Easter Island, Polynesian island is situated at southeastern Pacific Ocean. In1888, this island was annexed by Chile and became the special territory of Chile. Eastern Island got its name from its first visitor from Europe, Jacob Roggeveen who found the island in 1722 on an Easter Sunday as he was searching for the David’s Island. The official name of the island is Isla de Pascua which means Easter Island. Currently, the island is known as Rapa Nui which is Polynesian name as its similarity of the Rapa Island in Bass Islands. Easter Island is an inhabited island which isolated from rest of the world. Pitcarin Island is the closest neighbor with inhabitants which is 2,075 km away from this island.
The island is formed from volcanoes which consists of three extinct volcanoes united together forming the island. Majority of the island is formed from the volcano Terevaka and the other two volcanoes are Rano Kau and Poike. The Easter Island as well as the islets surrounding it such as Motu lti, Motu Nui are formed on the summit of a volcano that came up more than 2,000 meters from sea bed. Geologists say that the last activity of a volcano on this island had occurred only 10,000 years back.
Easter Island has a controversial and rich history and the inhabitants of the island had suffered epidemics, famines, slave raids, civil war, deforestation and colonialism. Evidences of the first settlers are dated back to 300 to 400 CE. The population of the Easter Island is 4,888 and out of which 60% are Rapanui, 39% of the people are Castizo or European descent and rest of the population consist of Native Americans. The language spoken by the islanders is the eastern Polynesian language and some people speak Spanish also.
Easter Island has many things in store for the tourists. Easter Island statues are the world famous and largest monuments of the prehistoric age are preserved in the island. Moai statues are placed on the ceremonial burials and platforms known as the Ahu. You should not walk over the Ahu as it is considered as disrespectful. Rano Raraku is an archaeological site with an inactive volcano and a quarry where the Moai were carved. All around the site, you can find half-buried, half-finished as well as fallen Moai. Each stone monument is with an individual face.
Anakena Beach is beautiful beach where you can find palm trees and white sands and the beach also consists of seven tall statues of Moai. Near Motu lti and Motu Nui islets, the tourists can enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. Tourists can also enjoy picture carved on rocks called as Petroglyphs all around the Easter Island. The island and the islet Motu Nui have several caves that show the signs of human use and most of the caves have legends and myths engraved in them. Orongo Trail enables the tourists to walk throughout the Orango Village where you can find 54 houses date back to 16th century.