Ahu Toƞariki is the name of the largest restored ahu on Rapa Nui, where it is possible to observe the largest Moai on the island. 15 stone giants, an altar 100 meters long and a unique landscape in the world.
Barbara Tepano Gálvez
Among those 15 giants that turn their backs on the sea, we find different shapes and sizes. There are some skinny statues, some very thick, some tall and a couple smaller, there is no complete symmetry.
Along with the great Ahu and the lying moai, we also have the traveling moai, a giant stone that welcomes all visitors. This moai, 4 meters high and weighing 9 tons, is at the entrance to Ahu Toƞariki, but its orientation is to the opposite side, as if it were turning its back on them.
Ahu Toƞariki is the name of the biggest restored Ahu in Rapa Nui, where you can observe the biggest Moai in the island, 15 asymmetrical stone giants and only one of them with a Pukao. A 100 meters altar and an unique landscape in the world.
In the surroundings of this monument, you will be able to see other Moai statues in the floor and very damaged. According to the historians, they belonged to the Ahu Tongariki, which at some point could’ve had more than 30 Moai. If you look at the platform from behind you will see a huge wall, that measures more than 4 meters tall, which holds them and protects them. This wall is typical in all the Ahu in the island, but this one is the biggest and most surprising one.
Along with the big Ahu and the Moai in the floor, we have the traveler Moai, a stone giant who welcomes visitors. This, 4 meters and 9 tons Moai, is in the entrance of the site, but its orientation is not the original. The statue is famous because in 1986, Pavel Pavel, a Czech Engineer, used it to prove different Moai transportation theories.
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.