Puna Pau

Located 7 kilometers northeast of Hanga Roa town. In the interior of the crater of Puna Pau there is a red scoria quarry which once was considered a very important source of stone for the rapanui people. The red scoria or Hani Hani is a type of volcanic ash with a great porosity and soft characteristics with a red color results of the presence of iron oxide in its composition

Because of its characteristics, soft and easy to carve, this material was used to fabric different types of objects, some very special; around twenty small Moai statues, recipients for water called Taheta, ornamental blocks called Paenga and the pupil of the eyes of the Moai.  

The actual shape of this small crater is the result of a human intervention throughout history. According to the last excavations, during the XIV and XVII centuries huge extractions occurred in the quarry of Puna Pau, which main goal was to build the Pukao, which are the cylindric shaped ornaments that the Moai had on top of their heads.

Just like the south face of the Rano Raraku volcano was used to carve the Moai in the island, it is believed that a third part of the stone extracted from Puna Pau was used to make all of the Pukao in the island.


Discover Rapa Nui

Rapa Nui emerged between 3.000.000 and 200.000 years ago from the bottom of the ocean when submarine volcanic cones, product of the movement of the tectonic plates, formed mountains as high as 3.000 meters. Part of these volcanic cones is what we now know as Rapa Nui, with a triangle shape and an area of 166km. From the ancient volcanos of the island, Rano Raraku and Rana Kau are two of the most visited craters. Poike, which is the oldest volcano is located on the East corner while Terevaka, the highest peak with 507 meters over sea level, is located in the middle of the island.