According to agooddir, the unusual destination Easter Island belongs to the province of South American Chile in the Valparaíso region. The island has only one city, Hanga Roa, and that is the capital. The Polynesian Easter Island is therefore not easy to reach, as there are no direct flights that way. So you are on your way for a while. But, it’s definitely worth it. Easter Island has been called a mysterious island for many years. The well-known Moai statues of long narrow faces are world famous and therefore connected to Easter Island. No research has been able to substantiate why, how and by whom the images were made, or how they came into place. After all, the images are ten meters or longer and weigh exceptionally heavy. There are theories, but which one is based on the whole truth? Besides this mystery and other mysteries of the island, Easter Island has a beautiful nature, beautiful beaches such as Ovale and Anakena, the most overwhelming sunrises and sunsets and you can also take beautiful walks and bike rides. There is plenty to discover, but enjoyment is at the top of the list.
Easter Island ‘s Top 10 Things to Do
The characteristic Moai statues can be found in various places on Easter Island. Although the experts are still undecided, it is suspected that the statues were made between the tenth and seventeenth centuries. Nearly all statues are made of excavated volcanic rock such as those found at the northwestern volcano crater Rano Raraku. This crater, which belongs to the Terevaka volcano, is located in the Rapa Nui National Park. Characteristics of the Moai statues are the long narrow faces, some of which wear headgear and others do not. What many people don’t know, however, is that a large part of the body associated with the heads is underground. Various theories have been released about this and the way in which the images are placed. But in the end it remains guesswork and the Moai are still part of the mystery of Easter Island. The most special Moai is ‘Tukuturi’. This statue, also called ‘Tuku’, has a beard and an uncommon kneeling position. The red color can be traced back to the volcanic scoria rock at Puna Pau. is bearded and has an uncommon kneeling position. The red color can be traced back to the volcanic scoria rock at Puna Pau. is bearded and has an uncommon kneeling position. The red color can be traced back to the volcanic scoria rock at Puna Pau.
#2. Rano Raraku
The volcano crater Rano Raraku belongs to the eastern Terevaka volcano. Together with other volcanic craters, such as Poike and Rano Kau, they form a beautiful sight on the island. Rano Raraku in particular, as this is considered the birthplace of the Moai. Ninety-five percent of all Moai statues come from the lava rock of Rano Raraku. A large part can therefore be found and admired around the Rano Raraku. Also those left unfinished in the quarry. Rano Raraku is part of the Rapa Nui National Park, which has been part of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites since 1995. The Moai statues are accessible via a clearly marked path. There is one path that starts from the reception, which eventually splits into right and left. The right path leads you to the statues and the left path takes you to the crater lake of Rano Raraku.
#3. Rano Kau
The volcanic crater Rano Kau is also located in the Rapa Nui National Park. Rano Kau is located near the stone village of Orongo. This village has a number of ceremonial stone dwellings that sit on the rim of this volcanic crater. This place was used in the past for the ‘Tangata Manu’, a birdman competition. Here was a battle for who could find the first Manutara egg and thus acquired a certain status. The freshwater lagoon in the crater makes this place a special attraction that you should not miss.
#4. Anakena beach
The northern Anakena beach resembles an idyllic oasis. The clear blue waters stand out sharply on the white coral sand beach of Anakena. Just like the Moai and the Rano Raraku and Rano Kau, Anakena beach is also a UNESCO world heritage. According to various studies, this beach had a ceremonial function among the Polynesian inhabitants. For example, people here read from Rongorongo tablets with syllabic script and ceremonies were held for the ‘Tangata Manu’, bird men.
The stone village of Orongo is located on the edge of the Rano Kau crater in Rapa Nui National Park. The village has some fifty-three stone dwellings that were inhabited by birdmen in the past. Part of it has been thoroughly restored. Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, competitions were held here between men who competed for the first Manutara egg. The finding of this egg was associated with a ritual that conferred a certain status. The race for the egg was certainly challenging and quite dangerous. The meters high cliff has therefore claimed many victims.
#6. Hanga Roa
The capital of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is Hanga Roa. This city can be found in the west of the island between the volcanoes Rano Kau and Maunga Terevaka. The sparsely populated island is largely centered in and around the town of Hanga Roa. That is also because this is the only city on the island. Hanga Roa is filled with nice hotels, restaurants, some shops, a craft market, a picturesque church, a colorful harbor and the only museum, the Anthropological Museum Sebastian Englert. Various trips and excursions can be made from Hanga Roa. A crossing to Valparaíso in Chile is also possible.
#7. Puna Pau
Just outside the town of Hanga Roa is the modest crater Puna Pau. This crater features red volcanic rock known as scoria. The typical color was mainly used to make headgear that were placed on the Moai. This type of stone was also used as a tablet on which hieroglyphs were drawn and for the special Tukuturi statue. Strikingly different from the other Moai, the Tukuturi has a beard and is kneeling rather than standing.
#8. Cementerio de Isla de Pascua
The cemetery ‘Cementerio de Isla de Pascua’ is located just outside the center of the capital Hanga Roa. The many crosses clearly indicate that this is a Catholic cemetery. Some cemeteries are decorated with all kinds of objects, statues, flowers and stones. All deceased persons are buried with their heads towards the ocean. Since there are no official undertakers on the island, the deceased is buried by relatives.
#9. Papa Vaka
The archaeological site of Papa Vaka is located in the north-east of Easter Island. This place has been very important as many clues from the past have been found. Papa Vaka is filled with various hieroglyphs representing images and characters, which are known as Rongorongo on Easter Island. Animals, fishing tackle, kayaks and other figures can be discovered in the drawings. Many of the drawings can be traced back to the sea, which played an important role for this part of the island. Other places where you can admire this kind of hieroglyphics are: Ahu Nau Nau, Ahu Te Pito Kura and Pu o Hiro.
#10. Polynesian dance show
Don’t forget to visit a Polynesian dance show. Dancing is inextricably linked to the culture on Easter Island. Through the dance, the Rap Nuis convey various stories and myths that are deeply rooted in the island’s beliefs and rituals. The dance, the music and the dressed-up costumes make the party complete and you are automatically taken along by the rhythm.