is a small group of stony islands
(122 square kilometres) in the South
All fresh water comes from
wells, and crater lakes in the island's
three extinct volcanoes. Easter
Island about 3,700 kilometres west
of Chile and has been governed by
Chile since 1888.
Most of the 2,000 people living
on the islands are Polynesians.
Some are Chileans.
language of Chile), is the official
language, but both Spanish and a
Polynesian language, Rapanui are
Easter Island's Spanish
name is Isla de Pascua and Rapanui
is in Polynesian and is famous as
the site of large statues (Locally
called Moais) of people that were
carved hundreds of years ago.
and the production of wool for export
are the main industries on the island.
Some believe that the island was
settled about A.D. 400, by American
Indians, and others believe they
The early islanders created the
famous statues, and were possibly
intended to honour ancestors.
Today, more than 600 statues are
scattered on the island.
from 3.5 to 6 metres tall.
rise as high as 12 metres and weigh
as much as 82 metric tons.
were hewn by stone hand picks from
the rock of an extinct volcano.
They were set up on raised temple
platforms called ahu.
stone cylinders were balanced on
the heads of some of the statues,
Even today, erecting
such large statues on the platforms
and balancing the cylinders on top
of them would be a difficult feat
War between groups
of Easter Islanders broke out about
During the following 150 years,
the victors and their descendants
toppled the moai from their platforms,
Breaking the necks of many statues.
About 15 moai have been restored
to their original positions.
The Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen
was the first European to see Easter
Island, on Easter Sunday, 1722,
and gave the island its name.
In the 19th Century about 1500 of the
islanders were kidnapped and taken
to Peru to work on plantations as
In 1863 only 100 of islanders surviving
and were taken back to the island.
During the voyage, 85 islanders
The 15 survivors carried home
the germs of smallpox and other
diseases, which spread among the
islanders killing many of them.
During the early 1870's, many Easter
Islanders left their homeland.
In 1877, only 110 people remained there.
Since then, the native population
has grown and some Chileans have
moved to the island.
The Capital and the main settlement
is Hangaroa on the eastern side
of the island.
Hui Chin and I wasn't very happy when
we found out, that due to the twice
only a week scheduled flights to
and from the islands we were forced
to spend three days, where we hoped
to spend one full day only.
(Due to other commitments and financial
reasons (Like the cost of accommodation),
we only had 60 days to see all the
attractions that North, Central
and South America got to offer.
The Airport is walking distance
to Hangaroa and so are many of he
island's Hotels or private B&B's
or Residenciales as they are known.
We also found many interesting things
to do to occupy the three days and
making it the most memorable part
of our trip.
The island is relatively
small and we could have seen it
if we really wanted to.
and generally everything is very
expensive, because most things have
to be flown in from Chile.
are friendly and we enjoyed are
Accommodation is in general
rather expensive too.
We were lucky
and through the internet we found
a Hosteling International affiliate,
the Kona Tau Residencial (Hostelling
International Isla de Pascua Konatau,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, their
email to us with prices
We spent the first day
exploring Hangaroa from head to
Looking in every shop and little
We found, that buying and
eating fresh bread, salami and cheese
with gerkins etc., made a good picnic
lunch and dinner and was relatively
Early next day we hired
a Quad (four wheeled or farm) bike
and explored the island and all
the Moais, that was there we could
The third day we hired a couple
of horses to explore some parts
of the island, that we couldn't
reach the previous two days.
nights we had a wide variety of
fellow tourist to talk to and swap
A very fascinating place and we
made many good friends.
Before we departed we bought a lot
of souvenirs from the market that's
run by the craftsmen or woman.
the Mercado Artesanal, mainly because
we found a lady,
Janet Pastene Rapu
very friendly, reasonably priced
and very negotiable.
Janet Pastene Rapu,
Mercado Artesanal, Puerto
8, 9, 10 and 11, Modulo 3, Courero,
Isla de Pascua.
Before our departure to the
Ester Islands I did some research
and I was amazed at the wide variety
of theories and ideas behind the
Easter Islands and their famous
Links to some other Easter Island pages
Easter Island Visitor's Guide
Easter Island Foundation, Index
NOVA Online, Secrets of Easter Island,
Explore the Island
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