Easter Island - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Easter Island

Easter Island

Rapa Nui, or 'Navel of the Earth' as the natives know it, is one of the world's most isolated places, situated 2,361 miles (3,800km) west of mainland Chile, halfway to Tahiti. Easter Island is practically an open-air national park, protecting the archaeological sites and Moai, the giant stone statues that the island is famous for, which are scattered all over the landscape. These figures stand at heights of up to 32 feet (10m) and are at the centre of the island's magnetism.

There is still uncertainty as to the origins of the first people on Easter Island, and the 12 centuries between their arrival in the year 500 and the first European discoverers in 1722 remains one of the world's great mysteries. Included among the archaeological sites on the island is the Rano Raraku volcano where the moai were cut from the volcanic rock. In a bizarre scene, over 600 figures are scattered on the slopes of the volcano, some in the early stages of development and still part of the rocky cliffs and others partly buried or stacked in an irregular line. For years researchers have puzzled over the method of construction and transportation of these megaliths from the quarries inland to their present day coastal positions. It is the mystery of the unknown artisans and the intriguing remainder of their awe-inspiring work that continues to draw researchers and tourists from around the world today.

Aside from the mysterious statues, there are other interesting attractions on Easter Island. Anakena Beach is a sandy white crescent popular for bodysurfing, and and cuba diving and snorkeling is possible near the islets of Motu Nui and Motu Iti. There are also some fascinating and extensive cave systems to be explored near Ana Kakenga.

Most of the island's 2,000 inhabitants live in the main town Hanga Roa. It has accommodation, shops, restaurants and transport as well as a museum on the Rapa Nui people and their history.

Information & Facts


Easter Island is characterised by a subtropical climate. Summers are hot and humid while winters are relatively mild with heavy rainfall. July and August are the coldest months, April is the wettest and February is the hottest on average. Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms frequently occur during the winter months of June to August. Easter Island's temperature is moderated by the constant sea winds which keep the weather cool and mild throughout the year.

The official language is Spanish.

The local currency is the Chilean Peso (CLP), which is divided into 100 centavos. Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and to a lesser extent, American Express, are accepted in most large shops and hotels. Travellers cheques, particularly in US Dollars, are welcome in major towns, where there are banks and cambiosoffering currency exchange services. ATMs are widely available.

Mainland is GMT -4 (GMT -3 from October to March). Easter Island is GMT -6 (GMT -5 from October to March).
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