Reasons to visit Easter Island may not immediately spring to your mind. You may never have heard of it before now or you may simply know it’s that place of the weird stone head statues. Easter Island – or Rapa Nui – is a Polynesian island in the south eastern Pacific and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fame of the Moai (head statues) has somewhat eclipsed the other reasons to visit Easter Island and unfairly so. This is a spellbinding destination, uplifting for the eyes and soul and I hope to prove that to you with my 7 Reasons to Visit Easter Island:
1. The Moai
Of course, these are the primary reason to visit Easter Island. There are 887 stone statues so far catalogued and originate from 1100-1680 CE according to carbon dating. Although we commonly refer to them as heads, most of the Moai are torsos ending at the top of the thighs. A few are complete and depict figures on bending knees. The statues can be found at various places on the island – the best being Ahu Nua Nua and Ahu Tongariki. The Moai are iconic enigmas that are unique and a sight to be seen to be truly appreciated.
2. The Weather
Being an island and given its elevation, there is always an element of wind but Easter Island offers its guests a wonderful vacation climate. Best months for sunshine are November through February. You’ll also be pleased to know that the Island doesn’t experience hurricanes and cyclones.
3. The Beaches
Being a tropical paradise is just another of the great reasons to visit Rapa Nui. The beaches are picture postcard perfect. Anakena Beach is pristine; crystal clear waters, silken sugar-soft sands, swaying palm trees and all guarded by an imposing moai. Ohave is another gorgeous example although you have to watch out for falling rocks. If you’re close to the capital, Hanga Roa, the postage stamp size Pea Beach is an absolute delight.
4. The People
Like most Polynesians, the people of Easter Island are incredibly friendly and the vibe just sings welcome. Visit Easter Island and you’ll find the inhabitants eager to share the magic, majesty and mystique of their homeland.
5. The Culture
There’s enough reasons to visit Easter Island to keep any culture vulture happy. Whilst the Moai have their own fascinating story, the heritage of Rapa Nui can be found in its cave paintings, rock carvings, volcanic craters and assorted archaeological sites. Must sees include the traditional ceremonial village of Orongo , the walls at Vinapu, the Rano Kau crater and the cave at Ana Kai Tangata. If you are looking to visit Easter Island in February (the best month), you’ll be able to witness and participate in the annual Tapati Festival; a wonderful celebration of Rapanui culture.
6. The Great Outdoors
Visit Easter Island to participate in activities with a stunning backdrop. As well as offering glass clear waters for divers and surf beaches for boarders, the island is fabulous for walking and horse riding. A trip along the Eastern Poike Peninsula presents the intrepid walker with some amazing views of eroded land of beautiful colors in all shades of red and orange.
7. The Capital
Hanga Roa is the capital and only town on the island. It can boast a population of 3300 which is swelled to 4000 with tourists. It’s becoming quite the modern little metropolis as the fingers of the tourist trade start to get a grip. There are luxury hotels with swimming pools and even WiFi. Restaurants and entertainment spots are starting to up their game too but never fear – the escape from the modern world factor is still very much alive here as one of the key reasons to visit Easter Island.
It is nice to know that there are still places like Rapa Nui. Places that beguile and fill you with wonderment. Places where the modern world feels far far away. (Chile is a 5 hour flight). People looking for the reasons to visit Easter Island are those that appreciate that simplicity still has a place, that heritage is something to be celebrated and that beauty can be found in nature. If you ever get the chance, visit Easter Island and have an amazing adventure.
Top Photo Credit: pinterest.com