Geocache of the Week Flashback Edition: Rano Kau – Rapa Nui (GC22ZGB)

EarthCache
GC22ZGB
by Dutzig
Difficulty:
2.5
Terrain:
3.5
Location:
Chile
S 27° 10.797 W 109° 26.200

As we look back on twenty years of geocaching history, we decided to revisit some of our favorite Geocaches of the Week from years past.

This week we’re looking back to March 2013, when we featured Rano Kau – Rapa Nui (GC22ZGB). This EarthCache is located on Rapa Nui, commonly known as Easter Island, one of the most remote inhabited places in the world. Rapa Nui is about 1200 mi (1931 km) from the closest islands and about 2200 mi (3540 km) from South America, the closest continent.

Image by ogobodo

Rapa Nui is perhaps best known for the nearly 900 impressive and imposing moai statues scattered around the island. While their history continues to puzzle historians, we do know the statues are carved from basalt. This igneous rock is proof of the island’s volcanic history.

Image by magayanez

Rano Kau – Rapa Nui will take you to the nearly mile wide (1.6 km) crater lake of the 1063 ft tall (324 m) volcano in Rapa Nui National Park. Rano Kau is one of three now extinct volcanoes that formed the island. The coordinates for this EarthCache lead you to the volcano’s rim where you will have to observe the color of the rocks at your feet. Further observation will lead you to take note of the parasites on the rocks and their forms. You will then lift your gaze to the caldera, one of only three freshwater sources on the island.

Image by Elcaballero

As you stand overlooking the caldera, you first see figs and vines protected from the harsh winds by the caldera’s cliffs in the freshwater lake. Rano Kau’s eruption 180,000 years ago created this beautiful micro-climate and the surrounding geology. For the final requirement to log this cache, estimate the depth of the crater lake teeming with this lush vegetation.

Image by walkie333

Of course, no trip is complete to this breathtaking view without a picture to accompany your log. Although Rapa Nui remains one of the most mysterious places on the planet, geocachers who make their way there leave with new knowledge and an appreciation for the natural forces that created this stunning Polynesian island.

Image by pohty

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Emily Woerly
Emily is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. She's a native Texan raised in the Midwest and enchanted by the Pacific Northwest. You can usually find her lost in a guidebook planning her next adventurous travels.