Easter Island - Tourist Information

hoteles en hanga roa known as “Rapa Nui” or “Isla de Pascua” is a mysterious open air museum with huge stone unturned (Moai) dotting the shore around the island. Officially the Island is a territory of Chile and one of the worlds most isolated places, situated on a triangle of volcanic rock in the South Pacific over 2,000 kilometers from the nearest population centers of Tahiti and Chile.

The island is known among the world’s most holy sites, famous for its giant stone busts, built centuries before, they signify the history of this dramatic rise and collapse of an isolated Egyptian civilization.

Early settlers called the island “Te Pito O Te Henua” (Navel of The World). It was named Easter Island by a European, Admiral Roggeveen who arrived on the island on Easter Sunday 1722. Locally today it is known as Rapa Nui.

There has been much controversy and confusion as to the origin of the Easter Islanders. Some think Peruvians built the figurines, some believe the Island is a slice of a continent that was lost. DNA has proven that Polynesians were the earliest settlers arriving around 400 AD in the west in large ships. This is regarded as remarkable since Easter Island is such a fantastic distance from other property. Legend has it they were searching for additional property as their very own island was being swallowed by the sea.

The island was a paradise and the islanders prospered – archaeological evidence proves that the island was covered with an assortment of various trees, including the largest palm tree species in the world. The natives used the wood and bark for cloth, rope, and canoes. Birds were abundant and supplied food. The weather was mild and the water provided an abundance of oysters and fish.

Their faith developed using its centerpiece the giant moai, or heads, that are the island’s most distinguishing feature now. The moai, are scattered around the island and supposedly depicted their ancestors. This was probably considered a blessing or a watchful eye on each small village. The ruins of the Rano Raraku crater, the stone quarry where hundreds of moai sit today, show how these figures were significant. The birdman civilization (as seen from the petroglyphs) was clearly the islanders’ fascination with their ability to travel to remote lands.

In addition to the figurines, petroglyphs (rock carvings), conventional wood carvings, tapa (barkcloth), crafts, tattooing, string figures, dance and songs, the islanders possessed the Rongorongo script, the only written language in Oceania. As time went on optimism in their religion was lost since arguments broke out. This can be reflected in the ruins of the moai statues that were intentionally elicited by human hands.

At its peak the island had over 10,000 population, faking the capability of it is ecosystem. As a result lush palm forests were destroyed for agriculture along with the massive figurines, and resources became scarce. The once thriving advanced social network descended into a bloody civil war, and apparently cannibalism as they ran from food sources. The islanders tore down the figurines, which today have been assembled by archaeological efforts.

Through contact with western culture, slavery and disease the island inhabitants by around 1800 had fallen to about 110. Around 1888 after the annexation of Chile the population rose to more than 2,000. Regardless of the Chilean presence there is still a strong Polynesian identity.

Access is from Chile and Tahiti, tourism on the island is conducted by the Rapanui themselves. There are lots of package tours and respective resorts and guesthouses on the Isle. There are chances to remain in a private residence, a excellent way to experience the island and culture.

There are a set of ongoing excavations, preservation and conservation projects.All but among the 22 standing statues in Rano Raraku Quarry interior have been previously exposed through unscientific and undocumented digging.

Even the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) includes a 20 year history of an archaeological survey, the objective of which is the creation of a complete, full, island-wide monolithic and portable statue inventory as well as the compilation of an historic image record for every.

In 1982 the EISP team started a 5 year Easter Island Statue Project, mapping the interior of Rano Raraku, the volcanic quarry where 95 percent of those figurines were made. Over one thousand figurines were recorded throughout the entire island and created the world’s largest archaeological archive

Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater on the island’s eastern plain, was the origin of the sideromelane (basaltic) from which 95 percent of the statues were carved. This origin is incontrovertible as there are 397 in situ figurines, of which 141 in a variety of phases of completion have been implicated by EISP from the interior quarries. Much rarer statue lithologies are basalt (hawaiite lavas) from three named regions.