"The stuff of childhood dreams....." Easter Island by mad4travel

Easter Island Travel Guide: 633 reviews and 1,533 photos

Hands up who wants to go to Easter Island?

A lot of people would put their hands up I bet. Like me I'm sure you were fascinated by this place as a child. Who built these strange statues? Why? what happened to the people? How did they disappear?

Some of the questions have been answered but some mysteries still remain and thats what makes it so compelling.

Its also the remotest inhabited island in the world so its a trek to get there but rewarding in the fact that it really does feel like its the remotest inhabited island in the world

In the middle of nowhere

The one sense I did get on Easter Island is its remoteness. Its 5 hours flying time from Santiago Chile and a bit longer if you are coming from Tahiti.

Rapa Nui, as its known in the native tongue is only 16 miles across and has a native population of about 3500, not much more than the village I live in.

You can stand on one of the volcanoes and look around you and all you can see are the towering clouds above the ocean and feel the breeze that has crossed miles of open ocean and revel in the isolation. The natives used to call it the navel of the world and I can see why.

The place is far from crowded, infact there is only 1 settlement , Hanga Roa, but its becoming increasingly visited so all the challenges of managing tourism and sustainability are there. Lets hope they don't mess it up!

What to do when you are there

The main reason people come to Easter Island is to see the statues (Moai) and there are lots of them.

Either rent a car (4 wheeled drive as there are no paved roads outside the main town) or take a tour, or hire a guide. You will get so much more out if it if you hire a guide, they are a fountain of knowledge and well worth the expense!

There are over 800 statues on the island, most in a toppled state after internal conflict. The upright moai have been recently restored. The main areas to visit are:

Ahu Tongariki - The largest number of moai (15)
Rano Raraku- The moai quarry, where moai can still be seen in various stated of excavation
Rano Kau - The largest of the 3 volcanoes on the island with an amazing blue pool
Orongo - ~The ceremonial village of the birdman cult
Anakena- Landing place of the first polynesians and moai on the beach
Ahu Akivi - an inland site where Moai face the ocean (all others face inland)
Hanga Roa- The main settlement on the island and site of the restored moai with eyes at Ahu Ko Te Riku

Check out my tips for more information on each....

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:An enchanting place with loads of mystery
  • Cons:Its a long long way from anywhere
  • In a nutshell:A fascinating place and a lesson for our whole planet
  • Last visit to Easter Island: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (18)

Comments (2)

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2008 at 3:06 PM

    Mel, such an enjoyable read. Soon to be top 5!! Where did you stay on Easter Island?

  • malianrob's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2008 at 9:14 AM

    Great Easter Island page. I cant wait to come here. Not surwe when, but hopefully soon. Maria


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