Have questions? We're here.

Easter Island

Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Chile trip. 1.800.344.6118
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert
Megalithic statueEaster Island is a destination that seems to inhabit our subconscious. The image of those great stone moai with their backs to the vast Pacific strikes some chord within us, recalls some ancient, creative urge.

This is the world's most isolated bit of land, a tiny pinprick in the great pacific, a mound of consolidated lava and ash from three submarine volcanoes. The natives call their island Rapa Nui or Te Pito o Te Henua, "the navel of the earth."

Linguistic and cultural comparisons indicate that the first humans on Easter Island arrived from the west, most likely from the Marquesas Islands or Mangareva, as part of a greater migratory process which spread Polynesian culture throughout the South Pacific. However, the twelve centuries which elapsed between the arrival of the first intrepid 'settlers' near 500 AD and the 'discovery' of the island in 1722 by the Dutch admiral Jacob Roggeveen are among the world's great mysteries.

European sailors visiting Easter Island found that the natives could not explain the construction and transport of the great moai megaliths, the largest of which exceeds sixty feet in height. Nor could they decipher the rongo rongo tablets whose hieroglyphic script appears to be a forgotten form of written language. Somewhere in the past - a past which seems to have seesawed from ancestor worship, monument building and population growth, to deforestation and food shortages, feuding and in some cases even cannibalism - the old knowledge had been lost. It is the mystery of these disappeared artisans, and the awesome presence of their works, which continues to draw scientists and seekers from across the globe.


TreesToday, Rapa Nui National Park protects most of the island's archaeological sites, and the native todomiro forests that once graced the island are being replanted. Opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding abound on the island, while a rich marine ecosystem of corals and colorful tropical fish makes Easter Island a prime destination for scuba diving and snorkeling.

In the waters near the island, diving conditions and marine life are similar to other South Pacific islands.

Easter Island rests on a broad submarine platform, part of a long east-west volcanic ridge or 'hot line.' This platform provides an abundant phototropic zone that supports 144 species of algae and 111 species of tropical and pelagic fish. Six species of corals grow in shallow water around the island, though there are no coral reefs. About one-fifth of all marine flora and fauna is endemic. The lack of coral reefs around the island has resulted in pronounced coastal erosion, including submarine cliffs and extensive caves. Visibility in these cobalt seas can exceed 120 feet, and water temperatures average 70°F.

Thanks to the Tourism Promotion Corporation of Chile : 202-530-4109




Chile Articles & Information :

Want to Go?

country
What a view of the landscape in Patagonia
Chile
continent
Peruvian weavers
South America

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons
Us with our Maasai guide Dennis
Tailored to You
Tell us your travel interests, dreams and desires, then let our experts tailor the perfect trip for you!
Monks conversing in a Buddist temple
Peace of Mind
You can have confidence in our experts' dedication to traveler safety, comfort, & providing a seamless trip.
A pair of friendly sea lions
Responsible Travel
We are fully committed to low impact travel that not only preserves but gives back to the amazing places we visit.
A man photographs a King Penguin at only a few feet away.
Insider Access
Our personal expertise & experience, local partners in our destinations, & access to over 150 small ships are all invaluable to designing your unique journey.

Awards and Accolades

All News