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stacks_image_4261The most isolated island in the world, Rapa Nui (which means “the great island”), still echoes the craziest myths and legends.
Its famous statues, sculpted in the volcanic rock of the island, monoliths of 4 meters high and more than 14 tons, seem to watch over the island. More than 400 statues remain unfinished. The heritage of Rapa Nui is now protected and listed as a world heritage by UNESCO. Located 4000 km from Tahiti in the west and 3700 km from the Chilean coast in the east, the island has a population of 3,300 inhabitants with a strong identity, who does not hesitate to face the power of the Chilean central government. Every week, five flights depart from Santiago de Chile or Papeete (Tahiti) to Easter Island with LAN Airline Company. Spending three or four days on the island is ideal to visit all the archaeological sites in total peace of mind. The place is a sanctuary of peace in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that inspires calm, rest and meditation.

 
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Take note! Every year for two weeks (usually the first two weeks of February), the island celebrates the Tapati Rapa Nui, a traditional feast during which the population elects the most beautiful woman on the island. But this is not the election of Miss Universe. The population is divided into two teams, each camp competes to earn points awarded to its candidate. For example, the Haka Pei: lying on interconnected banana trunks, participants rush down the slope of Maunga Pu’i volcano with peak speeds of up to 85 km/h!

Attention, more and more visitors come to the festival every year. As it also takes place during the southern summer, many Chileans and Argentines take this opportunity to visit the island as well. Remember to make all your reservations (very) well in advance.

stacks_image_4263Rano Raraku

Rano Raraku: Known as the statues factory. More than 400 of them can be admired in the different steps of their construction and transport. This activity seems to have been suddenly abandoned without any explanation.

Ahu Moai
There are nearly 300 altars on the island called Ahu, but most of them have been damaged by man, animals and natural elements. Among them are the sites of Vaihu, Akahanga, Heki’i, Raai, Te Peu and Vinapu, where it is still possible to observe statues, ruins of human settlements (houses, caverns, stoves and henhouses), in addition to culture and ceremonial sites.
Ahu Tongariki
The site has been recently restored by the archaeologist Claudio Cristino, where we can observe 15 statues on feet, with different steps of their construction. In a place of impressive natural beauty, this site, close to Rano Raraku, is one of the island’s must-sees.
ggallentableauTahai-Ko te Riku
This archaeological site is located in the village of Hanga Roa. Known for its complete restoration, where it is possible to see stone houses, henhouses, ceremonial sites, three statutes platforms (Tahai, Vai Uri, Ko Te Riku), as well as a wharf built entirely of stones.
Ahu Huri A Urenga
Ahu Huri A Urenga : This restored place near Hanga Roa has a unique statue facing the sunset on the day of the winter solstice. This moment marks the beginning of the winter season (Tonga), but also Tabu (period of fishing prohibition on the island).
Ahu Akivi
Ahu Akivi : This is an archaeological complex which has been restored in 1960 by the archaeologist William Mulloy. Seven statues can be observed, looking directly towards the sunset and facing the ocean. Tradition says that they represent the first seven explorers who arrived on Rapa Nui, sent by King Hotu Matu’a.
Ahu Huri A Urenga
Ahu Ature Huki : is located on Anakena Beach and was the first restoration made during the Norwegian expedition in 1956. This site has an anthropomorphic and apparently more ancient statue than the neighbouring platforms.
Ahu Nau Nau
Ahu Nau Nau : This platform was restored by the archaeologist Sergio Rapu at the end of the 70’s. Located on Anakena beach, seven exceptionally well-preserved statues with unique details such as tattoos and clothes can be observed. During the restoration one eye was found, currently exhibited into the island’s museum.
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