Easter Island | Stone Sculptures of Human Forms

Because of the Easter Island mysteries, it has always been on the list of the top most attractive places, yet it is the least visited.

Those of you who like historical mysteries will heartily love this place, and to those who have been wondering where Easter Island is located, what country is Easter Island in or what country does easter island belong to?

The answer is it is located in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean, and this island is in Chile.

Its early natives, the island was known as Rapa Nui, which was later modified to Paasieland or Easter land by the dutches who explored the island in 1722 and baptized it in honor of their arrival.

Easter island statues
Easter Human statues/Easter Island Stone Figures
British Museum Easter Island head/Easter Island British Museum

Before Island came into existence, natives of Rapa Nui believed 500 years ago. They are the only people living on Earth. The island with stone statues is famous because of its ancient 900 giant stone figures.

There has been much speculation regarding the statues’ precise purpose, the ancient civilization’s involvement in the easter island area, and the methods used to construct and transport them.

London’s British Museum is known for its global cultural treasures. A magnificent Easter Island sculpture is on display. The museum shows Easter Island’s rich history and aesthetic legacy with this intriguing object.

British Museum archaeological and cultural exhibits are intriguing. The Easter Island head is among the museum’s impressive objects of art. The British Museum teaches foreign cultures and human history.

The name of the easter island museum is Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum in Hanga Roa.

Easter Island History

Before the island was christened as ‘Easter Island,’ the island was known as Rapa Nui, which was given by the Tahitian sailors in 1866, which meant ‘Great Rapa’ due to its similarity with another island known as Rapa Nui (meaning ‘Little Rapa’) in Polynesia.

The island’s current name was innovated by Jacob Roggeveen, A Dutch sea captain and the first European to visit the island.

Easter Island moai
View of the island/Mystery Statues/Easter Island Statue Body

According to Thor Heyerdahl, the Island had been established initially by advanced societies of Indians from South America.

Which was later concluded as an incorrect hypothesis by comprehensive archaeological, linguistic, and ethnographic research.

With the help of the DNA samples from the skeleton, extracts confirmed that the original inhabitants were Polynesian and that they probably came from Marquesas, who arrived in the earliest 318 AD.

In 1888, chile added Island, renting half of the land for sheep raising. The government of Chile also appointed a civilian governor in 1965 for this site and residents residing on the island. So that was all about easter island chile history.

Easter Island Moai Mystery

It is most popular features are its gigantic stone statues known as moai. At least 288 of these moai are standing on large stone platforms known as ahu.

250 of these ahu platforms are placed half a mile away to create an unbroken line around the island’s edge.

Easter Island feet? The height of the Moai statue is 14 feet, 6’ tall, and it weighs around 14 tons. Few of the moai were as big as 33 feet and weighed around 80 tons or more.

Moai standing on ahu
Moai standing on Ahu/Stone Statues Island/Easter Island Chile Travel

Depending on the size of the statues, it is estimated that at least 50-150 people were required to drag the statues over the countryside on the wooden sled and rollers made from the island trees. 

In numerous stages of completion, 600 moai statues are dispersed in every part of the island. All the Maoi were sculpted from the hard stone of the Rano Raraku volcano.

Easter Island pics
Big Head Statues on Easter Island pics/easter island sculptures

Small amounts of moai were covered with a ‘crown’ on their head made up of red volcanic rock. The purpose behind these capstones is still unknown.

However, people referred to them as ‘easter islands head’ because most of the moai photographs taken were those in which half of the statue’s body was buried up to the shoulder.

It is an enormous stone monument unknown. The Rapa Nui’s cutting and transportation procedures for statues weighing several tonnes are still questioned.

Easter Island Mystery

Scholars haven’t found anything to explain the moai statues’ purpose and meaning.

It’s a small island in the Pacific Ocean that is well-known for its large stone statues. No one knows how the statues were made or moved, but they are a reminder of the island’s rich history and culture.

It was a belief amongst ancient Polynesians that the carved stones and the wooden objects have a magical essence in them known as mana when they are correctly made and ritually formulated. According to the archaeologists, the Moai statues were built with the same idea.

