Chile, Rano Kau volcano

Chile, Rano Kau volcano

The Rano Kau volcano volcano is located in the southwestern part of Easter Island. His spectacular eruption about two and a half million years ago led to the birth of the island.

Its crater more than a kilometer in diameter forms a spectacular natural amphitheater about 200 meters deep and contains a large freshwater lake, which was once one of the main sources of fresh water for the residents of Rapa Nui. At the top of the crater there is a broken edge or “bite”, which is called Kari-Kari. The surface of the lake is covered with cattail (a variety of plants that can also be found on the floating islands of Lake Titicaca in Peru). A more or less stable level of the lake, about 10 feet deep, allowed scientists to conduct a sediment analysis to determine the disappearance of the flora, and when the deforestation began on the island of Easter.

The ideal form of Rano Kau protects plants from strong winds in this area and prevents access to grazing animals. Thanks to this, in 1950 the tree toromiro was saved from extinction. In the narrowest part of the western edge of the volcano, the people of the island of Rapa Nui built the ceremonial village of Orongo, where people gathered to perform important rituals.

From the top of the craterRano Kau you can see a fantastic view of the coast. Just to the right of the crater’s top you can see that there are several petroglyphs on the rock.

There are two ways to get to Rano Cau – by car or walk. If by car, the route will start from Hanga-Roa, you will go on the way to the airport, and then turn right. Pass the gas station and just continue your way up to the crater of the Rano Cau volcano.

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Walking along the path you can go from the gardens of Sonaf, past the entrance to the cave of Ana-Kai-Tangata. The whole route is more or less visible and you are unlikely to get lost. The ascent to the top of the crater takes about an hour, and you can see Hanga-Roa and the coast in all its glory. The most convenient time to visit the crater Rano Cau is a little after noon, when the sun is sparkling in the waters of the lagoon.

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