Easter Island is a small Polynesian island that is a special territory of Chile, annexed in 1888. This island is inundated with archaeological sites including the famous 800-odd stone statues called ‘moai’, scattered on spooky land. These perplexing ‘moai’ creations offer great value to historians and nature lovers that can glimpse land, uninhabited by mankind. It is believed that these ‘moai’ were the creations of the early Rapa Nui. This English name originated from a Dutch exploration recording this on Easter Sunday in 172. In addition to the ‘moai’, Easter Island is a fantastic location offering avenues for water sports, surfing, hiking, horseback riding and the stunning white sandy beaches.
Given that the Easter Island is more or less, a raw patch of land and except for the east coast road and the road to Anakena, other roads are unpaved. Outside Hanga Roa, the roads are dreadful. Many roads to archaeological sites are rough and unpaved, but are accessible nevertheless. Public transportation is unavailable. Tour companies offer the most convenient transportation, which can be offered. Motorcycles and bicycles can be used by tourists. You should carry your own water and food supplies.
Top Sight Seeing Places
The ‘moai’ is the unique and most popular attraction and has been declared a ‘world heritage site’, to enable their safekeeping. Walking on the moai or its platform (Ahu) is restricted. Only a handful of attractions require fees, particularly the parks – Orango and Rano Raraku. Entry tickets are available at many locations, including the airport. It is believed that each clan had its own Ahu and on this day, the remnants and ruins are visible, across the island.
The Rano Raraku and Rano Kau are stunning sites of volcanic craters. Rano Kau is an extinct volcano on the south-western side of the island formed of basaltic lava, 200,000 years ago. The Rano Kau has a crater lake. The crater itself spans about a mile and has its own microclimate. Protected from marsh and wet winds for most part of the year, this island is also home to several vines and figs. Though covered in a swamp of floating reeds, it serves as a fresh water source for the island. Most of the moais are created on the slope of the volcanic crater knolls.
Two beaches in the northern side of the Easter Island offer a breath-taking view. Anakena beach offers a great surfing location, while the Ovahe beach is desolated and surrounded by cliffs. Tourists may need to be aware of the treacherous route and walking is the best option. Ovahe is known to go through a sand-bathing phenomenon when all sand from the island gets washed away and is refilled again.
The widely popular Tapati Rapa Nui festival happens in February each year – celebrating the island’s Polynesian culture features an exuberant celebration featuring cultural events, music, dance and more.
Outside the Island
This island itself is tiny and therefore, a few days should be adequate to visit most of the island’s attractions. Piti Pont and Pantu offer animal rides. Seeing Easter Island while seated on a horse saddle is a typical Rapa Nui experience. More so, this is the natural way to visit the attractions A matrix of trails lead to several rendezvous points accessible via horse ride. These horse rides are accompanied by experienced trainers and tour guides. A handful of established tour operators can cater to your eco-tourism need in Easter Island. Enjoy this pristine spot, which is untouched by mankind and you are sure to fall in love with this picturesque destination.