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.
Hanga Roa Travel Guide
Standing out on the Southwest side of Easter Island is Hanga Roa Easter, a tiny harbour town and the capital of Easter Island, a Chilean territory. The village of Hanga Roa is surrounded on both sides by extinct volcanoes – Terevaka and Rano Kau. About 4500 people, mostly of Polynesian descent, embrace this village and make this tangle of streets, their adobe. Very few of them live outside the village as most of the Rapa Nui territory is State-owned. For a large part of the 20th century, the island was leased to Williamson-Balfour Company.
The island’s two main roads intersect at Hanga Roa just close to the small plaza located besides the ocean. The main street Avenida Atamu Tekena (also known as Avenida Policarpo Toro) is the epicenter of Hanga Roa town. Many tourist-friendly stores, restaurants, hotels and the sole supermarket on the island and pharmacy are found on the wayside. Avenida Te Pito o Te Henua starts near the fishing pier and goes all the way to the church. Only two commuter roads are paved and the rest are gravel. Public transportation is unavailable. Tour companies offer the most convenient transportation modes available. Bicycles and motorcycles are available for circumventing the island. Food and water must be carried at all times as adequate eateries or convenience stores are not available. Car rentals and Jeeps with manual transmission are available.
Top Sight Seeing Places
The Caleta Hanga Roa is a public facility and has the marine pier where colourful fishing boats crowd the area. The fishermen hauling their prized catches and several boatloads of divers can be seen, making their way to the land. Nearby the pier is Ahu Tautira, which is known as a ceremonial platform, with restored moai.
The world’s only single room museum, Museo Antropologico Sebastian Englert, named after a German priest buried at the church site. He dedicated his life to the betterment of residents of Rapa Nui. In this museum, the rate female moai and a coral eye can be found, which has been reconstructed from an anu at Playa Anakena.
The Iglesia at Hanga Roa is a religious centre, where Christian missionaries arrived to spread the gospel. This church or Iglesia located on a knoll is something which is worthy of a visit. The painting of the Via Crucis depicts a Catholic theme, while the wooden figures depict the Rapa Nui flavour. One of the altars is set up on a huge volcanic stone and the Sunday mass starts with a Rapa Nui hymn.
Majority of the Tapati Rapa Nui festival is held at the ceremonial center in Tahai. This facility was restored by archaeologist William Mulloy. The foundations of the boat-shaped dwellings where social and religious preachers lived are visible, even today. Proximal to the Tahai are also some moais, one of them unique as it has its white eyes restored. Tahai is a great place to witness the fading orange sunset and offers spectacular sceneries around.
Outside the city
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 Hanga Roa while seated on a horse saddle, is a typical Rapa Nui experience. More so, this is the natural way to visit the attraction. A matrix of trails leads 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 archaeological and ecological tour needs. Hanga Roa is a great place to visit.
Osorno Coronavirus Cases Covid-19 Update
Located in the southern part of Chile and about 1000 km from Santiago, Osorno rests at the convergence of Rios Rahue and Damas. The city itself was originally founded in 1553 and refounded in 1796 by Ambrosio O’Higgins and Juan MacKenna O’Reilly. The city with interesting architecture and entertainment became an immigration centre for Germans and its traces can still be seen. It is an important transport hub and caters to the surrounding agricultural belt, but it is more of an access point for commuters between Puerto Montt and Santiago and the Hulliche areas of Osorno coast. Osorno is known as for its cheese and diary production in the region.
Getting around within Osorno is simple, because most tourist places are within walking distances. Taxis (Colectivos) are also available, should you wish to make use of them. Rental cars and jeeps are available to travel around the city. The tourists headed to Argentina could use the main bus terminal located near Angulo. The best time to visit Osorno is summer (December to March) when the parks and beaches are gorgeous and enjoyable.
Top Sight Seeing Places
A modern concrete and glass cathedral stands on the large Plaza de Armas with numerous towering arches. The Osorno Cathedral is a must see. West of the Cathedral, overlooking the river is the Fuerte Maria Luisa, originally built in 1793. Several 19th century wooden mansions built by German immigrants throng the east of the main plaza. A few blocks from the plaza is the neo-colonial building with the History Museum (Museo Histórico Municipal), depicting the Mapuche culture, German colonization and the city’s shaky colonial origin. An interactive science museum (Museo Interactivo de Osorno) entertains the curious minds and is housed in a former train station, south of the plaza.
Termas de Puyehue is famous for its therapeutic powers. It is believed that anyone battling addiction or life challenges can extricate themselves from them, by bathing here. The Termas de Puye is a baronial resort set on 36 sq km area and is about 75 km from Osorno downtown. It boasts grandeur, colossal stone archways, heated lobby, thermal pools, spa and restaurants.
