Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

Easter Island is one of the world's most beautiful places, and also one of the most mysterious.

Ahu Akivi

General Information


Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is a Polynesian island, triangle shaped, formed mostly of volcanic rock. Small coral formations exist along the shoreline, but the lack of a coral reef has allowed the sea to cut cliffs around much of the island. The coastline has many lava tubes and volcanic caves. Situated in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, it is one of the world's most isolated inhabited islands. It is located at the same latitude of Caldera Port, at 27º09' South and 109º 26' West longitude. Easter Island is 3,760 km West of continental Chile, and has an area of 163.6 km² , with a maximum altitude of 507 meters.

Easter Island is famous for its monumental statues, the giant stone monoliths known as Moai. Easter Island was declared a World Heritage Site in 1995 by UNESCO. It is a virtual open-air museum.

Early settlers called the island "Te Pito O Te Henua" that means "The Navel of the World". The name Easter Island was given by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who came to the island on Easter Sunday in 1722. Later, Easter Island was annexed to Chile on September 9, 1888, by Policarpo Toro, by means of the "Annexation Treaty of the island" , that the government of Chile signed with the Rapa Nui people.

Until the 1960s, the surviving Rapa Nui were confined to the settlement of Hanga Roa and the rest of the island was rented to the Williamson-Balfour Company as a sheep farm until 1953. The island was then managed by the Chilean Navy until 1966 and by that time the rest of the island was reopened. In 1966 the Rapa Nui people were given Chilean citizenship.

Anakena, Palms

(There are three freshwater crater lakes called Rano) Rano Kau, Rano Raraku and Rano Aroi. All are near the summit of Terevaka.

Hanga Roa is the capital where most of 3,000 inhabitants live. About 69% of the islanders are descendants of the original Polynesian ancestors. The official language is Spanish, but many islanders speak Rapa Nui.

Easter Island people are well known for their warm and kind hospitality.

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Tangata Manu or Birdman

Tangata Manu or Birdman

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Moai, Rano Raraku Volcano » Moai, Rano Raraku Volcano.