Easter Island is one of the most isolated islands on earth that lies far off in the Pacific Ocean in the territory of Chile. It is roughly halfway to Tahiti. Easter Island is most famous for its mysterious giant stone statues or Moai. Their oversized heads reveal the history of the most isolated Polynesian culture. National Park Rapa Nui has been included in UNESCO's world heritage list. Its population is heavily dependent on tourism and economic links with Chile, and flights to Santiago. The Rapa Nui shares many similarities with other native peoples - they yearn for a connection to their past and a way to integrate their culture with modern political, economic, and social realities.
Easter Island should be prioritized over other Chilean attractions if the moai and unique history of the island interest you. A trip to Easter Island provides opportunities to experience the Polynesian culture, natural beauty, and stunning Moai. Travelers can experience the majesty of volcanic terrain on Easter Island and important archaeological sites. Check out these things to do to make the most of this fascinating destination.
Moai Statues are the most famous thing to see and visit on Easter Island. It is the ancient volcanic rock carvings of faces and people. The statues were carved over 1200 years ago by the seafarers who landed on Easter Island. The mystery of creating such statues is still unknown. Still, they remain today one of the most incredible and widely-recognized art across the world. When trees and other resources were scarce on the island during the tribal wars, many of the Moai were destroyed and damaged. Some Moai still stand while others lie on the ground.
Rapa Nui’s Catholic Church is a true example of what can happen when old tribal traditions and mythology are mixed with modern religion. This church was the only church on Easter Island. This church incorporates traditional Catholic iconography and devotional art from the Rapa Nui people. The priest wears even traditional Rapa Nui headdresses. The mix of native tribes and Catholicism may not be to everyone's taste. Still, if all native beliefs had been banned, Christianity couldn't have spread across the region.
White coral sands and turquoise waters are the highlights of Anakena Beach. Coconut palms found along the beach were brought here from Tahiti about a decade ago. As well as the beach, the site has archaeological sites and platforms where Moai can be seen. The beach is small, but you can relax and swim in its crystalline waters. Anakena offers outstanding views of Easter Island's dramatic scenery as another highlight of a full-day tour.
You can’t leave the island without coming across another fascinating piece of history and visiting the Stone Village of Orongo. It is a ceremonial village from the birdman era. To determine the next elder of the birdman cult, the people created a direct competition - the elder must dive off the cliffs at Orongo and swim to an inlet to retrieve the season's first egg from the sooty tern. The person who brings the egg back successfully was awarded as the leader for the following year. This village has only stone-built houses built to withstand the strong winds and gales that can blow from this exposed location. In the 1970s, several places were restored after deteriorating for many years.
The ancient Rapa Nui Civilization on Easter Island has left a legacy of writing history in the form of pictorial petroglyphs along with creating the impressive Moai statues. Some of the most significant Rapa Nui petroglyphs are in Papa Vaka, Ana Kai Tangata, and Orongo. Several marine scenes are shown in these petroglyphs, including fishing, canoe use, and various animals. These paintings represent a significant aspect of Rapa Nui's life.
The combination of the warm climate of the Southern Hemisphere with light crowds makes April to June and October to December a perfect time to visit the island. These months give you a chance to discover the island's many highlights. Whereas between January and March is the summer season when visitors flock to the island to attain some of the famous cultural festivals of Easter Island, such as The Tapati Rapa Nui Festival in February. Moreover, this festival also brings more activities such as horseback races, dancing, swimming, a triathlon, and canoeing.