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The Travel Blog

Easter Island

Easter Island

 

Rapa Nui also known as Isla de Pagua xxxxx also known as Easter Island promotes itself as the most remote, inhabited island on earth with a resident population of about 8,000 people and 1,000 Moak Statues. Getting to Easter Island is not trivial. There are two flights per day, one from Santiago Chile and one from Tahiti. Easter Island is part of Chile’s 16th District which also includes Valparaiso. The island is only 60 square miles with only one village, xxxxx. Tourists arrive on Easter Island on the longest runway in the Southern Hemisphere which was constructed as a contingency runway for the space shuttle. The airport, with only one gate, is conveniently located along the village and main harbor.

 

The biggest draw to Easter Island are the perplexing Moai Statues that ring the island. The large statues, carved from volcanic basalt from a quarry on the island can reach 30 feet tall and weigh 60 tons. There is enough oral history from the Rapa Nui locals to know that there were several tribes or clans on the island 800 years ago and they all erected Moai statues along their respective coast lines to honor their dead. Around 400 years ago, a brutal civil war resulted in different clans warring with each other and tipping each other’s Moai over. The Rapa Nui people also tell the legends of the annual Birdman competition in which a  young man from each clan was selected to annually compete in a race to bring back a Gannett egg from an island about a mile off the coast back to the top of the largest volcano on the island. The winning clan would be elected leader of all the clan for the next year.

 

What the Rapa Nui locals oral history does not address is how the Moai were moved from the quarry to the villages. One theory says that they were rolled; another theory says that they were dragged or sledged; and a third theory says that they were “wobbled”. Regardless of how they were moved, the statues are remarkable feats of art and engineering. Now, the iconic statues are the bulwark of the Easter Island economy which is 100% reliant on tourism with xxxx visitors annually.

 

Staying on Easter Island is relatively straightforward. There are two 5 star resorts, the xxxxx and the Singular, both of which offer outstanding guide services and amenities. There are also numerous other hotels and Airbnb or VRBO homes available to stay.

 

Although the primary Moai sites around the island can been easily seen in a day, a couple of days on the island in addition to the arrival travel day and departure travel day give visitors a chance to settle into the rhythm of the island.

 

Pro-Tips

 

1)            Hire a local guide to explain all of the local legends and geologic history of the island.

 

2)            Eat local at one of the village restaurants.

 

3)            DON’T DRINK THE WATER.