Easter Island Guide, Chile
Easter Island Moai at Tongariki
Easter Island Guide for Visitors
Climate: subtropical with an annual average temperature of 20C. September to April, the drier months, is the main tourist season.
Coldest month, August/mid-winter (15C-18C). Hottest month February/summer (24C-27C).
Wettest month, May (16cm of rain). The driest month is September.
Easter Island’s capital is the tiny, practically invisible town of Hanga Roa.
Best Sights on Rapa Nui
• Fifteen moai lined up on Tongariki’s volcanic shore, the most on one platform(picture at top).
• Four well-preserved moai, a bunch of palms trees, soft white sand and the protected waters of delightful Anakena beach.
• Hundreds of well-preserved moai in varied stages of completion emerging spookily from the ground of the grassed, volcanic quarry of Rano Raraku, inside and outside the crater.
• The post-moai, bird-God ceremonial houses and petroglyphs of Orongo, perched on the ridge between the massive Rano Kau volcano and a sheer cliff face into the sea.
• The tiny but perfectly informed Padre Sebastian Englert museum on the outskirts of Hanga Roa which has clear descriptions and exhibits documenting the peculiar history of this island. This is where you will see a female moai, samples of the weapons used during the latter years of conflict and examples of wood engraved with Rapa Nui’s unique writing system, rongorongo (a picture-based concept where you have to flip the wood around to read each new line).
A Few Facts
Population: about 3, 800. Language, Spanish or Rapa Nui. Currency, preferably Chilean pesos. Dollars OK though the exchange rate is pathetic. There is one ATM on the island.
Distance from Chile, 3, 800 kms (2, 375miles). Distance from Tahiti (the next island), 4, 050 kms. Thus this is the most remote inhabited island in the world.
There are hundreds of moai (stone carved statues) on the island; sources differ on the precise number and we didn’t count them.
Easter Island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
Rapa Nui is triangular, 23km long by 11km wide, and was created by the eruption of three volcanoes that are still visible. The total area of Rapa Nui is 171 sq kms. There are just two sandy beaches, on the north coast.