long ago.
Our second favorite spot on the island was Ahu Nau Nau located right on Anakena Beach, Easter Island’s only real beach for swimming. These moai feature four with their top knots on (the most on the island), and several nearby including one that was toppled over and almost entirely covered by the sand.
The moai of Ahu Nau Nau lined up in a row with their top knots on is one of our favorite angles to view these stunning statues.
The quarry of Easter Island contains more moai than anywhere else on the island. This one small hill was believed to be the origin for most of the statues and even features a giant moai that is over 20 meters long that remains unfinished in the rock to this day. It is so large you can see it from the road as you’re driving in if you know what you’re looking for. In fact, it is even in this photo! Do you see it? (Hint: It is kind of small from the angle)
Seven moai from Ahu Akivi facing out to sea, an uncommon design for most moai placements in Easter Island as the statues were typically arranged to face the villages with their backs to the ocean (which was said to be the afterlife).
The moai at Ahu Tahai are not the most famous on the island for their beauty, but they far make up for it with their location. At the edge of Hanga Roa, these moai are at the prime location for sunset. If you are lucky, you will get an incredible show during your stay!
It took us 6 nights, but on our final evening we had one of the most spectacular sunsets of our entire stay. Truly a great way to end our amazing trip to Easter Island.
We’d like to thank our friends at Insular Rent a Car for the discounted car during our stay on Easter Island. If you ever visit Easter Island, we highly recommend adding a rental car on to your stay to get to explore the island. You won’t regret it!
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Looking for a place to stay while on the island? Check out our Easter Island hotels article which features recommendations for all budgets!