Isla de Pascua, also known as Easter Island or Rapa Nui lies over a big submarine platform merged due to a successive volcanic activity of three submarine volcanoes situated at 2,030 nautical miles from the Chilean coast, about 2,337 miles.
In its topography dominate smooth slopes with hills, inactive volcanoes, and semi-flat prairies in some cases. The coast is rocky with cliffs and unsheltered bays. There are only three small beaches of white coral sand: Anakena, Ovahe and Pea. Near the shore, it stands out the rocky islets. Among them: Motu Marotiri, Motu Iti, Motu Nui and Motu Kao Kao.
The island has a surface of 111.8 square miles in which archaelogical items as the Easter island statues and beautiful volcanic landscapes can be found.
Easter Island or Te Pito o Te Henua (“navel of the world,” according to its antecessors), is geographically the most remote point in the Earth and a real scientific enigma. It remained isolated and solitary for more than one thousand years, with no more human contact that them. The strategic location of Easter Island makes it the main connecting point and gate of entry for the countries of the West Pacific. Its position makes it, at the same time, an important center for climatic, oceanic and aero-spatial research.
The Easter island climate is subtropical maritime. The months with lowest temperatures are July and August with an average of 64° F. February, the hottest month, has an average of 74.6° F. It rains the entire year. The annual average is of 1,138 mm; April is the more rainy month. In spite of its cloudiness, Easter Island is very bright. In between downpour the sky usually opens up and with frequency rainbows can be seen.
Easter island history
Easter Island is important for its archaeological discoveries: it is also the only source that confirms the existence of a writing system in Polynesia. Hidden caves have been found in the course of the excavations, containing the remains of wooden tablets and images. The fine, stylized engravings of the tablets appear to be a pictorial writing system.
Among one of its most important cultural remains are the Moais, these great Easter island statues made with volcanic stone carved on “toba” (volcanic agglomerate) and represent enormous heads with elongated noses and ears. There are approximately 900 moais are left on the island, (stone monuments), carved on the hillocks of a volcano, varying between 9.8 and 39.3 feet high. Many of the Easter island statues wear cylindrical crowns of red toba weighing up to 27 tons.
The main mistery of the Easter island statues mistery is on and how they were taken up to where they are, line up with their back to the ocean. Some calculate that to have achieved this, it was necessary the use of the labor of some 30 men during one year. Later on, some theories talk about that the erosion of the island and the lack of trees is directly connected on the movement of the statues.
The successive wars among tribes, a gradual destruction of the ahu (all the moai in the island were knocked down) and the abandonment of the quarries where the statues were carved. The caves became places for living, shelter and hiding. There was a great scarcity of food, what caused -because of rage or necessity- the anthropophagi between enemies. At the same time, a new religious cult was rising: the veneration to the fertility, represented by the sooty tern egg, the Manutara. This cult to the Bird Man had as a ceremonial center the Orongo village, located on the superior end of the Rano Kau crater. The ceremony consisted of a tournament between the chiefs of different lineages in order to obtain the first manutara egg, a migratory bird that made its nest in the Motu Nui islet, in front of Orongo. The winner was invested with the Bird Man title (Tangata Manu).
Almost all the Rapanui, (pascuenses [people of Easter Island]), live in the town of Hanga Roa. From its current population of 3,791 a bit more than 60% is of Rapanui origin.
Fishing and agriculture have been the traditional sources of sustain and trade among the Rapanui. Since the construction of the international airport of Mataveri and the inauguration of the regular air traffic, a new activity rose, tourism, stimulating the commerce of crafts and the opening of lodging.
Since the economy of Rapa Nui is based on tourism, it’s not a very cheap place to visit. Lodging goes from $60 to $800 dollars.
Easter island Hotels
The island has a 600 rooms capacity, most of the Isla de Pascua hotels are located in theHanga Roa Area, the most common feature is the sea ocean view, although there are some Easter island hotels that look into the center of the island instead.
Is better to reserve your accommodation in advance due to the limited amount of rooms, we offer reservation services for several Easter island hotels as the Otai Hotel, Taha tai Hotel, Hanga Roa Hotel, Iorana Hotel, Manutara Hotel.
Each hotel has its own charm: the Otai hotel is placed near the center of Hanga Roa near all services and very close to the beach, special for those who want everything on walking distance, Taha Tai Hotel has an incredible ocean view and a pool for those reluctant to beach swimming.
What to do and see in Easter island?
Ahu Tongariki: an enormous platform from where 15 statues stands facing the island.
Tahai Complex: a full restored archaelogical site where you can see stone houses, ceremonial sites and a dock built only of stones.
Ahu Akivi: 7 moais looking to the ocean (by the way there are the only one looking to the sea in the whole island).
Volcano Rano Raraku
Anakena beach: lovely white sands, moais and palm trees.
Orongo Village: Place where the Bird Man ritual is celebrated.
Rapa nui National Park: for trekking, hiking and natural sightings.
Most of these sites are in the Easter island tours programs.
Easter Island access:
There are flights once a week with LAN airlines, which lands in the Easter island airport: the Mataveri Airport, located close to Hanga Roa.