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Orongo

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Birthplace of the "Birdman"

Following the crisis of the tribal wars, the Rapa Nui people reorganized their society through the cult of the Birdman. Each family would send the chief of its lineage to compete in the daring quest for the egg of the manutara, a migratory bird that nested on the islets that you can see from the ceremonial village of Orongo. The competitors had to descend the cliff and swim (sometimes among sharks) to the islet of Motu Nui, find the bird's first egg, and bring it back to Orongo intact. Whoever completed the challenge first by presenting the treasure to the king would be dubbed Tangata Manu (Birdman) and win special privileges for his tribe.

The ceremonial village consists of a complex of 53 houses built with flat stones and a series of rocks bearing petroglyphs that symbolize fertility, the birdman and the Make Make, the great divinity in Rapa Nui culture.

The best way to get to Orongo is to go through the crater of the Rano Kau Volcano. The crater is 1.6 kilometers in diameter and 200 meters deep, and the way it overlooks the sea is simply breathtaking. In addition, it is home to a lagoon and a kind of natural greenhouse where mahute, ferns, makoi, nahe nahe and other species grow thanks to its unique microclimate. It's a wonderful place for peaceful contemplation.

 

Featured Destinations

aHanga Roa bAnakena
cRanu Raraku dOrongo

 

Tours you can do

Las Cavernas
Moais

 

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