Easter Island Flag

Easter Island Travel Guide

Ahu Nau Nau
Restored moai with topknots in place
at Ahu Nau Nau above Anakena Bay.

North Coast

The tallest moai ever to stand on Easter Island is at Ahu Te Pito Kura on the north coast by La Pérouse Bay. The toppled 10-meter-long statue nicknamed "Paro" lies facedown beside the ahu, awaiting restoration. An egg-shaped stone next to the ahu is called Te Pito o Te Henua, meaning the Navel of the World. It's alleged that Hotu Matu'a brought the stone with him from Te Hiva, the legendary homeland of the Rapanui. The stone is believed to have magical powers.

The inviting white sands of palm-fringed Anakena Beach are 20 km northeast of Hanga Roa via the paved central highway or 30 km via Rano Raraku. The national park has set up picnic tables, barbecue pits, toilets, and a campground here, and many locals come to swim or fish on Sunday. Anakena is the traditional disembarkation point of Hotu Matu'a.

The one moai on Ahu Ature Huki here was reerected by Thor Heyerdahl in 1956, as is indicated on a bronze plaque—the first statue to be restored on the island. Ahu Nau Nau at Anakena bears seven moai, four with topknots. During the restoration of this ahu in 1978, archaeologist Sergio Rapu discovered the famous white coral eyes of the statues.