Stone statues of people
Easter Island Stones statues of people/ Big Heads Easter Island Stone Statues

Facts of Easter Island

Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is an isolated island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Here are some interesting facts about Easter Island:

  • The Island and its moai statues were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Its cultural significance and Easter Island Rapa Nui Chile civilization relics are well known.
  • How far is easter island from Chile in miles? The Island lies 3,700 km(2300 miles) west of Chile, its nearest populated mainland. One of Earth’s most isolated inhabited islands.
  • The Rapa Nui people, descendants of Polynesian settlers who arrived around the 13th century, live on the island. Rapa Nui is still spoken locally.
  • It celebrates the Tapati Rapa Nui Festival annually. It showcases Rapa Nui culture through music, dance, sports, and crafts.
  • It created the Birdman Cult. The “Birdman competition,” one of the Big Stone Heads Easter Island fun facts, occurred annually. Swimmers had to climb rocks and find the first seabird egg on an islet to determine the Rapa Nui leaders for the year.
  • It attracts tourists worldwide to witness its moai statues, unusual landscapes, and intriguing history.
  • It was named after its first European contact on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1722. Jacob Roggeveen and his crew were the first Europeans to see the island.
  • Easter Island Atlantis is often linked in myths, but there is no clear connection between Easter Island and the mythical lost city of Atlantis.

These facts, highlighting interesting facts on Easter Island, provide a glimpse into this remarkable island’s fascinating history and cultural heritage.

Easter Island heads
Easter Island heads/Big stone face statues

Where is the Moai Statue

Archaeologists on Easter Island, also called Rapa Nui, found something exciting on the island. They discovered a statue that was not known before.

This statue is one of the famous stone figures on easter island called moai that can be found all around the island. The discovery tells us more about the people who lived on island a long time ago.

Easter Island Statues Facts

It is fascinating moai statues have fascinated humans for years. The distant island’s massive stone statues are cultural and historical. Let’s explore these great statues’ unique facts:

  • It has more than 900 moai statues, making it one of the most amazing places in the world to see a lot of large sculptures.
  • The Rapa Nui people used stone tools to cut the moai out of tuff, which is compressed volcanic ash. They used stone chisels, picks, and rough materials to make the statues.
  • “Paro,” the tallest moai, is 10 metres (33 ft) tall and weighs 75 tonnes. The statues average 4 metres (13 feet) tall.
  • The moai’s shipping across the island is a mystery. It is thought that the inhabitants of Rapa Nui moved the statues using sledges, ropes, and possibly rocking motions.
  • Moai were set on sacred stone platforms called ahu. These platforms were normally located along the coast and faced interior, viewing the island.

Easter Island Timings

The timing for visiting the island can vary based on the specific places you want to see. Many famous sites offer Easter Island day tours or easter island day trip, allowing visitors to explore and learn about the island’s rich history and culture at their own pace.

However, if you plan to visit museums, visitor centers or join organized tours, checking their operating hours in advance is a good idea. The timing for these places can vary depending on the season and day.

Easter Island before humans

How to get to Easter Island?

When you read or hear about the mystery of easter island statues, a question may come to your mind how to reach Easter Island from other countries or how did humans get to easter island?

Latam flights to Easter Island, beginning from Santiago. The outbound journey takes almost six hours, while the return journey takes only four and a half hours due to the advantage of the wind. It is the best way to get to easter island or the best way to visit easter island.

Easter Island Excursions
Easter Island Excursions/Easter Island Face

5 famous places near Easter Island

It is also known as Rapa Nui, offers several fascinating attractions and nearby places to visit. Here are some notable places to explore on the island:

  • Anakena Beach
  • Rapa Nui National Park
  • Puna Pau
  • Ahu Tongariki
  • Ahu Tahai
  • Ahu Akivi

Anakena Beach

Anakena Beach in Rapa Nui National Park Chile on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), a Chilean island in the Pacific Ocean. Anakena Beach Easter Island beaches are famous for their warm water and beautiful white sand. The beach has two special stone platforms: Ahu Ature Huki and Nau Nau.

The first colony on Rapa Nui was established at Anakena Easter Island Chile. It was made by the first king of Easter Island, named Ariki Hotu Matua.

Anakena Beach on Easter Island has no entry fee or ticket price. It is a public beach open for visitors without any specific charges. Anakena Easter Island generally does not have strict opening and closing hours.

