Discover one of South America’s gems on our fabulous Easter Island holidays. A far distant speck in the Pacific Ocean, rich in history and culture, this destination is one of Chile’s highlights and a visit not to be missed.
Easter Island is a tiny volcanic triangle, named Rapa Nui and meaning ‘Navel of the World’ by its early Polynesian settlers. It lies 2,300 miles (3700 km) off the coast of Chile and is the most remote inhabited island in the world.
Best known for its archaeological treasures, Easter Island holidays offer the possibility to visit the more than 600 Moai stone statues that are spread throughout the island. Some of them reach up to nine metres high. The island is also home to many caves and rocks decorated with fascinating etched petroglyphs and painted pictographs that give us some indication of the island’s history.
Since Easter Island became known to Europeans in 1722, it has been something of a mystery how the island’s native people first arrived. The full details of its history is a puzzle still being unravelled today.
It is a five-hour flight from Santiago on mainland Chile to Easter Island. We recommend four or five days for your Easter Island holiday. This allows time to visit the top sites as well as relax and enjoy the island’s laid-back feel and warm tropical climate.
We recommend tours with local expert guides who explain the history of the Rapa Nui culture as you visit Easter Island’s top sites such as Ahu Tongariki, Anakena beach and the volcanic crater of Rano Raraku.
If you have more time, you can choose to stay longer in or near to the main town of Hanga Roa. If so, take advantage of the pleasant climate and the chance to explore this fascinating and friendly island on foot, by jeep, on horseback or bike. Or just enjoy swimming in the sea and relaxing on the beautiful beaches.
An Easter Island holiday will include visits to volcanoes, Moai sites, caves, beaches and a number of other culturally significant sites.
The volcanoes that make up the island include Rano Kau, Rano Raku, Terevaka, Poike and Puna Pau.
One unmissable site is Rano Raraku volcano. This is home to the quarry that supplied stone for 500 years, for the building of Moai statues. The slopes of the volcano are littered with 400 statues, some still in-situ with others erect on the slopes.
Another Easter Island site to visit is Rano Kao, a water filled volcanic crater in the south west of the island. The ceremonial village of Orongo is spectacularly located on the crest of the crater. This site was significant for the Tangata manu (Bird Man) cult, the competition to establish the ruling power was held here annually.
Ahu Tongariki (substantially restored in the 1990s), is one of the most impressive Easter Island Moai sites. It consists of fifteen large Moai statues including the heaviest ever erected. The Moais are lined up facing inland from the Pacific towards Rano Raraku.
The other top Moai sites to visit are Ahu Nau Nau, where Moai are set amongst palm trees near to Anakena beach. Distinct features of the Moai here are their elaborate topknots (pukao) and their coral inset eyes. Also, Ahu Akivi is the only inland Moai site on the island, with seven Moai statues facing out towards the sea.
If you can, time your visit to coincide with the local festival of Tapati Rapa Nui, the highlight of the year for many locals on Easter Island. Held in February each year, it is a two-week-long celebration of Rapanui culture, traditional art, craft, dancing and sporting prowess.
An Easter Island holiday to enjoy this beautiful remote tropical location will be a memorable highlight for anyone visiting Chile in South America.
Below you will find a few of the many attractions Easter Island has to offer for your holiday.
Ahu Nau Nau situated near the only sand beach on the island at Anakena. The Moai statues here are in a beautiful location with palm trees.
Ahu Nau Nau was restored in 1978 by the islander archaeologist Sergio Rapu. All of the Moai here had elaborate topknots (pukao).
An important finding here was that of an almost complete eye made of coral, with a red volcanic scoria disc to represent the iris, inlaid in a circular cavity in the coral. The eye sockets of the Moai quarried at Rano Raraku were not carved until they were upright on the ahus (in order to bring them to life). It is therefore possible to tell which Moai had been erected, and which were still in transit when the society collapsed.
Here is also the ‘Navel of the World’, a ceremonial site which contains an egg shaped stone.
Ahu Tongariki (substantially restored in the 1990s), one of the most impressive locations on the island.
Tongariki contains fifteen of the largest Moai statues including an 86 tonne Moai that is the heaviest ever erected on the island.
The Moais are lined up facing inland from the Pacific towards Rano Raraku.
The statues have quite distinctive faces that require the use of telephoto lenses, but the entire landscape surrounding this location is great for further exploration.
Ask a question and our expert in this area will have your answer.
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I write you to thank you for organising the trip for us. Everything was perfect, we didn't encounter any problems whatsoever. We also appreciate the choice of accommodations, they were pleasant and comfy. We would definitely recommend you and Andean Trails to our friends.
R. Mihalache, UK, 2011
» Easter Island Holidays & Tours
The overall organisation was very good, as were the guides. The Lago Grey was the the best hotel - it was excellent. The Hotels Diego Velazquez (Santiago City) and the Taha Tai (Easter Island) were both excellently located, but were only average hotels. The Holiday Inn at Santiago airport was excellent and the Hotel Wesker (Puerto Natales) was very good.
Thanks again for your organisation
D. Moorhouse, UK, 2015
» Easter Island Holidays & Tours
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