'Te Pito Te Henua' or 'The Navel of the World' is the traditional name of Easter Island. It is also called Rapa Nui by the locals. Thousands of miles off the coast of Chile, Easter Island has been one of the most remote and isolated places on earth. For centuries the island has been shrouded in mystery and legends of a lost civilization. Easter Island attractions are many – from places of archaeological and historical interests to marvelous natural beauty and an extraordinary culture – that attract tourists from all over the world.
Keep navigating the pages of Christmas Carnivals for more information on Easter Island.
- Culture: Easter Island has a unique culture of its own which is manifested through its wondrous music and sensuous dance steps, the lip smacking coastal recipes and exotic artistic expressions, and much more.
- History: The first settlers of this island were perhaps Polynesians. On 5th April, 1722, Dutch Admiral Jacob Roggeveen set foot on the island on Easter Sunday and called it Easter Island. A large number of native inhabitants were sent to Peru as slaves in the 19th century. When Chile took over the island in 1888, the population of the natives on the island was a little more than one hundred.
- Moai: These are colossal statues scattered all over the island. They are popularly known as “Easter Island Heads”. They were probably made for religious reasons, yet nobody knows who made them, how and for what purpose.
- Tahai Archaeological Complex: One kilometer from Hanga Roa, it is an ancient ceremonial complex where the natives venerated their ancestors as Gods. It is formed of three Ahu, flat rock platforms on which the Moai stand.
- Ahu Akivi: Set on the slopes of the Maunga Terevaka volcano, Ahu Akivi consists of seven Moai who look out to the sea. Located in the interior of the island, it was one of the first sanctuaries restored scientifically, in 1960-61.
- Ahu Akahanga: Ten kilometers east of Hanga Roa, it is also known as 'The King's Platform'. It is said that King Hotu Matu'a is buried here. Thirteen Moai of 5m to 7m tall are scattered around 4 platforms.
- Ahu Tongariki: It is an interesting place to see the ancient ruins. You will find fifteen stone men standing in a row on an ahu.
- Padre Sebastián Englert Anthropological Museum: This museum is named after a German priest who set foot on this island in 1935. He studied the culture, language, archaeological sites and oral traditions of Rapa Nui.
- Hanga Roa (Tai Harbor): At this small sheltered harbor used by fishing vessels and tourist ships, you can go for sailing, canoeing, and scuba diving.
- Orongo Village: Orongo stands for 'The Messenger's Place'. Tangata Manu or bird-man or warrior king used to be chosen at this ceremonial center.
- Ahu Te Pito Kura: Here you will find the biggest Moai on the island. Almost 10m tall and weighing over 74 tons, this statue is known by the name of Paro.
- Ahu Vinapu: This historical site was originally formed of three different ahu of which only two are left. The walls of this ahu made of perfectly laid blocks of stone remind of the stone walls of Machu Picchu (Peru). It also has some sort of astronomical significance.
- De la Perousse (Hanga Hoonu Bay): In Rapa Nui, it means 'Place of the Sea Turtles'. This bay is also named after French explorer Conde de la Perousse, who came to Easter Island in 1776, with pigs (onu), ducks and peacocks (koru-koru).
- Rano Kau: It is a 400m high extinct volcano. You can hike to the top of the peak for a beautiful panoramic view of the island.
- Rapa Nui National Park: At Rapa Nui National Park, enjoy the exquisite flora and fauna of this sub-tropical island along with places of archaeological interest.
- Geology: Explore the awe inspiring lava formations and craters of the now extinct volcanoes and the wonderfully sinuous caves along the sea.