Rapa Nui National Park

Rapa Nui National Park Easter Island is a special and significant place on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui. Rapa Nui National Park is honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its dedication to protecting the island’s stunning natural environment and preserving its rich historical legacy.

The park is famous for its amazing moai statues and easter Island figures found around the island. These statues show how talented and creative the people of ancient Rapa Nui were, and they impress visitors with their skill and artistry.

Rapa Nui National Park Timings

  • Opening time at 9:00 AM
  • Closing time at 5:00 PM
  • Monday to Sunday

Rapa Nui National Park Ticket Price

Rapa Nui National Park UNESCO has an entry fee for visitors but no mandatory guide fee. Here are the details regarding the entry fee at Rapa Nui National Park:

Please note that admission is free for children between 0 and 6 years old.

Please verify the most current information before your visit, as these fees are subject to change.

For International Visitors:
  • Regular Ticket: Approximately $80
  • Students(7 TO 12 YEARS): Approximately $34 – Valid student ID required
For Residents of Chile:
  • Regular Ticket: Approximately $20
  • Students(7 TO 12 YEARS): Approximately $10 – Valid student ID required

Puna Pau

Puna Pau holds a special significance on Easter Island, also known as the moai of rapa nui. It is a small quarry near Hanga Roa, the island’s main town. Puna Pau is remarkable because it served as the source of the red scoria stone used to craft the topknots, called Pukao, that adorned select moai statues.

These Pukao added prestige and symbolized importance for the statues. Presently, visitors can explore Puna Pau, witness the remains of the quarry, and gain insights into the fascinating process of creating the pukao.

This craft was vital to the island’s ancient culture and traditions. Puna Pau has no entry fee or ticket price. Visitors can access and explore the site without specific charges.

Puna Pau Timings

  • Opening time at 9:00 am
  • Closing time at 5:30 pm
  • Monday To Sunday

Ahu Tongariki

Ahu Tongariki is the largest ahu on Easter Island (the rapa nui) and is well-known for its impressive row of 15 enormous statues. These statues, which face inland, were originally knocked down during conflicts on the island.

Additionally, a tsunami moved the ahu from its original position but was restored in the 1990s. Ahu Tongariki Easter Island served as the main center and capital for the Hotu-iti clan, representing the eastern confederation of the Rapa Nui people.

There are no entry fees or tickets required to visit Ahu Tongariki, allowing visitors to access and appreciate the site without specific charges. However, it’s advisable to verify any updated information about fees by contacting local easter island chile tourism authorities, visitor centers, or reliable sources closer to your visit date.

Ahu Tongariki Timings

  • Opening time at 7:00 am
  • Closing time at 5:30 pm
  • Monday To Sunday

Ahu Tahai

Ahu Tahai is an important place of historical significance found on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui. It is situated near Hanga Roa, the main town on the island. Ahu Tahai Easter Island famous for its well-preserved stone platforms called ahu, which hold the famous moai statues.

The site was restored in 1974 by an archaeologist named William Mulloy from the United States. It has three main platforms: Ko Te Riku, which has restored eyes, Tahai and Vai Ure.

One notable aspect of Ahu Tahai is that it allows visitors to view the moai statues at different times of the day, making it a popular spot to experience stunning views of the sunrise and sunset.

There is no entry fees or ticket required to enter Ahu Tahai. Visitors can freely access and explore the sites without any specific charges.

Ahu Tahai is open for visitors without specific opening and closing times. Visitors could come and explore the site whenever they wanted during the day.

Ahu Akivi

Easter Island, called Rapa Nui, is home to an interesting historical site called Ahu Akivi. In the history and customs of the island, this holy place is very important.

Ahu Akivi stands out because its seven Moai monolith figures, made from volcanic rock and placed uniquely, make it stand out. People think these impressive statues, about 4.9 meters tall, show old chiefs who were very important to the island’s society.

Easter Island Ahu Akivi Moai Monolith Statue
Easter Island Ahu Akivi Moai Monolith Statue/Carved Rapa Nui Figures

Ahu Akivi differs from the other ahu platforms on Easter Island because the statues face the ocean.

