Enjoying the excitement of traveling around the world is certainly an unforgettable experience. Not only that but by going on a tourist trip, we can learn about the origin of an area, the diversity of tourism, and many other things. There is one interesting thing when traveling in South America, precisely in Chile, is when traveling to Easter Island. Many beautiful things can be seen on this island which is certainly an unforgettable experience.

Easter Island in Chile can be said to be remote in the world. But there are many interesting things that tourists can find there.

(Photo: wallpaperflare)

The legendary large stone statues on Easter Island have never been separated from the minds of tourists. This most isolated island has the closest distance to the mainland as far as 3,218 kilometers from Chile.

Best Way To Travel To Easter Island

Easter Island, located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and part of Chile, is a mysterious place. 

One of the reasons is that there are hundreds of large stone statues or moai scattered on the island.

According to an index from the United Nations (UN), Easter Island is the most remote inhabited island in the world.  It is located in the southeast of the Pacific Ocean, and the closest country to this island is Chile.  Easter Island has been part of Chile since 1888.

Also, read: Traveling To Ecuador.

For those who want to visit this island, the only way is to take a plane, because there is no port in this place. The island has a small airport called Mataveri, and there is only one airline that flies to the island, LATAM, according to The Travel.

According to the official website of LATAM Airlines, Mataveri Airport was built by NASA as a space shuttle emergency path.

The shortest flight duration to Easter Island is about five hours via Santiago Airport in Chile. Meanwhile, if flying from Tahiti in French Polynesia (French Polynesia), then the duration is about seven hours.

The distance between Mataveri International Airport and Santiago, Chile is equivalent to a trip from Washington D.C. to Las Vegas.

Rapa Nui Airport is considered the most remote airport in the world, as the closest airport to Easter Island is Mangareva in the Gambier Islands (French Polynesia), located 2,603 kilometers despite having no direct connection to it.

There are currently only two direct connection flights with Mataveri Airport.

  1. The first, Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez Santiago de Chile International Airport (SCL), is located at a distance of 3,759 km.
  2. The second, with Faa'a Papeete International Airport in Tahiti (French Polynesia) located at 4,254 km, which is the only international destination connected to it.

About Easter Island

Many facts about Easter Island are interesting to know, quoted from The Culture Trip.

  • The origin of the name Easter Island

A Dutch admiral, Jacob Roggeveen, is said to be the first European to land on this isolated island on Easter Sunday in 1722.  

At the time of his arrival, Roggeveen named the island Paasch-Eyland which comes from Dutch, meaning Easter Island.

Besides being known as Easter Island, this area has another name, Rapa Nui, which is still used by locals. However, whether the name is the original name of this island is still a matter of debate. Some believe that the name Rapa Nui was given by Peruvian slave robbers in the mid-19th century. Previously, the island was believed to have the first name Pito O Te Henua, or navel of the world.

  • Origin of the inhabitants of Easter Island

Maybe many are curious about how the isolated island has inhabitants.  According to legend about 1,500 years ago, Hotu Matu'a, an adventurous leader from Polynesian Hiva Island, in present-day Marquesas Islands, took his people to Easter Island.  

Hotu Matu'a and his group had settled on the island, living in secrecy, away from the world for generations, before European colonists finally arrived.

  • How the moai statues on Easter Island are made

The basic material of statues or moai on Easter Island is from tuff or compacted volcanic ash. This ash can be found in the crater area of the Rano Raraku volcano on the island.

Also, read: Traveling To Antarctica.

As a soft stone, tuff can be easily shaped by hand or chiseled stone.  Then, the finished statue was brought from the crater area to the vicinity of Easter Island, but unfortunately, the story of this creation is only based on oral information passed down from generation to generation. 

Until now there has been no real clue about how the statues on Easter Island were transported because many statues are partially buried and most weigh up to 82 tons.

  • The meaning of the moai statue on Easter Island

The inhabitants of Easter Island or Rapa Nui carved huge stone statues to represent the faces of their ancestors. The reason why the statues face inward is to show protection for each other.  

Some moai have a hat-like shape on the head, which is theoretically a symbol of power, and others represent hair. 

At first, there were thousands of moai statues, but before the island was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, many statues were taken by collectors.  

Moai itself can also be found in several museums around the world, the most famous of which are the Louvre in Paris, France, and the British Museum in London, England.

  • Rapa Nui culture is celebrated

There is an annual festival called Tapati Rapa Nui which has become a culture on this island.  The festival takes place for two weeks in early February each year.  

At that time, there will be two teams led by a "queen". The winner is crowned the "Queen of the Island" throughout the year.  Other traditional activities carried out by residents include dancing, wood carving, and playing musical instruments.

Four Places with Miraculous Stories on Easter Island

1. Moai Statue

Easter Island is famous for its large stone carvings often called Moai. The largest statue is called El Gigante, located near the Rano Raraku Mine, which is about 29 meters high.

(Photo: wallup.net)

El Gigante weighs a total of about 182 metric tons, roughly equal to the weight of two Boeing 737 aircraft. Experts believe that the man who created El Gigante was very ambitious. In comparison, Paro, the largest Moai ever established, is "only" 10 meters tall and weighs about 75 metric tons.

2. Orongo

The ruins of the Birdman procession are scattered throughout Easter Island, precisely in the Orongo area. The Birdman procession is a way for ancestors in Rapa Nui to "reconcile" tribes who often fight cannibals.

how do you travel to easter island
(Photo: chile.travel)

Simply put, in this event inter-tribal participants must compete to pick up manutara bird eggs - which are considered sacred, on Motu Nu Island, a small island opposite Easter Island whose waters are inhabited by flocks of sharks, steep corals, and large waves.

Orongo, which is near Mount Rano Kau, is the location where the procession starts and finishes. The person who was the first to get the egg was declared the leader of the island.

3. Navel of the World

If interpreted, this stone means 'Navel of the World'. At first glance, the so-called Navel of the World seems to be nothing more than a huge cobblestone. However, the mysterious stone is believed to have been brought to the island specifically by the first king of Rapa Nui, Hotu Matua.

getting to easter island from chile
(Photo: lowtideorbit.blogspot.com)

The location of this stone is said to be the starting point for the emergence of life in the world. Many believe this theory, moreover, the shape of the stone is smooth, different from the stones around it.

And when the compass is placed on the stone, it will lose its direction. If explained logically, most likely it is caused by magnetic elements contained in the stone. There are now four stones placed around the main stone, as a symbol of the four sides of the compass.

4. Pu o Hiro

Pu o Hiro (Hiro Trumpet) is located in Hanga Roa, the main village. The sacred object was named after Hiro, the rain god Rapa Nui.

Pu o Hiro
(Photo: tripadvisor.com)

The villagers would blow a hole in the top of the rock, creating a loud trumpet sound. This musical instrument is used for several purposes: to call their neighbors gathered to call fish so that they are easily fished.

Pu o Hiro is also often a gift for tribes who win in fights. The stone is now fenced, so that no prankster tourists try to blow it.

That's a little information about "travel to Easter Island". Hopefully, this travel information to Easter Island is useful and a reference for you.