Did You Know?
The Easter Island was named so because its discoverer, Jacob Roggeveen, arrived there on Easter Sunday 1722.
Easter Island is one of the most isolated, yet one of the most popular tourists destinations in the world. It is a Chilean territory, but lies more than 2,000 miles away from the nearest continental landmass.
Even the nearest inhabited island is more than 1,000 miles away! It's a lasting ode to the unbelievable navigational skills of ancient Polynesians, who sailed there from distant islands.
Easter Island is called 'Rapa Nui' in the local language, and this is also the name of the national park that is contained within the island; virtually the entire island is a national park.
This remote dot on the South Pacific is a tourists' favorite mainly due to the moai, the famous stone statues constructed by the Rapa Nui people. These mysterious statues have attracted tourists and controversy theories in equal numbers, and stand guard over this pristine landscape. But though they dominate the island's travel scene, it has so much to offer.
Getting There and Around
The capital of Easter Island, Hanga Roa, has an international airport, the Mataveri International Airport, that is connected to the Chilean mainland by regular flights.
The island is very small, and staying in Hanga Roa to explore the various sights is the best option. Accommodation on Easter Island is quite pricey. Even budget guesthouses and hostels that go below USD 30 are rare. But one thing that's not lacking is variety―it even has some campsites for the adventurer.
To get to the various tourist spots, taxis can be hired on an hourly basis, with some fluctuation depending on the duration and distance of the journey.
Otherwise, cars, bikes, and mountain bicycles are all readily available on rent. One tip to remember is that getting the vehicle on the basis of an 8-hour day is always less expensive than getting it on a 24-hour basis. Cars, motorcycles, and bikes can be rented.
Unmissable Places on Easter Island
The material was just right for the contemporaneous technology, since it lent itself to molding and shaping, but didn't shatter upon hammering.
Over time, this mountain has suffered serious erosion, which, fortunately, has largely left alone the numerous moai artifacts near the mountain. These unfinished artifacts are a great sight, and seeing the place where the world-famous monuments were made is an enticing lure.
The mountain itself has been eroded, and now forms sea cliffs. The mountain also houses the archeological site of Orongo, which was an important city for the Polynesians.
Due to the small-scale isolation from the arid surface of the island, the crater lake has a distinct micro-environment. Trees that can't grow on the main island, such as figs, are found in the crater. This lake is one of only three freshwater sources found on Easter Island.
Anakena is an excellent beach, with untainted white sands, and beautiful blue waters. The moai complex of Ahu Nau Nau is also very close to the beach, so if the whole beaches-sea-relaxing-calm thing doesn't get you, you can delve into the archeology.
This complex is one of the iconic images of Easter Island, due to its picturesque alignment. It contains 15 moai, including the heaviest statue of them all, which weighs 86 tons! It was damaged by civil wars and natural activity, and had to be restored in a five-year project in the 1990s.
Glimpses into a key part of human history, great hiking trails, and fascinating beaches! All in all, this remote, unassuming island is a fascinating destination for archeologists, and the ideal location for their long-suffering families as well!