Exploring Ahu Akivi Easter Island allows people to look into the secrets of Rapa Nui’s past and learn more about its people’s artistic skills and spiritual beliefs. The Moai statues at Ahu Akivi Rapa Nui leave a lasting effect because they are big and well-made.

They remind us of the rich cultural history of Easter Island. Ahu Akivi on Easter Island is free to visit. Ahu Akivi doesn’t require a tour, however, a local guide can enhance your experience by providing crucial facts about the location and the island’s history.

Ahu Akivi Timings

  • Opening time at 9:00 am
  • Closing time at 5:30 pm
  • Monday To Sunday

You can also opt for the easter island and Galapagos tours and easter island and Machu Picchu tours:

  • Galápagos Island: Easter Island and the Galapagos Islands can be visited separately, but no direct tours exist. The Galapagos Islands have distinct animals and habitats, while Easter Island has renowned moai statues and a rich history.
  • Machu Picchu: Easter Islanders can visit Machu Picchu in Peru. This Andes Mountain Inca stronghold has stunning vistas and historical significance. Easter Island and Machu Picchu are two outstanding places, each with its own cultural and natural wonders.

Plant and Animal life on the Easter Island

Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is an isolated island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Due to its isolation, the island’s plant and animal life is unique. It is all about easter island animals and plants:

Plant Life

  • Most of the native plants are grasses, bushes, and small trees.
  • Toromiro (Sophora toromiro) and Easter Island palm (Jubaea chilensis) are well-known tree species.
  • Most of these native trees can only be found in protected places because they are rare.
  • On the island, you can find plants like eucalyptus and guava that were brought there from other places.

Animal Life

  • Some of the birds on the island are the Easter Island flightless cormorant and the Easter Island rail.
  • There are many different kinds of fish, dolphins, whales, and sea turtles in the areas nearby.
  • There are also insects and other non-vertebrate animals on the island.

Easter Island deforestation and the introduction of non-native species have had a major impact on the island’s biodiversity. To preserve the island’s natural history and unique ecosystems, restoration activities are ongoing.

Activities to do on easter island

On the Island, there are many fun things you can do. Here are some popular activities:

  • Explore the Moai Sites: Visit places like Ahu Tongariki and Ahu Tahai to see the big stone statues called Moai. They are very old and have a special meaning.
  • Go Hiking: Island has beautiful places for walking and hiking. You can go to the Rano Kau volcano or Orongo village. You will see amazing views and enjoy nature.
  • Relax on the Beach: Island has beaches like Anakena and Ovahe. You can go there to relax, swim, and enjoy the sun.
  • Learn about the Culture: Visit museums and cultural centers to learn about the history and traditions of the Island. You can listen to music, see traditional dances, and learn about the island’s past.
  • Look at the Stars: The sky on the Island is usually clear, providing an opportunity to observe and appreciate the beauty of the stars and constellations.

These activities will make your visit to the Island enjoyable and memorable.

Traditional Culture of Easter Island

It has several traditions that reflect its rich heritage. Easter Island’s traditional culture includes several elements:

  • Visit Rapa Nui and see their worship of the Moai statues. They are the focus of ceremonial rites, offerings, and respect as ancestors.
  • The Tapati Rapa Nui festival is a significant cultural event celebrated annually, showcasing various traditional practices, including music, dance, crafts, and sports.
  • Rapa Nui culture values music and dance, with drums, rattles, and nasal flutes accompanying traditional songs.
  • Crafts such as wood carving, stone carving, and intricate weaving are valued artistic expressions of Rapa Nui culture.
  • Traditional food and cuisine on the Island include seafood, sweet potatoes, taro, and bananas, reflecting the island’s resources and agricultural practices.
People from Easter Island/Easter Island People

5 Best Hotels To Book Near Easter Island

Easter Island, commonly known as Rapa Nui, is an isolated South Pacific island noted for its mysterious moai. Here are some of the best hotels Easter Island or the best places to stay on Easter Island:

Easter Island Address

Easter Island tattoos/Moai statue tattoo

Where is easter island? Easter Island, recognized by its local name Rapa Nui, is a remote island situated in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. It falls under the administration of Chile and is famous for its renowned moai statues.

You can be reached through Mataveri International Airport, serving as the main gateway for visitors.

Check the distance from your location: Easter Island, Valparaíso, Chile

FAQs

Why is Easter Island so famous?

