The remote and mysterious Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is a Polynesian island located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. This small but culturally rich destination is known for its iconic Moai statues, which were created by the indigenous Rapa Nui people. Located over 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile, Easter Island is a challenging but rewarding destination to visit, and the journey from Tahiti is a long and complex one. However, the reward of experiencing the island’s unique culture and history is well worth the effort. In this article, we will cover the history and cultural significance of Easter Island, the logistics of traveling to the island from Tahiti and things to do and see on the island.
Easter Island has a long and fascinating history that dates back over 1,000 years. The island was first settled by the Rapa Nui people, who arrived on the island around the year 1200. Over time, the Rapa Nui people developed a complex society and built the Moai statues, which are now the island’s most famous feature.
The Moai statues are large stone carvings of human figures that were created by the Rapa Nui people. There are over 900 Moai statues on Easter Island, and they vary in size and style. The tallest Moai statue stands at over 33 feet tall and weighs over 82 tons. The Moai statues were carved out of volcanic rock and were placed on ahu, which are stone platforms found throughout the island.
The Moai statues hold great cultural and spiritual significance for the Rapa Nui people. They believe that the statues embody the spirits of their ancestors, and that they protect and guide the living. The Rapa Nui people also believed that the Moai statues had the power to control the weather, and that they could bring good fortune to the island.
The Moai statues are not the only cultural treasures on Easter Island. The island is also home to many other important sites, such as the Orongo ceremonial village, which was the center of the island’s birdman cult, and the Rano Kau volcano, which is the island’s largest and most spectacular crater.
Easter Island has a rich and unique culture that is still alive and thriving today. The island is home to many traditional festivals and ceremonies, such as the Tapati Rapa Nui, which is a week-long celebration that takes place every February. The Tapati Rapa Nui features traditional dance and music, and it is a great opportunity to experience the island’s culture firsthand.
Traveling to Easter Island from Tahiti is a long and complex journey that involves multiple flights and layovers. The most direct route from Tahiti to Easter Island is to fly from Papeete, Tahiti’s capital city, to Santiago, Chile, and then take a connecting flight to Easter Island. The flight from Papeete to Santiago typically takes around 14 hours, and the flight from Santiago to Easter Island takes around 5 hours.
The cost of the flights from Tahiti to Easter Island can vary significantly depending on the time of year and how far in advance you book. It is generally cheaper to fly during the off-season, which is from May to September, and to book your flights as far in advance as possible. It is also worth considering the cost of accommodation and other expenses on Easter Island when budgeting for your trip.
There are a few things to consider when planning and booking your flights to Easter Island. First, it is important to make sure you have all the necessary documents for travel, including a valid passport and any visas that may be required. It is also a good idea to check the weather and pack accordingly, as the climate on Easter Island can vary depending on the time of year.
There are a few different airlines that offer flights from Tahiti to Easter Island, including LATAM Airlines and Lan Chile. It is worth shopping around and comparing prices to find the best deal. It is also a good idea to read reviews and check the safety records of the airlines you are considering.
Things to Do and See on Easter Island
Easter Island may be a small and remote destination, but it is packed with interesting sites and activities to enjoy. Here are some of the highlights:
- Moai Statues: The Moai statues are the island’s most famous attraction, and they are well worth a visit. There are over 900 Moai statues on Easter Island, and they can be found all over the island. Some of the most impressive Moai statues can be found at the quarry at Rano Raraku, where they were carved out of volcanic rock. The Moai statues at Rano Raraku are especially interesting because they are in various stages of completion, from rough sketches to fully carved statues.
- Orongo Ceremonial Village: The Orongo ceremonial village is another must-see destination on Easter Island. Located on the rim of the Rano Kau volcano, the village was the center of the island’s birdman cult. The village is home to many important cultural sites, including petroglyphs, which are ancient rock carvings, and the House of the Tangata Manu, which was the home of the island’s birdman.
- Rano Kau Volcano: The Rano Kau volcano is the largest and most spectacular crater on Easter Island. The crater is home to a beautiful lake and many important cultural sites, including the Orongo ceremonial village. The Rano Kau volcano is also a great place for hiking and exploring, with many trails that offer stunning views of the island.
- Anakena Beach: Anakena Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach located on the north side of Easter Island. The beach is home to many important cultural sites, including the Ahu Nau Nau, which is a Moai statue platform, and the Ahu Ature Huke, which is a ceremonial village. Anakena Beach is a great place to relax, swim, and enjoy the island’s beautiful scenery.
Our Top FAQ's
The Moai statues on Easter Island were created by the Rapa Nui people using stone chisels and other tools. The statues were carved out of volcanic rock and then transported to various locations on the island using a system of ramps and levers. The Moai statues hold great cultural and spiritual significance for the Rapa Nui people, as they believe that the statues embody the spirits of their ancestors and protect and guide the living.
The most direct route from Tahiti to Easter Island is to fly from Papeete, Tahiti’s capital city, to Santiago, Chile, and then take a connecting flight to Easter Island. The flight from Papeete to Santiago typically takes around 14 hours, and the flight from Santiago to Easter Island takes around 5 hours. The cost of the flights can vary significantly depending on the time of year and how far in advance you book. It is generally cheaper to fly during the off-season and to book your flights as far in advance as possible.
Some of the top things to do and see on Easter Island include visiting the Moai statues, exploring the Orongo ceremonial village, and hiking the Rano Kau volcano. Other activities and attractions on the island include visiting the Anakena Beach, touring the Rano Raraku quarry, and participating in traditional festivals and ceremonies. Travelers can plan their itinerary by researching the different sites and activities available on the island and deciding which ones align with their interests and time constraints.
There are several accommodation options on Easter Island, including hotels, guesthouses, camping, and private rentals. Hotels offer a range of amenities, including swimming pools, restaurants, and access to cultural activities. Guesthouses offer a more intimate and authentic experience, with fewer rooms and a more personal touch. Camping options on the island include tent and cabin rentals, as well as basic campsites with no amenities. Private rentals, such as homes and apartments, offer a more independent and self-sufficient option for travelers. Prices and amenities can vary significantly depending on the type of accommodation chosen.