Stranded in Paradise with Easter Island Statues
After travelling around the Cape in Patagonia, Mark Bibby Jackson heads to the Pacific for a meeting with the famous Easter Island statues or moai, and somewhat outstays…
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as it is called locally, is a small island – some 63 square miles – right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, more than 2,000 miles from South America. It is the most wonderful place to visit, and comes highly recommended to be included on any travel bucket list.
Now owned by Chile, the first European to discover the island was the Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen, who landed in 1722 on Easter Sunday. It was annexed by Chile in 1888.
The island is most noted for the more than 1,000 statues or moai built by the Rapa Nui people that are dotted around the place. Various theories abound as to why the statues were built. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995.
As Rapa Nui is so isolated, the only reliable way to get there is by plane from the Chilean capital Santiago, although there is a weekly flight from Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia.