South America

Discover Easter Island: Rapa Nui National Park

At least 100,000 tourists visit Rapa Nui National Park each year, which makes it one of the most popular national parks in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, which makes up 40% of Easter Island, is home to some of the most beautiful, well-preserved treasures of the Polynesian culture.

Easter Island - Rapa Nui Moai statues

Interesting Facts about Rapa Nui Park

Easter Island has long been part of every traveler’s bucket list. This world-famous island sits in the southeastern Pacific Ocean at the southernmost part of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. Much of the history of the island can be uncovered by exploring the Rapa Nui National Park, which encompasses 7,310 hectares.

Easter Island is, no doubt, an amazing tourist destination. Here are some really interesting facts that make Easter Island a top choice for travelers.

  • It’s a volcanic island and is regarded as one of the most isolated inhabited destinations in the world. The closest inhabited island is located 2,000 kilometers away!
  • Easter Island was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
  • There are 887 giant moai statues lined across the island. Extensive archaeological work has been done since 1995 to preserve them.
  • The moai statues were built using solidified volcanic ash. Each of them weighs 20 tons on average, with the heaviest statue weighing 80 tons. They were built between 1,100 and 1,500 CE.
  • While the name Easter Island is very popular among tourists, for the locals this place is known as Rapa Nui or the Great Rapa.
  • The moai statues have bodies too. Yep, that’s right! In recent years, archeologists discovered that these famous stones also have torsos or bodies.

If these things excite you, then you should really check out the Rapa Nui National Park.

But how do you get there?

As one of the most isolated islands on earth, you can expect that getting there can be both exciting and challenging. There is only one airline that travels to Easter Island from Santiago, Chile and getting there will take you 6 hours. Most people will need to spend one whole day just to reach the island. For that reason, many travelers prefer to have their Easter Island trip arranged by reputable companies, such as the online travel agency MustGo.

Rapa Nui Anakena Beach

Things to Do in Rapa Nui

Easter Island is famous for the monolithic human statues. But aside from being mesmerized by their beauty, there are many other things to do in Rapa.

  • Watch the sunrise at Tongariki. It’s one of the most iconic places on the island, with 15 moai statues sitting next to each other.
  • Relax and swim at Anakena Beach. With the fascinating turquoise waters and beautiful weather, Anakena is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
  • Bike around the island. You can tour around the island while enjoying the picture-perfect views.
  • Check out the fascinating petroglyphs at Papa Vaka. While Rapa Nui petroglyphs are everywhere on the island, some of the most valuable ones can be found on Papa Vaka.
  • Check out the amazing caves. The flow of lava towards the sea formed channels that turned into caves when cooled. Some caves in Easter Island are small while others are several hundred meters long.
  • Buy some Rapa Nui crafts and souvenirs. You’ll find lots of selections, from cheap necklaces pricey works of arts made from wood and stone.
  • Appreciate nature. If you love nature tripping, the Rapa Nui Park is a must-see. It’s completely a beautiful barren landscape with stunning water views and picturesque sites.

When to Visit

The weather on Easter Island is pleasant all year round. The climate is subtropical with warm temperatures and high humidity.

Winter runs from June to September with a cooler average temperature around 20 ºC, although winds sometimes make it feel cooler.

Summer begins in December, February and March are the months of vacations. Keep in mind, that during this season prices are more expensive, but the months is ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

Things to Keep in Mind when Visiting Rapa Nui

As a World Heritage Site, the Rapa Nui National Park is a well-preserved place. Thus, every tourist should respect certain rules. For instance, they shouldn’t climb or touch the moai statues, including the Ahu platforms and petroglyphs. You can only get within 50 feet of the platform. The moai statues are deteriorating fast and tourist activities speed up this process even more. Thus, strict laws are implemented by the Chilean government to preserve this heritage.

Easter Island is a great tourist destination for so many reasons. If you love history, nature, and all things beautiful, go and check out this majestic place.

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