The first inhabitants of Easter Island called their home Rapa Nui or Te Pito o Te Henua - The Navel of the World. This tiny place, only 117sq. km (45sq miles) in area, is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, where a complex culture existed, under extreme conditions of isolation. Easter Island is Chilean territory and is almost lost in the endless blue of the Pacific Ocean at 2,360 miles from any inhabited coast.
Myth and reality are blended in this territory that gave origin to an extraordinary culture, which makes Rapa Nui a valuable archaeological treasure that reaches beyond Chilean frontiers. The island was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995 and recognized as one of the most significant outdoor museums in the world.
Until 30 years ago, Easter Island was visited only once a year by the Chilean Navy bringing supplies to the islanders. But even though few people before the 1960s could make a personal visit, Easter Island has gripped the world’s imagination for centuries. One baffling image made it famous: lettering the island are hundreds of giant, tight-lipped basalt statues, unique in the world. The tiny island and its mysterious statues have presented us with one of the most fascinating archaeological riddles of all time.
Its strategic location makes it the principal point of connection and point of entry to Oceania and is also an important centre for scientific investigation of all types, especially archaeological and anthropological, considering the high content of vestiges of that millenary culture.
How did an early seafaring people find this remote speck in the Pacific Ocean? Where did they come from? How did they transport their enormous statues (called Moai), carved from a quarry in the side of a volcano, to the coast end erect them on giant stone altars? And above all – why did they do so? The presence of the Moai has resulted in many conjectures regarding their meaning, construction and transportation. The statues have characteristics that make them unique to the world. They have also made people aware of the island, increasing the knowledge of the rest of the world on elements such as, petroglyphs, body painting, handicrafts, tattoo, gastronomy, dance, music, language and their hieroglyphically scripture.
Today, regular LAN Airlines flights from Santiago have broken the island’s isolation. People visiting Chile have the chance to see this legendary site, marvel at the remains of an enigmatic Pacific culture and make up their own minds on the origin of the statues.
ChileQuest will help you accomplish this dream trip, by designing an itinerary according to your needs, in which you will be able to find all aspects that make the island one of the most attractive and interesting destinations in the world. We invite you to discover the Te Pito o Te Henua people from its cultural origin 1,500 years ago up to the Rapa Nui of the present millennium. See ourPrograms and Activities.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Lira # 441, Suite 65, Santiago de Chile. Phone: +(56.2) 2635.0541 / firstname.lastname@example.org