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Rano Kau

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 Rano Kau Volcano Crater

 

This is the biggest extinct volcanic crater and the most beautiful one on the island. Must be among the top 3 places you visit when on Rapa Nui.

Some signs, guide books mention it as "Rano Kao", others might call it "Rano Kau" or even "Ranoraraka", etc. The second variant is more widely accepted.

The crater is colourful and it a great place to take photographs.

It is one of the 3 natural bodies of inland fresh water in the island.

You can hike, walk up to the crater and look down into it, but don't attempt to climb or try anything "too exciting", it is a dangerous place.

Inside Rano Kau you will see spots of water and vegetation.

The crater is over a kilometer (almost a mile) in diameter and is 324 meters high.

Rano Kau is a source for several minerals, including semi-precious stones like Obsidian.

In 1880, there was an ahu with intact moai located on the crater's cliffs, but were not seen again at an expedition in 1914. The moai were believed to have fallen on the cliffs. Possibly due to natural causes, for example erosion of the soil.

Rano Kau is on UNESCO's World Heritage List and is included in the Rapa Nui National Park.

It's not just the crater that you can admire, but also the Village of Orongo, located close to the crater's inner wall.

You can get to Rano Kau simply by walking on the trail from Hanga Roa past the Mataveri Airport and all the way up. It is not a long way to walk and you don't have to be a good hiker to make it.

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Rano Kau on Easter Island

 

 

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