5 facts about Easter Island

April 27, 2020
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The isolated Rapa Nui – or Easter Island, as it is perhaps better known – is an island located deep in the South Pacific, and one that is simply teeming with outstanding nature, surprising secrets and a remarkable history that make it oh so worth a visit. Here are 5 interesting facts about this mystifying corner of the world.

It was the first Pacific island to be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site..

The enormous stone statues that call Easter Island home remain – to this day – as one of the world’s greatest mysteries. Estimated to have been built somewhere between the 10th and 16th centuries, no-one knows exactly why, when or how these incredible statues were built, nor the details behind the mysterious rise and fall of a clearly advanced and prosperous civilization. The entire island was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1995.

It is home to nearly 1,000 Moai statues..

You may have been aware of these enormous stone heads – officially known as Moai statues –, but did you know there were so many? It is estimated that there are close to 1,000 statues on the island, as well as more than 300 ceremonial platforms and thousands of other structures related to the daily life of the small, mysterious, Polynesian society that inhabited it.

None of the statues were standing when scientists arrived!

By the 15th century, two social groupings ruled different areas of the island. From 1724 until 1750, they began to fight for control of the island, which would last until the 1860s! Many of the statues were damaged during the civil wars, with the rest being toppled after the arrival of Spanish Christians to Easter Island who wanted to destroy any spiritual power the statues held. By the time French missionaries arrived in 1860, none were left standing.

Easter Island lies 3,700km to the west of Chile!

Although officially a special territory of Chile, it can be hard to connect Easter Island to a country that is a whopping 3,700km away. Still, for those travelling to Chile it’s an incredible extra stop on the itinerary, and a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

It is one of the most remote islands in the world!

We’ve already mentioned how far Easter Island is from Chile, but to give you an even clearer idea of just how remote it is – its nearest inhabited neighbour is Pitcairn Island, 2,075 km away…the nearest town with a population of more than 500 people is Rikitea, on the island of Mangareva, 2,606 km away… and the nearest continental land point lies in central Chile, 3,513 km away! All of which makes Easter Island a great place to get away from it all, quite literally!

Highlights of Easter Island

Rano Raraku

A trek to this volcanic crater via the southeastern slope will have you walking amongst 400 of the 1,000 Moai statues found on the island. You can also enjoy a superb panoramic view of  Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial centre of the island. Home to 15 of the compacted volcanic ash Moai statues.


The ceremonial centre of the island and home to 53 flat stone houses, restored in 1974. Here you’ll find rocks with petroglyphs that symbolize fertility: the birdman Tangata Manu and the Make Make, the main divinity for the Rapa Nui culture.


Enjoy the warm, turquoise waters of this white-coral-sand beach, one of only two on the island, and the only one open to swimmers. At one of the seaside kiosks, try the traditional poe, a sweet pudding prepared with pumpkin and flour.

Inspired to visit Easter Island? Speak to our Travel Specialists today about creating your perfect trip.

Highlights images courtesy of Chile Tourist board

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