Puna Pau
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  • Ali921
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom1,475 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Source of the "red top hats"
    I'm not going to tell you why you should visit here, you wouldn't have come so far if you were not interested in Moai. You cannot visit without a guide but as often as you like. The quarry for the source of the "top hats". It's a small "crater" quarry on the outskirts of Hanga Roa in the south west of Easter Island. Puna Pau gives its name to one of the seven regions of the Rapa Nui National Park. Not as dramatic as other sites.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 January 2024
  • Ron S
    New York City, New York5,712 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Puna Pau
    Puna Pau is an ancient quarry where the Rapa Nui people mined the red scoria used to make the pukao, those hat-like cylindrical blocks which represented not hats but hair style according to our guide. Except the man-made crater (result of the mining) and a few abandoned blocks of scoria there's not much to see there. The views are good though
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 May 2024
  • midway42
    Georgia3,375 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Top Knots, Inc.
    If Rapa Nui’s mo’ai statues are emblematic of the island, then their top knots (pukao in Rapa Nui) probably fall under the category of “ornamental curiosity.” A later addition to the mo’ai construction process, there are only about 100 of the cylindrical hats found on the island compared to almost 1,000 mo’ai. Carved out of a relatively soft red volcanic rock (scoria), they could weigh up to ten tons and varied from six to ten feet in diameter. I made a brief visit to this quarry that they originated from on my second day of my island tour. The area is fairly small and consists of a walking path from the parking lot up to the apex of a small hill, where you can also see down into the crater where the majority of the carving took place. We spent less than an hour at this compact site. In summary, while the top knots themselves were a bit underwhelming the visit here did give me an insight into the complete construction process of the mo’ai and their evolution from shorter, simple statues to those that continually grew in size and became more ornate. Additionally, the view of Hanga Roa from the top of the small hill was the most impressive of the trip. I still remember watching the cloud formations move over my hotel while my guide described the different theories of the final carving of the knots and the ideas of how they were lifted on the heads of the statue. This is definitely an "upper second-tier sight" if that makes sense and a reasonable follow-up after a visit to Rano Raraku.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 June 2024
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midway42
Georgia3,375 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
If Rapa Nui’s mo’ai statues are emblematic of the island, then their top knots (pukao in Rapa Nui) probably fall under the category of “ornamental curiosity.” A later addition to the mo’ai construction process, there are only about 100 of the cylindrical hats found on the island compared to almost 1,000 mo’ai. Carved out of a relatively soft red volcanic rock (scoria), they could weigh up to ten tons and varied from six to ten feet in diameter. I made a brief visit to this quarry that they originated from on my second day of my island tour. The area is fairly small and consists of a walking path from the parking lot up to the apex of a small hill, where you can also see down into the crater where the majority of the carving took place. We spent less than an hour at this compact site.

In summary, while the top knots themselves were a bit underwhelming the visit here did give me an insight into the complete construction process of the mo’ai and their evolution from shorter, simple statues to those that continually grew in size and became more ornate. Additionally, the view of Hanga Roa from the top of the small hill was the most impressive of the trip. I still remember watching the cloud formations move over my hotel while my guide described the different theories of the final carving of the knots and the ideas of how they were lifted on the heads of the statue. This is definitely an "upper second-tier sight" if that makes sense and a reasonable follow-up after a visit to Rano Raraku.
Written 7 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ron S
New York City, NY5,712 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Puna Pau is an ancient quarry where the Rapa Nui people mined the red scoria used to make the pukao, those hat-like cylindrical blocks which represented not hats but hair style according to our guide. Except the man-made crater (result of the mining) and a few abandoned blocks of scoria there's not much to see there. The views are good though
Written 9 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ali921
Edinburgh, UK1,475 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
I'm not going to tell you why you should visit here, you wouldn't have come so far if you were not interested in Moai. You cannot visit without a guide but as often as you like. The quarry for the source of the "top hats". It's a small "crater" quarry on the outskirts of Hanga Roa in the south west of Easter Island. Puna Pau gives its name to one of the seven regions of the Rapa Nui National Park. Not as dramatic as other sites.
Written 30 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sachin K
New York City, NY6,507 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
This attraction is another part of ancient history of Easter Island. It was probably the fashion in it’s time. Moais became a bit 'old hat', so to bring them up to date, people decided to give them 'topknots'. Puna Pau was a place with various colored volcanic rock and so became the place to quarry them. Deep red was obviously the preferred colour. The quarry is at the top of the mountain and one can climb up to see some spectacular views of the island and it’s coast which overlooks the main town of Hanga Roa. Great spot to visit even for the view of the island. Certainly very highly recommended to any traveler.
Written 22 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

deborahk3
Maidstone, UK1,822 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
Another stop off site on our Island tour. Puna Pau is a small extinct volcano. Inside the crater there is a quarry of red scoria, a highly pitted, dark coloured volcanic rock, that was once an important source of material for the islanders. The rock is an easy to carve material and was used extensively by the islanders. At the time of our visit, the crater is just a small depression covered with vegetation. Only a few of the scoria rocks are visible on the slope. Another site of historical interest and not to be missed.
Written 28 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WImom
Fond du Lac, WI2,275 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
This is one of the 70 secondary volcanic cones found on the island. Its mineral content is much different that other type found on the island. Because of the iron rich deposits which gives the rocks their rich red color; red scoria is another type of basalt but it it more porous and lighter. The Rapa Nui people used this easily carved material to make topknots, among other things. This is the quarry where all the topknots were carved. Only about 100 topknots are in existence today, compared to the 1000 or so moai scattered around the island. The best lighting is in the morning or afternoon. Walk up to the top of the small nearby crater which gives great views over Hanga Roa and the west site of the island as well as the quarry itself.
Written 17 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

P0acher
Marlow255 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
This was part of our guided tour over 3 days. Another interesting area and again steeped in history. difficult to pick out any particular aspect
Written 19 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IslandLubber
Rio Rancho, NM786 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This site was a stop on my full day guided tour. A steep climb is necessary to see where that actual quarry is. Great panoramic view of Hanga Roa and the area, too
Written 27 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katrien S
Ghent, Belgium1,949 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
At some point, adding a red headdress like stone, became fashionable. This is the site of the quarry for this stone. Here the cylinders were cut, and then probably rolled to the final destination and finished there. The red stone is much lighter. One does not really get to see the quarry, or place where they were carved out of the rock, but there are quite a few lying about. Some were much later used as shelter by local inhabitants who carved large holes in them.
Written 24 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

artisianswindow5
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
I would recommend this stop and tour ang day. MY bucket list. Weather greT and the sites amazing. I would do it again in a flash
Written 22 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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