Compare the vastly different styles of moai statues at two archaeological sites, while taking in Easter Island's hauntingly beautiful landscape along the way.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a short drive through Hanga Roa, the island's sole town. Before long, you'll arrive at Tahai, a ceremonial site with five moais that vary in scale and shape, unlike most of the moais on Easter Island. The two largest figures may represent a mother and father or symbolize different leaders of the indigenous people. Their exact meaning remains a mystery, despite the efforts of American archaeologist William Mulloy, who excavated the site and is now buried nearby.
Next, you'll visit a handicraft market in the area, where you might purchase wooden and shell crafts made by the islanders. The most popular items include miniature moais and reproductions of rongorongos, which are tablets filled with mysterious inscriptions.
Continuing on, you'll explore Ahu Akivi, the site of seven moais that were erected around 1,400 AD and represent the seven ambassadors sent by the legendary King Hotu Matua to Easter Island. The statues are the only ones on the island facing the ocean and overlook a village that's now in ruins. Over time, the moais also fell into a state of disrepair, and it wasn't until 1960 that Mulloy and his archaeological team restored them to their original places using a stone ramp and wooden levers.
Afterwards, you'll enjoy a scenic drive back to the pier, stopping for photos at Ahu Poukura, a moai site that has yet to be restored.
Please note: This tour includes just over 1-hour of easy to moderate walking/standing. At Tahai, there will be uneven ground and dirt paths to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing with long sleeves; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should bring plenty of water from the ship as none is available during the excursion. The only restroom facilities are at the handicraft market. Several vehicles of differing sizes are used as transportation on this tour and only one guide goes with the group so there is no commentary on board the vehicles. However, at each stop, the guide will provide commentary for the entire group. Littering or touching the statues is strictly prohibited on Easter Island. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.