Bucket List: Face to Face With Easter Island's Moai

Bucket List: Face to Face With Easter Island's Moai

Seeing these stone giants up close leads to an appreciation of Easter Island’s majestic beauty By: Eric Hiss
Easter Island’s moai were carved between 1400 and 1650 A.D. // © 2015 iStock
Easter Island’s moai were carved between 1400 and 1650 A.D. // © 2015 iStock

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Standing as tall as three stories, the massive volcanic stone statues of Chile’s Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, are striking enough to bring even the most jaded traveler to stunned silence. That was certainly my experience during a late-afternoon hike up to an ancient quarry site located at the base of an extinct volcano. It was here at Rano Raraku that my expert guide from Explora lodge, Roberto, explained that Polynesian artisans carved these epic moai monuments honoring clan chieftains.

In the fading light, between explanations of how the moai were created, Roberto let moments of windswept silence do the talking. It was a powerful way of allowing the mystic presence of these stoic carvings to speak. And they rewarded us by sharing volumes about the raw beauty and essence of this place.

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