The Traveling Steve's

From the Quarry to the beach: Our Easter Island tour continues . . .

Our Easter Island tour continues with our next stop at the Quarry on Easter Island.  In the last post, we visited Tonjariki, which is the most spectacular and famous of Easter Island’s ruins. I also noted earlier that 70% of Easter Island is a National Park, and when you land at the airport, tourists should by the Island pass, which for non-Chileans is $60, which was good for the four days we were there.  There were only a couple places we had to have the pass stamped, and the next site was one of them.


While we were at the entrance where we got our ticket stamped, our guide pointed  out some interesting information on the site we were about to visit, pointing to posters at the entrance, about sites we would see as we explored the area. IMG_9415 IMG_9417There were also several different types of volcanic rock on display, which was used in the different sculptures.  The dark reddish rock, for example, was used atop the head as an indication of hair. There was also a white-ish rock that was used for the eyes.

IMG_9419  Since this was our only opportunity to legally handle the rocks, our guide encouraged us to get a feel for them, which we did.

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A couple of Steve’s Travel Tips that bear remembering:

The walking can be quite strenuous, especially on this tour as we did a bit of hiking up steep terrain.  Wear appropriate shoes, and don’t strain yourself. Bring water, and sunscreen.

Also, almost every tourist area that had a restroom (and most of the sites are unattended and do not), a charge of 500 Chilean Pesos, or US $1 is charged for the restroom.  Bring change, and hand sanitizer accordingly!

Like the first site we visited, the tourists were scarce at this quarry site, although we did run into a very few.  Of all the sites we visited, this was the most strenuous as far as hiking, and the terrain could be fairly steep, so we took caution on the trails.  We saw many ‘heads’ along the way.

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IMG_9476Our guide showed us a few of the quarry ‘mining’ areas where the stone was taken from.  It’s really hard to believe that these statues were sculpted here high up on the hillside, and somehow transported below INTACT to their final destinations; quite a mystery to this day.

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I asked our guide what type of tools were used, and are they on display somewhere.  Great question she said, and we would later tour the archeological museum where we could find some of the tools and other artifacts.  None of the tools, however where displayed at the quarry or other sites except the museum, which we would later visit on a different tour. (Shown below).


I wish I could remember so many things we were told regarding how the sculptures where mined, constructed, and eventually moved, and even as I tried to take notes on my iPhone, I did want to take everything in as we were viewing it, not to mention staying on the trail and watching out for the inevitable dog or horse ‘poo’!  (Dogs and horses were seen in the wild everywhere, and we made a friend or two along the way!)

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I didn’t take many photos on the trails around the quarry as it was quite steep and could be slippery.  IMG_9469When we came down from the quarry and towards the entrance, we did as our guide suggested, and hike up to the crater.  While a shorter walk, it was much steeper, and we felt a bit winded when we finally got to the top.  It was well worth the effort though, as we were afforded beautiful views of the crater and surrounding terrain.

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After this fun-filled, but rigorous tour, we were taken back to our hotel, the Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa, where we had a leisurely lunch.  After touring this morning, it sure felt good to relax a bit!

We sat outside and enjoyed the view and beautiful day and weather, before feasting on the grilled AHI tuna and chicken caesar salad.  We could order anything on the menu as we had the all-inclusive package, but we had this yesterday and it was so good and fresh we repeated this lunch for today.  We skipped the included beer and wine and even dessert though.

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After our two hour lunch break, we resumed our tour in the afternoon, this time at a more leisurely pace. (We tried not to appear to worn out from the morning hiking!)   This time we went to ‘The’ beach on Easter Island, know as Anakena.


IMG_9617There is really only one beach on the island, although you did see a couple patches of sand here and there.  This afternoon it was quite breezy (the weather changes at moment’s notice), so we had our lightweight jackets on and walked around the beautiful beach area.  Some people were actually swimming or sunbathing, but the low 70s-ish weather seemed a bit to cool for us Florida-birds to do so.


IMG_9594 IMG_9589 DSC06257 IMG_9591At the beach, there is also another Moai platform of sculptures.  Although not quite as grand or as many statues as the ones we saw this morning, these sculptures were just as amazing and mysterious.

DSC06242 We spent the better part of the afternoon wandering the beautiful seaside, and of course Steve (DOS) found a beach-side souvenir shop or two. Or Three.  To his (and Easter Island’s credit) the souvenirs here were genuine and hand-crafted by the islanders, unlike the tacky made-in-China souvenirs you buy most all over the world with the site’s name on it.

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There were also a couple of restaurants and bars by the beach, conveniently sheltered in tent-like structures.

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We also had a stop at Te Pito Kura, yet another magnificent site overlooking the Pacific Ocean.DSC06262DSC06270DSC06269As dinner wasn’t until 7pm, I made the most of our Mangua Suite, and enjoyed a soak in the huge tub before dinner.


We then headed over to the restaurant and enjoyed our evening pre-dinner cocktail at the bar with our new favorite bartender, before having dinner.

IMG_9620 As we slowly enjoyed our dinner, we both reflected on the busy day’s tours, and said how good it was going to feel to sleep tonight!

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 Buenas Noches!









4 thoughts on “From the Quarry to the beach: Our Easter Island tour continues . . .

  1. Robin L.

    Hi Steve,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog … great tips, photos and information.
    It looks to me that you have posted one day of tour so far. Since you were there for 4 nights, and Hotel Hangaroa offers a daily tour with its all-inclusive package, what other tours did you take? Were you given a choice of tours?
    There weren’t many excursions posted on the hotel’s website.

    Thank you & best regards,

    1. Steve Uno Post author

      Hi Robin,
      The complimentary tours from the hotel were setup by the hotel, but each one was different, that is they took you to a different site each time. We were always in small groups, I think the most we had was six people plus the driver and tour guide, but we were there off-season. I don’t think you would do any better with the local (paid) tours in town, which is a short walk from the resort. Our guide told us as it’s a small community all of the guides talk with each other and try to space out their tours so they don’t overlap with other tours, which was why it felt so uncrowded. We really covered a lot of the island in the short time we were there; of course the main archeological sites, but also the beach (with ruins there), the caves, and the Orongo visitor center and park and more. The tours are broken up into half day tours, which makes it comfortable for sightseeing, and you have a nice break back at the hotel for lunch. You will love it! They do not offer tours the day of your departure or arrival, so keep that in mind. We used that time to walk around town.

  2. Robin L.

    Hi Steve,

    Since I’m going in high season (next March), there is no complimentary tour from the hotel. There are Bed & Breakfast package with no tours and All-inclusive package that includes tours.

    The information you provided is very helpful. Thank you very much.

    1. Steve Uno Post author

      You’re welcome Robin; I’m glad the info was helpful. The tours were excellent and left right from the hotel so they were convenient too. I would still take these from the hotel with the all-inclusive package for convenience, having the same guide and group, and no duplication in sights. Please let me know how you liked it! Thanks again! Steve

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