Sunrise at Ahu Tongariki, Easter Island

Updated August 10, 2020.

It’s a very special Faraway Friday. This is my 400th post! I usually do a top 10 list of reasons to visit an amazing place in the world on Fridays, but this one is all about a once in a lifetime kind of experience on the remotest island in the world–Easter Island! If ever you find yourself in this beautiful, peaceful place in the world, I highly recommend scheduling a trip to Ahu Tongariki for sunrise. Here are some things to know and some pictures for you to enjoy!

First Things First

We scheduled our taxi to Ahu Tongariki the night before, but I recommend scheduling yours with a little more notice. If I’d had my wits about me the day before, I would have scheduled earlier! Also, the fare was 40,000 Chilean pesos (CLP), or about $63 USD. We paid our driver when we returned to the hotel around 9:40am. Alternatively, you can rent a car the day before, but remember you’ll be paying for it for two days since you’ll need it so early in the morning.

Pickup: 7:00am

Well, since it was island time, our cab arrived closer to 7:10am. But the sun was not scheduled to officially rise until 8:40, so it was no problem! It was about a 30 minute drive to Ahu Tongariki, the ahu (or platform) with the most Moai on the island–15! It is also situated on a beautiful natural bay with the ocean and cliffs in the background. It’s stunning any time of day. There were already people in the parking lot and lined up at the entrance to the site when we arrived. We started to see pink around 7:40am.

Sunrise is starting!

Park Entrance Opens: 8:00am

We all had to be there early to see the beginning of the sunrise, but the park didn’t actually open until 8:00am. Please remember to bring your park ticket! Good thing the sun comes up late on the island!

It’s starting!
Read more: What to Know Before You Visit Easter Island

Here Comes the Sun!

When you come to Ahu Tongariki for sunrise, don’t worry about staking out a perfect spot. The sun takes quite a long time to come up completely, so you have plenty of time to get a ton of shots! If you’re like me and have no photography training or a professional camera, you might want to play with your camera’s setting and adjustments a few days before your sunrise experience. And remember, you can adjust the lighting and color on your photos after you’ve taken them, then pick the best ones to share! Here are some of my better shots:

Beautiful ruins
Early morning
Sun is coming up
Solo Moai
Ahu Tongariki
Get more of the story: Touring the Moai of Easter Island

Pause to Enjoy the View

My sweet husband and I were blown away by the beauty of the sunrise at this unique location. You want to have great pictures, but you also want to be in the moment. Take a few minutes (you’ll have about 90 minutes or more of sunrise from first light to full sun!) to just enjoy it. But also take a few selfies to remember that you were really there!

Lovers at Sunrise
My Love!
More here: The Secrets to Happy Couple Travels

Something to Remember

Plan to be here at least half an hour after the scheduled sunrise to get the full effect, and don’t forget to look behind you. While the sunrise through the Moai is beautiful, it’s also creating beauty at first light on the mountain at Rano Raraku just behind you!

Rano Raraku

I hope you are inspired not only to visit Easter Island, but to watch the breath-taking sunrise from Ahu Tongariki! You will not be disappointed.

Want more? Check out What to Eat on Easter Island and 10 Reasons to Visit Easter Island! And for all things Easter Island and Chile, head over to my Chile Page!

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One response to “Sunrise at Ahu Tongariki, Easter Island”

  1. […] favorite trips! The most memorable spots for me are the quarry, the Anthropological Museum, sunrise at Ahu Tongariki, and Anakena […]

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