Know Before You Go
Leaving the main town, Hanga Roa, to the south, you will pass several restored moai before coming to the Ana Kai Tangata cave. Then begins the gradual climb to Rano Kau crater and on to Orongo on top of 1000-foot cliffs. It can take a bit of leg and lung power, but is well worth the opportunity to take in the magnificent viewpoints.
From Rano Kau, it’s a 15-minute walk to Orongo, where historic stone dwellings cling to the side of the cliff overlooking the ocean and the site of the Birdman Competition. The era of the Birdman Competition on Easter Island occurred post-Moai. For one and a half centuries, tribes participated in the games, with the last race taking place in 1866.