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Easter Island or "Rapa Nui" is best known for its immense "head statues", but there's more to discover on it than you might think!
Our portal takes you on a virtual journey of this triangular-shaped exotic island Pacific island.
For any information, advice on Easter Island, our site is what you need!
We are your online travel guide, advisor, we provide you articles about the Rapa Nui's culture & history, we also try to unveil the mystery of the moai statues, show you great photos and help you find the best places to visit!
The mystery around the moai statues
The massive carved rock head figures known as "moai" are the primary attraction of this small island.
The heads were literally cut out of hard volcanic rock and were moved many kilometers to where they are located now. Even with modern technology it would be very difficult to produce such a large number of smoothly statues and also transport them to long distances.
The massive heads differ in design, some statues even have hats, others have complex eyes (built from multiple pieces of rocks), others have hands... The locals who carved them certainly had a good sense for art and didn't just hurry to build them.
There are several Moai groups that look especially interesting. For example the ones on the side of the Rano Raraku Volcano, where you'll find a picturesque landscape with lots of stone heads spread across it...
Easter Island Quest tries to answer to questions about the construction and transportation of the moai, not only looking at the technical part, but also at the possible reasons why they were erected.
Read: The giant moai statues
The Rapa Nui culture
This culture is part of the Polynesian cultures, the local language is also called "Rapa Nui" and is part of the Polynesian language family.
Interestingly this rare language (which almost disappeared) is spoken by a little over 4.500 ethnic Rapa Nui people is so unique that seemingly it has no connection to any other language.
The religious past is particularly interesting, but unfortunately Roman Catholicism has erased much of the original local beliefs, legends. It is believed that the Moai have some sort of religious significance, but there are only speculations about what/whom they might represent and why they were erected.
The Rapa Nui people had their own writing, it is called Rongorongo. The locals used this hieroglyphical writing to record messages on stones especially. Many of the carved stones are still intact and the oldest ones were dated back to the 17th century only, despite the fact that the local population is believe to have lived there since 300 AD.
Read: Rapa Nui culture
Easter Island's mysterious and troubled past
Several hundreds of years ago a group of Polynesians have set their feet on the shores of this island.
According to the traditions, they were led by Hotu Matu'a, sort of a tribal leader ("Ariki Mau"), some sources go further and even call him "The First King of Rapa Nui".
Legends say that the settlers have arrived in 2 boats and numbered several hundreds of people.
Scientists have determined that the island was inhabited
The history of Easter Island is very rich and unfortunately tragic too. Initially having had a population of several hundred people, there was prosperity and joy, but overpopulation has lead to deforestation, starvation and therefore unrest.
Almost all trees were cut down and it became impossible for anyone to leave the island.
Major conflicts erupted, the many of the wonderful Moai statues were vandalized, even cannibalism appeared and was present for a long time, even after the arrival of colonists.
Read: History of Rapa Nui
Travel to Easter Island, visit the attractions!
To visit Easter Island, you either have to approach it by airplane from Santiago, Chile or New Zealand or French Polynesia. But which are the primary attractions you should see?
First of all, you can admire the wonders of Rapa Nui craftsmanship. There are about 900 Moai statues on the Island. Among other attractions, there is the Orongo Village, the frequently visited (not to be missed!) places of Ahu Akivi, Ahu Tongariki, the walled structures at Ahu Vinapu and there are many volcanoes, like the Rano Kau Volcano and the Rano Raraku Volcano.
There are few trees on the island, so you shouldn't expect dense green forests, rather grass-covered hilly terrain.
Your trip will be easier if you take our travel advices, use our detailed Easter Island map and you should also check our unique Easter Island hotspot locator (located on top right on every page).
Our travel guide is split into several articles. We hope you will find it useful!
Read: Travel planning advice