The island is renowned for its enormous stone statues, which are both ancient and skillfully crafted. They are different from other stone sculptures found in Polynesia.

What are 3 facts about Easter Island?

1. It is the first island in the Pacific Ocean to be recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
2. It is one of the most remote islands in the world.
3. There are almost 1,000 giant stone statues on the island.

What happened to Easter Island and why?

It was raided for slaves from 1862 to 1863. Only 12 people returned, bringing smallpox that killed most of the remaining population.

Is Easter Island a US territory?

It is a Chilean island in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean famous for its giant stone statues.

Who lives on Easter Island now?

Most Islanders are descendants of the Rapa Nui people and run easter island tourism.

Nearby food places of Easter Island

These are some famous restaurants on this island:
1. Te Moai Sunset
2. Te Moana
3. Makona Restaurant
4. Haka Honu
5. Donde La Tia Sonia

How big is Easter Island?

It is triangular and 24.6 km (15.3 mi) long, and 12.3 km (7.6 mi) wide. Its maximum height is 507 m (1,663 ft) above mean sea level, and its area is 163.6 km(63.2 sq mi).

Who were the first people on Easter Island?

The island’s inhabitants were Austronesian Polynesians. They came from western Marquesas. They carried bananas, taro, Polynesian rats, chickens, sugarcane, and paper mulberry.

Why is it called Easter Island?

On Easter Sunday, April 5, 1722, Dutch adventurer Jacob Roggeveen discovered the Island. The island was named “Paasch-Eyland” by Roggeveen, which means “Easter Island” in English.

When were the Moai statues carved, and how many are there?

Island’s Rapa Nui people carved the Moai statues between 1250 and 1500 CE. Around 1,043 Moai statues are on the island.

What were the Moai statues made of or how were moai statues built, and how big are they?

Tuff was used to build Island’s Moai figurines. Rano Raraku’s tuff was used for most of the figurines. The highest statue is 33 feet (10 meters), although most are 13 feet (4 meters).

What do the Moai statues represent?

People on the Island thought the Moai figures were of their dead ancestors and a way to honor and connect with them.

How were the Moai statues moved?

The Rapa Nui people moved the Island’s Moai statues using sleds, ropes, and maybe a rocking motion.

What happened to the Rapa Nui people, or what happened to the rapa nui civilization?

94% died or relocated between 1862 and 1888. Between 1862 and 1863, Blackbirding kidnapped or killed 1,500 islanders. Of those, 1,408 were enslaved in Peru. 12 people returned to the Island. 1,500 died of smallpox.

What direction do the easter island heads face or easter island statues face direction?

The moai statues are positioned such that they look inland, away from the ocean, as though they are keeping vigil over the locals.

Why is easter island so mysterious, or why is easter island a mystery?

Island’s massive stone statues’ construction, transport, and purpose are unknown. Rapa Nui’s methods for carving and moving the statues, some weighing several tonnes, are still debated.

What is aku aku easter island

Norwegian ethnographer and explorer Thor Heyerdahl wrote Aku Aku. Heyerdahl’s 1957 book “Aku-Aku: The Secret of Easter Island” chronicles his Rapa Nui trip. Heyerdahl’s crew examined the island’s Moai statues’ history.

Is a boat from Chile to easter island possible?

No regular boat to easter island exists between the mainland of Chile and Easter Island. Most people take a plane to get to Easter Island.

Who is Captain Cook Easter Island?

Captain James Cook and Easter Island are indirectly related. In March 1774, Captain Cook approached Easter Island on his second voyage. He didn’t land or talk to islanders. Exploration, science, and geography were Cook’s goals.

What is the cost to visit easter island from Chile?

Easter Island prices from Chile differ by airline, season, duration of stay, hotel, activities, and Easter Island accommodations. The round-trip ticket from Santiago, Chile, to Mataveri International Airport easter island cost the most.

Easter Island from Santiago chile

From Santiago, Chile, the most popular way to get to Easter Island is to fly from Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport to Mataveri International Airport on Easter Island.

Reference: Rapa Nui

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6 Comments
  1. Nice Information . I like yor website

  2. Great Post

  3. Awesome article.. Thankyou so much

  4. Terrific article

  5. Thanks for this knowledge

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