Photos of the Moai – The Heads of Easter Island

Last Updated on September 18, 2019 by Jeremy

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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 (the “heads of Easter Island”) 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.

Ahu Tongariki on Easter Island in HDR Style

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.

Ahu Tongariki on Easter Island in HDR Style

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.

Ahu Nau Nau on Easter Island in HDR Style

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.

Ahu Nau Nau on Easter Island in HDR Style

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 Moai Quarry on Easter Island in HDR Style

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)

Ahu Akivi on Easter Island in HDR Style

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).

Ahu Tahai on Easter Island in HDR Style at Sunset

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!

Ahu Tahai on Easter Island in HDR Style at Sunset

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!

Looking to book a room in Easter Island? Check out these great options!

About Jeremy

Jeremy from Living the Dream

About the Author: Jeremy is a full-time travel writer based in Pittsburgh and primary author of this site. He has been to 70+ countries on five continents and seeks out new food, adventure activities, and off-the-beaten-path experiences wherever he travels.

1 thought on “Photos of the Moai – The Heads of Easter Island”

  1. Your pictures are stunning!!

    Brings back so many great memories! We also got click happy during our short stay on Easter Island and came back with so many incredible photos and stories!


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