Fodor's Expert Review Ahu Tongariki
One of the island's most breathtaking sights is Ahu Tongariki, where 15 moai stand side by side on a 200-foot-long ahu, the longest ever built. Tongariki was painstakingly restored after being destroyed for the second time by a massive tidal wave in 1960. These moai, some whitened with a layer of sea salt, have holes in their extended earlobes that might have once been filled with chunks of obsidian. They face an expansive ceremonial area where you can find petroglyphs of turtles and fish, and the entrance is guarded by a single moai, which has traveled to Japan and back for exhibition. The perfect morning sunrise behind the moai at Tongariki lasts only from December 21 to March 21.