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Easter Island

Travel Guide
Ahu Tongariki which includes heritage elements and a statue or sculpture

Search for the meaning of ancient stone sculptures on this small island off Chile’s coast. When you’re not exploring history, enjoy splendid beaches.

Easter Island brings to mind history and mystery. See its giant moai, statues of elongated human-like figures carved from volcanic rock. They rest on stone platforms called ahus and some wear stone headdresses. Learn about the ancient people who created these pieces as well as the explorers who pondered over them centuries later.

The island has about 900 moai, many in and around the Rano Raraku Quarry, with lava from the Rano Raraku volcano. They range in size from about 3 feet (1 meter) to 70 feet (21 meters) tall. Ahu Tongariki has one of the most prestigious displays. As you gaze at these amazing statues, marvel at the primitive engineering that transported the heavy carvings more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) across the island. Archaeologists have determined how the islanders used ropes, logs and human energy to complete this work, but don’t know why.

Explore distinct cultural developments over the last 1,200 years. The date is still debated but experts believe the Polynesians arrived in about A.D. 300 and developed moai starting about 700 A.D. but later destroyed many to build larger ones. After resource depletion and a fierce civil war, the local population dramatically declined. Europeans arrived on Easter Sunday 1722, giving the island its current name. Chile annexed the island, also known as Rapa Nui, in 1888 for sheep farming. Today tourism is the key industry.

Besides its historical significance, Easter Island offers very pleasant South Pacific beach vacation conditions. Travel to Anakena Beach on the northern shore to swim in azure waters the color of lapis lazuli gemstones, laze on the soft white sands under the shade of coconut palms or try bodysurfing. Gaze at the Ahu Nau Nau, with moai that are in exceptional condition after they were buried here in the sand for centuries.

Reach Easter Island by flying from Santiago, Chile, to Mataveri International Airport in the main city of Hanga Roa. Rent a four-wheel drive or use taxis to get around. Join a tour for best moai access and information.

Where to stay in Easter Island

Taha Tai Hotel
Taha Tai Hotel
3 out of 5
Apina Nui S/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
The price is £137 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pea Beach and Mercado Artesanal Municipal. Ahu Vai Uri and Ahu Kote Riku are also within 15 ...
4.3/5Excellent! (182 reviews)
"Included breakfast got you day started right for hiking and touring island. Had a nice little pool for cooling down after a long hot day. Room with king bed in bungalow was very comfy. Property was a short easy walk to town area if you didn't have your own car. Nicely landscape property. Shower could ..."

Reviewed on 7 Mar 2020

Taha Tai Hotel
Nayara Hangaroa
Nayara Hangaroa
5 out of 5
Av Pont S/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
The price is £604 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Pea Beach, Ana Kai Tangata and Mercado Artesanal Municipal. Ahu Vai Uri and Ahu Kote ...
4.3/5Excellent! (90 reviews)
"The hotel setting, attention, rooms, sunset, all are fabulous."

Reviewed on 23 Dec 2019

Nayara Hangaroa
explora Rapa Nui
explora Rapa Nui
5 out of 5
Te Miro Oone S/N, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
Situated in the suburbs, this luxury hotel is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Vaihu and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Ahu Akahanga. Terevaka and Puna Pau are also within 6 miles ...
5/5Exceptional! (6 reviews)
"The fact that every detail is taken in consideration and that the staff is super helpful and friendly made this place even more special. The rooms, the view, the common areas are beautiful and the food prepared was delicious. The explorations are well planned and the guides did know their material. ..."

Reviewed on 24 Jan 2020

explora Rapa Nui
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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