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Mysterious Easter Island is one of the world's most isolated and intriguing islands. Over 1,000 moai or "living faces" are still scattered around the island, most of them toppled onto the ground. However, since 1956 a few dozen have been re-erected on their stone platforms. The quarry on the slopes of Rano Raraku volcano, where the statues were originally carved, is the island's top sight with 397 statues in various stages of completion. The famous birdman cult was focused at Orongo, an ancient ceremonial center with circular stone dwellings restored in the 1970s. It's not well known that Easter Island offers some of the best coastal hiking ...

Mysterious Easter Island is one of the world's most isolated and intriguing islands. Over 1,000 moai or "living faces" are still scattered around the island, most of them toppled onto the ground. However, since 1956 a few dozen have been re-erected on their stone platforms. The quarry on the slopes of Rano Raraku volcano, where the statues were originally carved, is the island's top sight with 397 statues in various stages of completion. The famous birdman cult was focused at Orongo, an ancient ceremonial center with circular stone dwellings restored in the 1970s. It's not well known that Easter Island offers some of the best coastal hiking in the South Pacific, especially along the northwest coast from Anakena Beach back to the small town of Hanga Roa. Much of the island is protected in Rapa Nui National Park including almost all of the numerous archaeological sites. There's so much to see that one should budget five days for Easter Island rather than the usual three travel agents suggest.

David Stanley
About the Expert

David Stanley is the author of the Moon guidebooks Fiji, Tahiti, and South Pacific. He has been writing about the Pacific since 1979.

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David Stanley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located 3,600 km west of continental Chile and 2,075 km (1,290 statute miles) east of Pitcairn Island, Easter Island is one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world
  • Language: Spanish, Rapa Nui
  • Currency: Chilean Peso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Try to come for the Tapati Rapa Nui Festival in late January or February but book your flight a year ahead (accommodations are no problem).