Easter Island

The Easter Island, located in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean, is a Polynesian island annexed from Chile in 1888; and is said to be ‘the most remote inhabited island in the world’ with the closest island, the Pitcairn Island, being 2075 km away. The moniker ‘Easter Island’ was given by a Dutch explorer said to have discovered it on Easter Sunday; it is also referred to as Rapa Nui or Isla de Pascua.

Easter Island consists of three extinct volcanoes, the Terevaka (which is 507m high and forms the bulk of the island), Poike (a separate island that was joined to the others by volcanic material from the Terevaka) and Rano Kau; that give the island its triangular shape. Easter Island also has other volcanic features such as the Rano Raraku crater, the Puna Pau cinder cone and numerous volcanic caves that include lava tubes.

The Easter Island has a rich history that largely consists of slave raids, colonialism, famine and even cannibalism and was deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Easter Island has several major myths such as the BirdMan cult, aku-aku said to be guardians of the sacred family caves, among others. One of Easter Island most important heritage is the stone statues (moai) which were carved out of solidified volcanic ash using stone hand chisels and they each represented the deceased lineage head; and they placed on stone platforms (ahu) and often found near the coast. An annual festival-Tapati is held annually around February to celebrate Rapanui culture and thus a great time to visit the island.