DAILY TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Easter Island

Next up on Island Week it’s one of the most remote places on Earth: Easter Island. Known as Rapa Nui by locals, it’s 1289 miles across the Pacific to somewhere else that is inhabited, and over 2000 miles to the South American mainland. Despite its remoteness, Rapa Nui is instantly recognisable for the iconic and mysterious Moai statues.

The huge moai were carved from volcanic rock on the slopes of Rano Raraku volcano, in the middle of the island. Made around between 1100 and 1680AD, the enormous statues took a team of people over a year each to carve using stone chisels. It is not known exactly why the statues were carved and the best theory is that they represent deceased ancestors. The statues are dotted all over the island, with some standing in rows on specially constructed platforms known as an ahu. Others were left in the quarry or abandoned along the route of paths around the island. It is not known how the islanders moved the statues, with some estimates suggesting it would take around 150 people to drag them with ropes.

The moai aren’t the only mystery on Easter Island. South of Hanga Roa, the main town on the island, is Orongo Ceremonial Village. Built into the side of a volcano, these strange cave-like houses are surrounded by stone carvings of birds and Polynesian gods made in the 16th and 17th centuries. These were part of a “Birdman” cult that involved swimming to a nearby island, collecting a bird’s egg and then climbing back up the cliffs while carrying the egg. The winners of the race were afforded sacred status.

Read more on Easter Island below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

Easter Island is just one of many featured destinations part of our Daily Travel Inspiration series. Discover more at Daily Travel Inspiration or add it as part of your flash briefings on your Amazon Alexa device. Search 'Daily Travel Inspiration' on your alexa app or check out our Alexa page for more information.

GETTING THERE

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ACTIVITIES AROUND Easter Island

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