OK, so Easter Island / Rapa Nui is technically part of Chile, but we thought that it really deserved its own section. It’s quite different from the mainland, and its inhabitants are very distinct. Besides, we have so many pictures of Rapa Nui that we needed the extra space…

All of our Easter Island posts are here:  http://www.travelingbones.com/?cat=69

Robin running alongside some moai

Robin running alongside some moai.

Pierre checking out the ocean from the top of Rapa Nui

Pierre checking out the ocean from the top of Rapa Nui.

Moai that never made it (foreground); volcano quarry (background)

Moai that never made it (foreground); volcano quarry (background).

3 of the "7 Moai"

3 of the "7 Moai", a monument erected to honor the original 7 settlers of Rapa Nui.

Rapa Nui Signpost

Rapa Nui signpost indicating distances to major world cities. Only 7090 nautical miles to San Francisco!

Sun setting behind Ahu Tahai

Sun setting behind Ahu Tahai, just a little north of Hanga Roa.

Horse ride on Easter Island

Horse ride on Easter Island. The horses in front of Robin are semi-wild horses that are found all over the island.

Wild Horses of Rapa Nui

Wild horses of Rapa Nui. These guys were spotted on the northeastern shores of the island.

Moai Graveyard

Moai Graveyard. These moai were left unfinished on the slope of a volcano. The volcano formed the quarry from which the moai were cut, and as dirt eroded from the slopes of the volcano, it buried the moai. It's rather spooky to see these carvings half-buried up to their chins.

Ahu Tongariki at Sunrise

Ahu Tongariki at sunrise. The largest monument of the island, Ahu Tongariki, is a great place to watch the sun come up.

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Life moves slowly on Rapa Nui. The sun seems to rise sometime after 8:00 am in late April, and you probably won’t be able to find breakfast until 9:30 or 10:00 am. Your best bet for breakfast is a place called Café Ra’a on the main drag, but beware: their lunch sandwiches suck.
  • Restaurants also close around 8:30 or 9:00 pm, so get your dinner early. This is not Argentina, where people don’t show up for dinner until 9:00 or 10:00 pm. The people of Rapa Nui need their sleep, so they turn in early and wake up late.
  • Buy your lunches from the little stalls across from the small boat harbor in Hanga Roa. It’s the best lunch food on the island, and it’s cheap. The tuna empanadas are fantastic.
  • Watch out for those giant holes in the sidewalks, especially at night!

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Easter Island (Apr 27-May 1, 2011)

  • South America