Rapa Nui, formerly known as Easter Island, is an island in Chile located in Polynesia, Oceania, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The whole island is the Rapa Nui National Park, declared a World Heritage Site in 1995. The traditional name given to this island corresponds to that of Rapa Nui, which means "Big Rapa" in the language of the Tahitian navigators who visited the island in the XIX century.
It is estimated that the population of Rapa Nui suffered a crisis of overpopulation in the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. This provoked wars between the tribes with the consequent destruction of the ceremonial altars and the abandonment of the quarries in which the moai were carved. The natives suffered the consequences of overexploitation of natural resources, particularly of wood, which led to the deforestation of the island. Its inhabitants began to live in caves to protect themselves from the incursions of enemy groups, which were sometimes carried out for the purpose of practicing cannibalism. In 1888, Chile annexed the Easter Island to the American territory.
The island is one of the main tourist destinations of Chile due to its natural beauty and its mysterious ancestral culture of the Rapanui ethnic group, whose most notable vestige corresponds to huge statues known as moais. There are over 900 moais throughout the island, some located in groups and others separated.
In the Hanga Roa village, there is the largest concentration of population, where practically all the lodges and restaurants are here and where the commercial activities take place.
The Anthropological Museum of Easter Island, exhibits the three different settlements of the island, in addition to the sample of anthropological, archaeological, genetic and linguistic studies.
The moais, are the most striking attractions of the island, and the reason why it receives so many tourists. These moais, are located throughout the whole island. There are trails that take you to see them all. Anakena is the most popular beach on Easter Island, to which all tourists go in the summer months.
On the island, you can also visit several inactive volcanoes, the Rano Kau crater with 324 meters, inside which there are several lagoons, an unparalleled attraction on the island. There are also caves with cave paintings and traces of the ancient settlers. The best option is to rent a bicycle to tour the island, or you can also walk.
At the end of January and the beginning of February of each year the Tapati festival is celebrated, the main artistic-cultural activity of Rapa Nui, which begins the first week of February and lasts approximately two weeks. In this festivity a series of ancestral ceremonies are realized like the competition of corporal painting (Takona), the story of epic histories and legends (A'amu Tu'ai), Ancestral songs (Riu), The triathlon (Tau'a Rapa nui ) and the descent at high speed by a hill of young people on trunks of trees (Haka Pei) and the lesson of the queen of the island, which is crowned the first full moon of the month.
Mystical stories, pink beaches, the moais that are witnesses of the island's history, its meadows, and its mysterious secrets, capture the attention of the curious tourist, who seeks an amazing experience in one of the most remote places from the rest of the world.
The sunrises and sunsets added to the moais, generate a unique scenario on the island to be appreciated in your visit to the island.
+ The moai have their backs to the sea as a symbol of protection to the island.
*Location: 3,750 Km west from Santiago.
*Rates: (All prices are in chilean pesos).
Tickets for chilean adults...$20,000.
Tickets for foreign adults...$54,000.
Tickets for chilean childs (under 12 years old)...$10,000.
Tickets for foreign childs (under 12 years old)...$27,000.
The entrance has a duration of 10 days.
*Duration: 2 days.
*Requirements: Roundtrip ticket, Identity card or passport, Copy of the return ticket from the island, Copy of the accommodation reservation (duly authorized to provide tourist service), with the address or invitation letter of a person belonging to the Rapa Nui people or other enabled.
*Warning: There is a Chilean law that only allows Chileans and foreigners to stay on the island for a maximum of 30 days. In addition, as it is a national park, you must pay the entrance from the day they arrive and carry the entrance of the national park, all the time, in case some guard of the park asks them to verify their entrance. You can not climb, walk or touch the Ahu platforms, the Moai and the petroglyphs. You can not pick up stone or archaeological objects. You must walk only through the marked trails and paths. Do not enter the areas of environmental recovery. Camping is not allowed inside the National Park (only authorized camping). Do not throw garbage, you have to deposit it in the garbage dumps in the area.
*Best time: November-March.
*Webstite: Rapa Nui National Park.