|Travel and tourism throughout Latin America.|
|Easter Island, Chile|
mysterious Easter Island Moai statues, or Rapa Nui, have been beckoning
to visitors for ages. Considered one of the seven wonders of
world, the statues enchant and beguile with their secrets.
were they built? And why?
Easter Island Moai
on Traveling Latin America:
|Getting to Easter Island
While Easter Island is officially a part of Chile, it lies in the Pacific Ocean more than 2000 miles from that country's mainland. At the time of this writing, the only airline servicing Easter Island is Lan airline, with service out of Papeete, Tahiti and Santiago, Chile.
The Moai Statues
This is the reason most people travel to this out-of-the-way Polynesian isle. Carved from volcanic rock by members of the islands early tribes, the oldest of the statues dates from around 800 A.D. More than 800 Moai stand around the island, some in their intended ceremonial spots, but many left unfinished.
To view the biggest variety of Moai, head to Raro Ranaku, the extinct volcano where the famous statues were created. There are over 300 Moai here, some in the very beginning stages and others nearly complete. Why were they abandoned? We cannot say.
Ahu Nau Nau
This spot is where you'll find the oldest Moai on Easter Island.
Fifteen Moai stare out impassively at Ahu Tongariki. You've probably seen them before, as these are some of the most photographed statues on the island.
Iglesia Hanga Roa
When not exploring the Moai, you might find yourself spending time in Hanga Roa, the only town on the island. Here you can visit the Iglesia Hanga Roa, notable for its interesting mix of traditional Catholic church ornaments and traditional Polynesian designs.
Museo Antropologico Sebastian Englert
At Museo Antropologico Sebastian Englert you can learn more about Easter Island's history and the Moai statues.
Although you're there to see the mysterious handiwork of an ancient culture, you're on a Polynesian island after all. Enjoy some sand and sun at Anakena Beach or Playa Pea, near town.
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