Navel of the World (Te Pito O Te Henua), Big island (Rapa Nui), and Eyes Fixed on the Sky (Mata Ki Te Rangi), are some of the main names given to one of the most paradisiacal places on the planet: Easter Island. Situated in the south of the Pacific Ocean, it is an island of East Polynesia belonging to Chile, on South America’s last frontier, and very important for its moai. Although you have probably never heard this name, it’s almost impossible that you have never seen what it represents: huge stone statues of torsos and faces shown in films and cartoons, as can be seen in the photo in this text.
The moai, also called Easter Island heads, are the real mysteries and charms of Easter island, since little is known about the showy works of art produced by the Rapanui people between 1250 and 1500, because, to the present day, no explanation has been found for how the 887 gigantic statues were spread throughout the island, since at that time this type of mobility was rare. The statues, the highlight of the island that is 3500km distant from the Chilean coast, are on average four meters tall, but some vary from 1 meter to 10 meters, and many reach an estimated weight of 80 tons.
The name, Easter Island, is due to the date of its discovery, on an Easter Sunday in 1722, way before it was annexed by Chile. Therefore, the moai are, above all, the conservation of Polynesian roots, since there are no written registers or other cultural forms of the ancient natives. With charming landscapes, Easter Island has perfect trails for hiking, cycling, horseback riding and for tours, and all this with a lovely view of blue seas and majestic rocky mountains. A basic tourist tip is a visit to Anakena Beach – with its own set of moai and a complex system of caves- besides the village of Orongo and the volcanoes Rano Kaue and Rano Raraku.
The only town on Easter island is called Hanga Roa, and holds the local airport, as well as the main hotels – which offer shows with typical dances - , restaurants , and service operators that offer diving, snorkeling , and kyak rides, for example. For souvenirs, visit the handicrafts market and buy some of the typical products: coral and shell necklaces, wood carvings, and stone articles recalling the moai. To eat, enjoy the variety of seafood, especially the ceviche and grilled tuna, both harmonized with Chilean white wine, whose quality is attested by enologists.