Where is Easter Island?
Easter Island is a tiny piece of land located in the south east of the Pacific Ocean, it is best known for its 887 giant statues called moai created by the Polynesian indigenous Rapa Nui .
Its territory covers 64 sq miles or 166 sq kilometers, it is about 24 km or 15 m long and at its widest point 12 km or 8 m. The island was formed by volcano eruptions 750,000 years ago; today there are three volcanic cones: Terevaka, Poike and Rano Kau, each one corresponding to one angle of the triangular shaped island. According to geologists the last volcanic activity on the island happened 10,000 years ago. Terevaka is the highest and rises 11,674 feet above sea level, Rano Kau is the largest and visible from space.
Easter Island is one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world, it is part of the Polynesian group of islands that make up the Polynesian triangle and Easter Island occupies its farthest eastern end. The nearest population centers are Tahiti and Chile located over 2000 miles away. The island’s time zone is abbreviated EAST – Easter Island Standard Time, EAST is GMT -6 from April through mid October and during Daylight Saving Time (EASST) GMT -5 from mid October until mid April.
Isla de Pascua as it is known in Spanish or Easter Island was named by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen. He was the first European to visit the island on April 5, 1722, Easter Sunday. There is much controversy and debate about the origin of the first inhabitants, the Rapa Nui. Archeologists have conducted radio carbon studies that estimate that the first settlers inhabited the island as far back as 700 CE and 1200 CE. Many theories exist but the most accepted one is that the Rapa Nui came from the west led by King Hoto Matua. Read more about the history of Easter Island
The moai are upright, humanlike figures with large heads and stylized angular faces, prominent noses, ears and lips, most of them have hollow eye sockets which were once filled with white coral and red stones. Not all the moai have their eyes filled, it is believed that only the most prominent ones had them filled during special ceremonies. Their bodies are long and end at their hips, their arms are at its sides and their hands with long fingers wrapped in front of their abdomen. Read more about the giant statues of Easter island
Easter Island is one of the most unique places to visit because of its remoteness, concentration of archeological sites, geography, sightseeing and cultural heritage. The busiest time of the year is during the Tapati Festival, a celebration of the Polynesian culture which takes place during the first half of February, when flights and hotels are likely to be fully booked. There are sports events, dance and singing contests, fishing competitions and the unique Rano Raraku triathlon.
LAN Airlines, formerly LanChile, Chile’s national airline, is the only carrier that flights to Mataveri International Airport or Isla de Pascua Airport, considered the most remote airport in the world. Mataveri is located 3,759 kilometers (2,336 mi) from Santiago and is the main point of entry for the thousands of tourists that visit the island every year. Read more about Travel to Easter Island
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