There are so many secrets about Easter Island or Rapa Nui as the native Polynesians would call it, that our human ancestors took to the grave, but on this tiny triangular island, there are mythical monumental statues, volcanic cones, luscious green grassland and pristine beaches to explore.
Internationally, the most recognised feature of the Rapa Nui is the moai: Those giant stone statues that stand in silence but roar with mystery.
Discovered on Easter Sunday in 1722 and thus to this day is still referred to as Easter Island.
Situated 4,000 kilometres off the coast of Chile, this Polynesian Island and UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most remote inhabited places on Earth. This first flight to the island in 1951 from Chile took nearly 20 hours. Today there are daily flights, and you can get there in under 6 hours from Santiago.
Described as “one of the most remarkable cultural phenomena in the world” here are five top reasons why you need to include Easter Island on any travel to South America.
REASON #1: THE MAJESTIC MOAI
The most dramatic and mysterious element of Easter Island is the existence of nearly 900 monolithic stone statues, called Moai. Dotted all over the Island, the huge stone blocks were carved into head and torso figures and placed atop ceremonial stone platforms called ahus to honour the Rapa Nui ancestors. They are an expression of rich and intricate culture developed by the original settlers and their descendant that includes petroglyphs, tattooing and ancient Oceania’s only written language.
The tallest moai erected was almost 10m tall and weighed 82 tonnes. One of the greatest mysteries of all is exactly how these monuments were transported and arranged by a prehistoric tribe. Rapa Nui National Park is the best place to see the imposing carvings.
REASON #2: TAPATI FESTIVAL
The intriguing culture of the Rapa Nui people is celebrated with activities and festivals that highlight ancient arts such as spear throwing, tobogganing, dancing and body painting. Tapati Festival is the island top cultural celebration and takes place during the first two weeks of February each year, in which local teams compete in challenges to test their ability in time-honoured Easter Island skills.
REASON #3: VOLCANOES and the Factory of the Moai
The small hilly triangular shaped island is primarily made up of three extinct volcanoes: Terevaka, Poike and Rano Kau. Discovering the various shapes, craters and lagoons is an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Rano Kau is the largest volcanic crater, over 1km in diameter, and is the most spectacular natural wonder to be seen on the Island. Its deep crater contains a lake and is surrounded by exuberant vegetation.
The Rano Raraku Volcano, known as the “Factory of the Moais” provided the Rapa Nui people with the raw materials needed to construct most the islands iconic stone statues. However, it is not what the ancient inhabitants took out of the quarry that draws tourists today, but what they left behind – almost 400 statues, all in varying stages of completion. A truly remarkable sight to behold!
REASON #4: A BEAUTIFUL BEACH
Anakena, is the main beach of Easter Island and is the idyllic place for rest and leisure. A unique landscape with its fine white coral sand, warm turquoise waters, and palm tree complete with two ahus, and their Moai.
It is believed that Anakena was the first place the first king of the island, the Ariki Hotu Matu’a, landed with his men and established the first populated centre that gave birth to the Rapa Nui Culture.
REASON #5: SPIRITUAL SUNRISE
For the most spectacular and mesmerising sunrise you’ll ever see, ensure to visit Tongariki, one of the most iconic sites on the island.
You’ll experience the true spirit of Rapa Nui ancestors as you observe 15 moai statues aligned side by side on an ahu facing inland, whilst the orange sun rises behind creating a shadowy silhouette out of the statues.
REASON #6: LUXURY ECO LODGE
Explora Rapa Nui is unquestionably the most luxurious place on volcanic Easter Island. The award-winning lodge blends effortlessly into the surrounds of stunning Easter Island, offering beautiful views of the island’s mysteries and extreme isolation, superb food and upscale accommodation.
Celebrating its 10th Anniversary on Easter Island, Explora Rapa Nui is offering travellers a special benefit. Simply book for two people and play only single rate for both. Find out more here
If you’re looking to explore a truly exotic destination rich in spirits and culture, untouched landscapes and iconic legends then a visit to Easter Island is a must. Any journey to the beautiful and mysterious Easter Island and you’ll be forever changed.
Explore our Easter Island tours or speak to one of our destination specialists to design your travels to South America and discover the beauty of Easter Island.
Phone us on 02 43512133 or email email@example.com