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Tapati Rapa Nui (Easter Island) 2021, Chile
January 29 - February 6
How about a festival on one of the most remote islands in the world? Easter Island’s Tapati is a celebration in a place that is fascinating to explore between events.
The Tapati Festival takes place during the islands high season and is a mix of sporting events and singing and dancing. The singing and dancing take place at night on a stage at Hanga Vare Vare. There is also body painting and storytelling.
There are a range of sporting events including an island-wide triathlon (with local variations, including running while carrying about 20kg of bananas), horse races, swimming competitions, wave-riding/surfing and canoeing. A particularly local tradition is the Haka Pei, which involves charging 200 metres down a 45-degree slope on the trunk of a banana tree.
Handicrafts are displayed and there are local looking competitions. On the penultimate day there is a procession and on the last day the king and queen of Tapati are crowned.
Easter Island is small, so the festival draws in a large percentage of the inhabitants.
It’s understood that the 2021 Tapati Festival will go ahead, although the island will be closed to tourism during this period.
The History of Tapati Rapa Nui
Tapati Rapa Nui literally means Rapa Nui week, though it actually lasts for two. It began in the 1970s as a way of reviving the island’s culture and teaching the young about Easter Island’s history.
Other Things to Do on Easter Island
Of course, Easter Island is famous for its stone statues or Easter Island moai, yet there are also great beaches, volcanoes to hike to, the remains of old stone villages and the anthropological museum. For more information read Stranded in Paradise with Easter Island Statues by our editor, Mark Jackson, though don’t let him off the hook, as he did not try the great surfing on the north shore.
When is Tapati Rapa Nui?
Saturday 29 January to Saturday 6 February, 2021.
Flights to Easter Island
To find the best accommodation and worldwide flights, please search via our comparison engine, which scans all the major booking sites. (Please note that Easter Island is currently closed to tourism, as of 29 December 2020).
LATAM Airlines has flights from Santiago airport to Easter Island. British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Santiago, via Sao Paulo in Brazil. There is also a flight, once a week, to and from Tahiti.
Hotels on Easter Island
To find the best accommodation in the area and worldwide flights, please search via our comparison engine, which scans all the major booking sites.
For more on the Tapati Festival
For more on things to do on Easter Island:
All images, apart from of Ahu Tongarik provided by Imagina Isla de Pascua.