Rapa Nui – Outdoor Museum
September 14, 2011 3 Comments
Te Pito o te Henua….. MAGICAL! There is no other word for such a special Island, full of mysteries and unknown history. It is so tiny that everything turns so cozy and chill, people go-by saying “iorana” as if they`ve known you your whole life.
Rapa Nui my friends… where giant statues of rock (moais) lie as silent judges in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Where the ocean is a paradise for divers: 70 meters of visibility; where unsolved mysteries are still being solved and where only 5% of the islands treasures have been discovered!
The trip to Easter Islands starts in Santiago with a long flight (5 hours aprox.) of just ocean! Thankfully the plane has entertainment on board and lots of movies to choose from; the one that caught my attention was “Què Tan Lejos” an Ecuadorian movie absolutely recommended.
Finally, a piece of land at sight, it was b e a u t i f u l l, coned volcanoes, white sandy beaches and the whole island in the palm of your hands. It’s difficult to express the feeling; kind of when you are arriving to Machu Pichu after walking 4 days, where you just want to sit there and think of nothing, you know… Have your moment!
Everything here is so artisanal; the airport has one waiting room with some shops, the Lan Airlines counter, some police infrastructure and a small bag belt. Houses are full of flowers and typical Polynesian music sound on the background.
I stayed at explora Rapa Nui which is called Posada de Mike Rapu after the owner, mike (meeke) who is a local descendant of the Rapa Nui’s. My time there was dedicated to test land services, inspect hotels and evaluate restaurants. I have to say there are two ways to enjoy Easter Island: one is with explora and the other is with the rest. Definitively a once in a lifetime experience with team explora that deserves a brand new entry.
This tiny triangle (180 km2) has a wide variety of activities to choose from, below my top ten.
- Rano Raraku: It is actually a volcano, but in one of the sides an impressive quarry is left behind. This is the birthplace of the Moai, where moais of 15-20 meters where carved right from the solid volcanic rock. You can actually walk trough almost 300 moias in different stages of elaboration.
- Anakena Beach: It is actually an Ahu (ceremonial place), one of the most amazing because of the settings. The surroundings are home to the last palm trees of the island and of course to the picturesque beach of Anakena. Nothing better that swim in turquoise water with palm trees and moais as lifeguards.
- Ahu Tongariki. This Ahu has 15 standing moais looking to the Rano Raraku volcano. The idea here is to visit this ahu at sun-rise with a magnificent colorful natural background.
- Diving in los 3 Motus: Start this amazing journey with a boat ride through the coasts of Hanga Roa until you reach the three Mouts area. Once there just dive into this underwater paradise and be prepared to discover the hidden treasures of Easter Island.
- Rano Kau: This volcano is home to a unique ceremonial site: Orongo. Here you can actually see how Rapa Nui`s lived and also understand the “Tangata Manu” or Bird Man challenge.
- Akivi: This ahu is inserted inside the island, in contrast to other ceremonial sites that are nearby the ocean. Another curious difference is that this ahu has the only seven moais looking to the sea. I’ll let you figure out the mystery.
- Hanga Roa: This friendly town is home to an only one of its kind culture; the Rapa Nui. Here you can interact with them, taste their exquisite gastronomy and enjoy a dinner show where folkloric groups take you through a journey into their culture. Don’t miss the handicrafts market and definitively try a cold “Mahindra” a local beer.
- Tahai Complex: The Tahai complex is the perfect trip after a good lunch at Hanga Roa. This complex is unique; it has different size moais, representations of the “casa bote” or the boat house where Rapa Nuis used to live. BE sure to enjoy the sunset. Just Amazing.
- Maunga Terevaka: This inactive volcano holds the highest point in Easter Island: 511 masl. From there you have a complete view of the whole island. In the surroundings you can enjoy the volcanic caves Ana Te Pahu.
- Car Rental: There is so much more to see in the island that the best way is to rent your own car. Or maybe a motorbike or just a bicycle. Either way you will definitively enjoy, the best things in the island have not been discovered yet.
The island is magical, be sure to enjoy it; you will definitively fall in love with this tiny triangle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
For our online gallery please visit: http://bit.ly/RapaNuipics
For programs to Easter Island visit: http://bit.ly/gphFkb
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