At about 2000 million years ago, some deep geological changes and the volcanic eruptions formed a perfect triangular- shaped piece of land called Easter Island (Ra Nui or Isla de la Pascua in Spanish) which lies at the centre of the Pacific Ocean. It lies at about 2000 miles from the nearest population centre of Chile and Santiago and its location makes it one of the most isolated places on Earth. The early settlers called Easter Island “Te Pito O Te Henua”/ (which is translated in English as the Navel of The World). However in 1722, the island was ‘’discovered’’ by the Dutch Admiral Jacob Roggeween who landed there on Easter Sunday and gave the island its non-native name, Easter Island. It is a tiny speck of land which is blessed with an extraordinary collection of archaeological sites including the famous Moai which are scattered amid an eerie and fascinating landscape. The enigmatic Moai statues are shrouded with a palpable aura and are known to form one of Easter Island’s most enduring images and exert a particular magnetic power that is hard to resist. In addition to the eerie statues, the island also possesses the Rongorongo script which is the only spoken language in the entire Oceania. The Easter Island is also famous for its rock carvings, traditional wood carvings, the tapa (bark cloth), crafts, tattooing, string figures and Ra Nui music. The island is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage site and much of the island’s land belongs to the Rapa Nui National Park. The Easter Island is also renowned yacht charter destination in the South Pacific; however there are not too many yachts who visit the area due to its remoteness.
It is not a surprise to any traveller that the well-publicised Moai which are found on the island have overshadowed the Island’s other interesting assets. However the Easter Island is much more than a mind-boggling open-air museum, there are many other things to discover and so many things to do when you visit the area. It is for sure that history is achingly prominent in the region but it is not the only ‘’raison d’être’’. For many visitors and yacht charterers who have not visited the island before, it comes as a surprise to discover that it hosts a superb playground for action seekers. There are numerous water sports activities available. The scuba-diving enthusiasts will discover the most crystal clear waters of the World, while the surfers will rave about the powerful waves of the pacific. It is often said that there is no better way to discover the ancient sites than on foot or on horseback, this contributes to make a perfect combination of nature and culture. You can also just lie back and relax on one of the handful of sandy beaches which are waiting. There are so many things to do on such a tiny, raw patch of land , that Easter island is like a magical place that never fails to make the visitors’ jaws drop in awe every time. You can also visit one of the various markets and shops in the area and make some interesting shopping at the famous Handicraft market (famous for its wood carvings and the only place in Polynesia where you can bargain), or the gift shop at the Museo Antropólogico Sebastián Englert (postage stamps, CD’s, jewelry, or t-shirts). You will also find numerous restaurants and snack bars scattered along Atamu Tekena and Te Pito o Te Henua. The seafood in the area is excellent and it is particularly recommended to try the ceviche de pescado, raw tuna marinated with lemon juice. Also watch for tasty local pastries called empanadas.