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Ahu Tongariki, das größte Ahu auf der Osterinsel, Bild: Bryan Busovicki / shutterstock

Excursion to Easter Island

The stone giants of Easter Island are a household name for many people. To this day, it is not clear what the iconic figures are all about, which are made of stone weighing tons and have made the island in Polynesia famous. In addition to the famous stone figures, the island, which officially belongs to Chile , has even more to offer for travelers. In recent years, the infrastructure for tourists has been expanded, taking care not to disturb the unique charm of the island. Even today, holidaymakers will find an almost completely natural paradise with secrets, myths and the opportunity to experience a holiday that is certainly unique.

A holiday on Easter Island as a special highlight

Anakena Beach on Easter Island
Anakena Beach on Easter Island, Image: Olga Danylenko / shutterstock

In general, most tourists travel to the island for one to three days. In the end, the island is only 179 square kilometers in size and if you don’t want to take one of the guided tours to discover nature on the island, you will eventually be done with the sights. However, this is also a great advantage for the visitors. Since Easter Island has not adapted to long stays of tourists, it is still preserved in many parts exactly as it was before the boom of cruise ships.

Easter Island belongs to Polynesia and is therefore officially part of the territory of Chile. This does not change even though a trip to the island by plane from Santiago de Chile takes around five hours. The island has always been remote and has mainly adapted to self-sufficiency. In recent years, it has become more popular with tourists, mainly due to the booming cruise industry . Many of the major shipping companies stop on the island for a day as part of the trip and offer various tours around the island and to the main attractions.

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If you decide to travel to Easter Island as an individual tourist, you should familiarize yourself with the conditions of the island beforehand. Although there are some hotels on the island, they have limited capacities. You should also have informed yourself beforehand about which tours are possible at which time of year. Nature lovers and hikers in particular are drawn to the island in the cool months of July and August to explore the island’s volcano on foot or walk through the beautiful landscape.

A cultural gem in the middle of the ocean

The history of Easter Island is eventful and to this day “Rapa Nui” is of special importance not only for tourists, but also for scientists. This is also due to the fact that the people here have lived completely autonomously for a very long time and thus many developments of the Western world only arrived on the island in the 20th century. After Chile claimed the island for itself, a long struggle began with the government in Santiago of Chile to get rights on the island that were close to the other inhabitants of the country.

In many travel guides, Easter Island is described as a huge open-air museum and that seems to be the case indeed. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday or a party, you will certainly be disappointed. The island has some bars and discos in the Hcapital Hanga Roa , but these are more for the locals than for the tourists. It should be mentioned that the island is comparatively expensive. Due to their remote location, many foods are expensive and this is also reflected in the visits to the restaurants. This should also be taken into account when planning your own trip.

In any case, most people come here because of the many traces of the former inhabitants of Easter Island. After all, the island has an eventful history and it is above all the traces of the former inhabitants that have made the island so famous. The huge rock heads, the moai, can be found in various places on the island. As a rule, they are part of larger places of worship and can be visited in conjunction with a museum. In addition, archaeologists have uncovered many parts of the former cult sites in recent years and are still puzzling over the religion associated with them. The only thing that is certain is that the island probably had its first contact with Europeans in the 18th century and the corresponding cultures must have emerged completely free of external influences.

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In addition to the special sites that are spread over the island, the island’s three volcanoes are also worth mentioning. They are probably the reason for the formation of Easter Island and have ensured that the fertile island was formed over the course of millions of years. Today, various tours lead along the volcanoes and to the peaks. Here, too, there used to be a place of worship, which has been rebuilt in recent years with elaborate work. Of particular beauty is the extinct volcanic crater of Rano Kau, which is offered by various guides on the island for hikes all year round.

Finally, there is also the South Sea beach Anakena. It is the only place on the island where bathing is allowed. On the other hand, there is wonderful water and a great beach that stretches for a few kilometers and also makes the impressive underwater world of the island accessible with diving courses.

Is it worth visiting Easter Island?

Rano Kau, Easter Island Volcano
The volcano Rano Kau, Image: IURII BURIAK / shutterstock

Easter Island is of a special beauty. If you know what you expect from your holiday, you will be able to have a good time here. While the islands are not intended for recreation and package tourists, they offer a beautiful landscape and a unique culture that eludes Western influences to this day and thus offers a world of its own. Especially in connection with a general visit to South America, a trip to the island is worthwhile.