Rapa Nui National Park

Rano Raraku area in Rapa Nui, Easter Island.

Rano Raraku area in Rapa Nui, Easter Island.

Within the Rapa Nui National Park and there you will find the most important archeological resources of the island. The Rapanui National park is located in the Easter Island, has a total surface of 7130 hectares. Its exact location is 3700 kms from the coast of Chile Continental and 4200 kms from Tahiti.

Wildlife in Easter island

In regards to is the island’s flora, 3 thousand years ago it was covered by forests and it had more than 14 arboreal species, which are all gone today due to human depredation. Currently it’s covered with pastures and has isolated eucalyptus forests that were introduced during our time. From the 34 native species still remaining -some brought by the first immigrants -, the toromiro tree (Sophora toromiro) suffered serious risks of extinction. It’s a tree with extremely hard wood and very used in the local primitive crafts, that literally made it disappeared from the island. Nevertheless, some seeds were saved, which allowed the farming of new plants in the National Botanic Garden (Jardín Botánico Nacional) and in other places in the world, with the intention of introduce them again into the island. Other species such as seaweed and coral that live under the ocean, have lost the size they used to have when they were used as eyes for the ancient moai statues. Today they are used in crafts.

The fauna of the Easter  island also suffered and ecological breakdown due to the human overpopulation occurred in a previous time. Today some birds make their nests in the island such as the tavake (red tailed tropical bird, Phaeton rubricauda); the kena (Pacific masked booby, Sula dactylatra); some kakapa (petrels) and terns. Sporadically come to visit the makohe (great frigate bird), and also the legendary manutara (sooty tern, Sterna lunata fuscata), which has been seen rarely these last years.

The marine fauna of Easter island is diverse and because of that about one fourth of the more than 160 species of fishes are endemic. Stand out the nanue (girella nebulosa), the po’opo’o (jack mackerel), the toremo (yellowtail), the kahi (tuna) and others of great consumption. There are also fishes of curious forms, such as the titeve (hedgehog fish), the double-ended pipefish, the boxfish and the tipi tipi (butterfly fish) and, among the crustaceans the ura (lobster) of large size. In the rocky places, underneath the ocean, there are many types of pure (cowries), most of them small; the islanders use them to make necklaces.

Facilities

The park has a picnic area in Anakena Sector and in Rano Raraku, tables, BBQ stations and toilets are available.

The Rapa Nui National Park does not have precincts implemented for camping, it’s only allowed at the facilities located in Hanga Roa. The park is close to most of the Easter island hotels which also offers tours in the Rapa Nui national park.

Trekking Paths in Rapa Nui National Park:

In Rano Raraky there are Footpath of 1000 meters long.

In Orongo there are paths with interpretative signs 100 meters longs.

The park is divided in 7 areas:

Raro Kau- Puna Kau- Rano Raraku- Anakena Ovahe- Ahu Akivi- Costa Norte- Hanga Roa.

The admission ticket is US$10, valid for one person only; it can be paid in Orongo or at the CONAF’s office, and it’s good for visiting the entire park.

Remember please:

The objects, stones, obsidians or other similar goods recollection are not allowed. Avoid going up and walking over ceremonial platforms (ahu), statues (moai) or other archeological structures, and step, draw or scribble on the petroglyphs. All of these actions will be considered harmful to the archeological legacy of Rapa Nui, and will constitute a crime punished by law.

All trips accompanied by a guide or a park ranger of CONAF. Do not take risks on cliff areas.The public attention hours of the park rangers, between January and February, is from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 am to 7 pm; from March to December, until 6 pm. The Administration, located at Mataveri Otai with no number, is open all year round, from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 1 pm and 2:30 pm to 6 pm.

** Information related to Hours, Rates and Dates might change without any previous notice **