Visit the fascinating Easter Island
Eastern Island is famous for its stone statues called moai. It is a fascinating island to visit with an extensive, somewhat volatile past.
Where is Easter Island located? Situated in the south of the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island is quite isolated. It is positioned approximately 3 600km to the west of continental Chile.
Easter Island or Rapa Nui was first inhabited by Polynesians in the year 800 AD. It was only in 1722 that Europeans came across the Island when Admiral Jacob Roggeveen a Hollander arrived. Whilst the history of the island is based mostly on oral tradition and is not very certain it is generally accepted that as the population on the island grew several clans were formed. Due to issues such as overpopulation and deforestation the Easter Islands resources began to wane. This caused fighting to break out between the clans over these limited resources.
During the 1800s many of the islanders were captured for the slave trade. This, along with disease, caused the population to diminish. Today, Easter Island is mostly inhabited by people from Chile and relies mostly on tourism for its economy. Holidays on Easter Island are increasing in popularity.
Hundreds of Moai (stone figures) are scattered throughout Easter Island. Some of them have been restored whilst others remain lying where they have fallen. It is believed that the moai were made by different clans. During battles between the tribes they would vandalize each other's moai. The quarry from which materials for the moai come is located upon Rano Raraku, a volcano. Moai in various stages of creation still stand here. Building these magnificent figures would take from a year to 15 months. Moai were transported by means of trees and then erected on an ahu or stone platform. There are about 350 ahu on the island. The remains of those who had died were often buried in or around the ahu.
There are many fascinating sites and places to visit on Easter Island. Orongo Ceremonial village sits upon the Rano Kau crater wall. This village of the bird cult was in use during the 1700 and 1800s. Museo Antroplógico Sebastián Englert will give you insight into the life and history of Easter Islands Polynesian inhabitants. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Parque Nacional Rapa Nui was founded in 1935 in order to protect the islands archeological monuments.
Easter Island also has lovely beaches. Playa Anakena's white sands attract many tourists. Ovahe is a smaller beach and here you will find some mysterious caves to explore.
A holiday on Easter Island is truly fascinating. From the impressive Moai statues of Easter Island to the stunning sunny beaches and mysterious history, this island will enchant you.