Easter Island, a New Wonder

The Dream

Everyone dreams of visiting heavenly places that are well-known in the rest of the world as destinations touched by a divine hand. Well, the natural beauty capable of taking their breath away is not located on the other side of the world, but in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and it is called Easter Island.

Known as the “navel of the world”, Easter Island combines beautiful beaches with inactive volcanoes, as well as the mystical presence of millenary stone statues scattered around the island: the moai. There are more than 800 stone statues buried in the island or located along the coast facing the sea. Some of them have hats and defined torsos, and one of them (only one) has painted eyes.

The island’s charm is all about these statues made of stone, which appear throughout the territory. Researchers are unable to determine who ordered their construction, with what purpose or how they managed to reach the coast of Rapa Nui. The mystery and the beauty of the landscape around the moai makes Easter Island a must for any traveler who calls themselves one.

Places to Visit

New wonder - Easter Island

Easter Island is formed by volcanoes that emerge from the seabed and shape Rapa Nui as a triangle. The island is conformed by 166 km of green mountains, beaches, sacred sites and places to walk around, all below the blue sky of the South Pacific.

It is easy to get to the island, since all the airlines have flights that go there, although some stop over in Santiago de Chile and then continue their trip until they reach Rapa Nui. Nonetheless, the island’s main activity is tourism, so access is available throughout the year.

Once in the island, the options multiply. The hotel and gastronomic infrastructure is varied and of excellent quality. There are international restaurants and, of course, all of them offer delicious typical dishes made with the best fish of the Pacific and vegetables grown in the island. There are also hotels and guesthouses, camping areas and other places to sleep that offer comfortable and safe facilities surrounded by native vegetation.

Once established in the island, it is time to explore it. Easter Island is not very big, so it is easy to get by on foot or by car. There are places where you can rent cars, jeeps and horses, and there are also tour guides to visit sacred places and all the interesting corners of the island.

The main attraction is the moai. These stone structures can be seen in all Rapa Nui territory, but the most important place is the Ahu, where seven moai can be seen on the coast, facing the sea. It is a sacred place, so it is recommended to enter carefully and with respect and not to talk. The moai are millenary structures, and as such, they are fragile and demand extreme care. Another important place is Anakena, the most famous beach in Easter Island. It is a place of unmatched beauty, with turquoise, warm, still waters, white sand and an ideal temperature for sunbathing and resting. It is located on the northern side of the island, near Hanga Roa (the capital), and it is possible to surf.

The island also has hidden treasures. One of them is a beach beyond the area of Ahu Vaihu that doesn‘t even have a name and it is much bigger than Anakena. This beach has enormous cliffs and it is recommended to get there on foot.

Under the surface, Easter Island offers a unique landscape. Away from the beaches and the South Pacific wind, the tourist can visit the caves near Ana Kakenga. To enter the land and discover its mysteries through a tunel of naturally interconnected caves is simply a movie-like activity, and it can be done in Easter Island, the navel of the world.

New Wonder

Easter Island was one of the 20 world destinations in the race to become one of the new wonders of the world. Considering that the pyramids of Egypt are the only attraction of the ancient wonders that still stands, the organization New Open World Foundation held a contest at the end 2008 for the public to choose seven new destinations. In the end, Easter Island was not chosen among the new wonders, but to be considered among the 20 is a real honor.

Francisco Lira