Lago Puyehue, Anticura and the Parque Nacional Puyehue are east wards and alongside the Argentine border that offer some time with nature. Osorno offers numerous recreational outlets, lakes and mountains, all of which located to the east and southeast party of Osorno. Auto Museo Moncopulli is a popular motor museum in Chile and includes a Studebaker collection, dating back to 1852.
When visiting Osorno, it is also worth stopping at the Mirador de Rahue, the Feria Libre de Rahue and the Iglesia Catedral San Mateo Apóstol. Take a walk to Calle Mackenna, to see the 19th century homes, which are considered as National Monuments.
Outside the city
Towards the North and West of Osorno is a village offering stunning sceneries and a place for fishing – Rio Bueno, located 30 km north off Osorno. The Spanish colonial fort from 1777 is situated at considerable height above the rivers. Nearby is also Trumao, a port offering ferry services to explore nature. Beaches at Maicolpue, located 60 km west of Osorno are great places to visit, especially during the summer. Some of the roads in these areas are rugged.
Osorno offers entertainment during winter months as well. Though short winters, Antillanca is the ultimate place for ski-lovers and snowboard enthusiasts who like to enjoy unparalleled snow-capped mountain vistas. To get the best skiing experience, your visit between May and September. The ski centre is located nearly 100 km from Osorno inside the Puyehue National Park on the Casablanca Volcano slopes, besides the Lenga forest.
Calama Coronavirus Cases Covid-19 Update
Located in the northern part of Chile, this city is one of the most arid places in the world. Situated 2250 metres above sea level, this city has been dubbed the ‘bedroom city’ because most people would stop here for a night’s stay enroute San Pedro de Atacama. Calama is an economic hub as it propels though copper cash; therefore, it happens to be the pride of northern Chile. Signature copper is visible at all places, statues, walls etchings, copper-plated spire on the cathedral and more. The city has deep connections to Chuqicamata, as it inherited mining population from the copper mines of Chuquicamata. Calama is situated between the pre-Andean desert and the Pacific Ocean.
Though Calama is situated on the northern banks of Rio Loa, it is by and large accessible for pedestrians. Typically, cabs or taxis and car rentals are the most common forms of transportation. Short cab rides takes tourists to Aeropuerta El Loa and San Pedro de Atacama. Numerous taxi colectivos to Chuquicamata leave from Abaroa near Plaza 23 de Marzo. Those renting cars to visit the geysers at El Tatio might find it hard to travel in car. A truck would be suitable for the rugged roads.
Top Sight Seeing Places
The most important local attraction in Calama is its mining history. The proximally located Chuquicamata, hosts the largest open pit mine in the world. Numerous tours commence near this pit and proceeds to Calama city after an immersion in the mining museum. The museum takes one through the arrival and struggles of the early miners and their numerous sacrifices that have catapulted Chile to international fame.
For those tourists who interested in religious and spiritual living, the Iglesia Cathedral San Juan Bautista located in shady Plaza 23 de Marzo at the end of Calle Ramirez stands the prominent copper- and -pinkish colored Cathedral. Near the southern end of the city center, there are some attractions like the Museo Arqueologico y Etnoloico, which is a small museum displaying the Atacama highland culture, palaeontology and the ecology of this region. Nearby is the Parque el Loa which has a riverside pool and a replica of Chiu Chiu’s church where tourists can unwind and relax away from the confines of a densely-miner town.
As tourists integrate with the miner’s town, one interesting activity is ‘eating with the miners’. The Club Social Empleados has been the dining room of choice for several decades. Here, the miners congregate to consume the unique menu provided daily. Though the dining room does not offer much of variety, it offers a great experience to get to know the miners, firsthand
Outside the city
Located about 100 km from Calama is a hamlet San Pedro de Atacama where the streets are al brown and lush with electric wires arising from tall buildings. Rich with desert around this city, it is the equivalent of an archaeological capital of Chile because like the human population, several of its remains are untouched, and offers great clues to the intellect minds. Needless to say archaeological and anthropological tours have mushroomed in this part of the world. Noteworthy is the Valley of Moon, also known as the sanctuary of nature unique for its morphological aspect of all tourists visiting San Pedro de Atacama. This place attracts huge crowd on full moon nights. The Valley of Death is apparently a sand dune suitable for hiking trips, sandboarding and paragliding.
Chuquicamata is home to the largest copper mine in the world and this mine is an engine to the Chilean economy. A 16 km bidirectional track separates the mine from the Calama city, and this mine supplied over half million tons of copper. On one side is San Pedro de Atacama and another is Calama, as they highlight the existence of different communities which is a tourist ensemble.
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