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Easter Island, Chile
Idea About: place
Easter Island, the English name for Rapa Nui, is an island at the southeastern point of the Polynesian Triangle in the Pacific Ocean. Its European name, Easter Island, was given to the island by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen who found it and stepped on its shores on Easter Sunday, 1722. The island has a volcanic origin. Three extinct volcanoes, Terevaka, Poike and Rano Kau, merged together and constitute the body of the island in the shape of triangle. There are no trees on the island; it is small, (63 sq miles in size) and has rough terrain. Close to Terevaka summit you can find freshwater crater lakes: Rano Kau, Rano Raraku and Rano Aroi. There are no rivers, streams or springs on the Island. Easter Island is located approximately 2200 miles (3600 kilometers) off the coast of Chile, which annexed the island in 1888. It is believed that the first settlements on the Island emerged about 700-1100 AD.
What Makes It Special
Easter Island has many mysteries. And first one is how people reach this island in spite of its remote location: 2200 miles from the mainland and 1,290 miles (2,075 km) from closest inhabited Pitcairn Island. Even more mysterious are monolithic human figures carved from rock by the early Rapanui inhabitants. There are 887 statues, called moai. The tallest moai, called Paro, is almost 33 feet (10 meters) high and weighs 75 tons. The heaviest moai was erected at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tons. Another one, if completed, would have been close to 69 feet (21 meters) weighting 270 tons. Hundreds of moai were transported by ancient Rapanui people from the main quarry and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter Nearly half of moai were left at moai quarry of Rano Raraku. Why the work was so abruptly abandoned, what was the cause? That's the third mystery of the Easter Island.
Directions To Destination
Due to its extreme geographic isolation, many people think that Easter Island is not for regular tourists. On the contrary, it is accessible by regular commercial air service, and tourism is the main industry of the island. Still, it is not easy to reach the island. It takes at minimum 5.5 hours in the air from the nearest airport, and flights to get there are limited. The only regular flights are via LAN Airlines making several flights to the Easter Island per week. Fares range between $300-$1200 for round trip from Santiago. You can get to the Island by sea. Once a year the ship Soren Larsen sails to Easter Island from New Zealand. The voyage takes 35 days.
Best Time To Go
You can visit the island any time of the year. The climate of Easter Island is subtropical maritime. The lowest average temperatures are in July and August 64°F(18°C) and the highest in February 82°F (28°C) Winters are relatively mild.
Where To Stay
- Explora's Posada de Mike Rapu Hotel, located on a hill in the Te Miro Oone sector, on 9.6 hectares of land that faces the ocean, 2 miles from Hanga Roa city. The prices start from $3,400 for 3 nights for a single and $2,280 for 4 days/3nights and tours for double room.
Useful Visitor Information and Tips
The biggest tourist attractions on Easter Island are the moai, quarry at Rano Paraku, rock-carvings of men with birds head. Most of Island territory protected within the Rapa Nui National Park.
Tags: ahu; Chile; Easter Island; freshwater crater lakes; Jacob Roggeveen; moai; Pacific Ocean; Poike; Polynesian; Polynesian Triangle; Rano Aroi; Rano Kau; Rano Raraku; Rapanui; Rapa Nui; Santiago; Terevaka; volcanic; volcanoes