All over the world, there are perfect tropical paradises within the reach of beach-seeking travelers. Many destinations are well known - and just as many are well off the beaten path. Discover a place which may be your next dream destination, or learn about others which may have been beyond your realm of imagination...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Easter Island

Easter Island is an extraordinary and intriguing place to travel. Located between Tahiti and Chile, the island is one of the most isolated places on earth and is best known for giant stone monoliths known as Moai, that dot the coastline (as you can see in the pictures). These structures facing the sea were carved by the island's indigenous inhabitants, called Rapa Nui, who are said to be Polynesians who emigrated from the Marquesas Islands or Mangareva dating back to 300 A.D.

Unfortunately, approximately 10,000 years ago the island’s population exceeded the capabilities of its ecosystem and there was social destruction – including cannibalism. In this destruction, most of the Moai were torn down, and in fact the ones that are displayed on the island at the present time are thanks to efforts by archeologists. Tourists can also see indigenous petroglyphs (rock carvings), as well as traditional wood carvings, tapa (barkcloth) crafts, tattooing, string figures, dance and music.

Besides the fascinating, rich culture of the island, visitors can also enjoy common vacation activities including scuba diving (where one can see caves, walls, and unique coral and fish), surfing (most commonly at Caleta Hanga Roa and Ahu Tahai) as well as hiking. Horseback riding is also very common on the island and relatively inexpensive.

Finally, a really interesting tourist event seems to be Tapati Rapa Nui, which is a carnival that runs in late January. The event features tons of fun activities, such as traditional dancing, horse and canoe races, traditional dancing, body painting, statue carving and shell-necklace-stringing competitions. If this sounds fun to you, LanChile Airlines can ensure that you get to the island during the high season courtesy of Boeing 767 flights from Tahiti and Santiago, Chile (and there are direct flights to Santiago from major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, and New York). Consult the island’s homepage for more information about this very interesting destination!

13 Comments:

Blogger Sandy Chen said...

I love the giant stone monoliths because I think that it is fascinating to see the history of locations, especially in art. It is quite unfortunate that most of them were destroyed and torn down. I would have loved to see all of them in their original form and locations. It seems as if this place is filled with artists from the rock carvings, wood carvings, and various other crafts. I would also love to go to the island and go horseback riding. I find it so relaxing and fun. Also, the Tapati Rapa Nui sounds like so much fun! I love it when certain countries have their cultural carnivals. When I went to Italy, I went during their Carnivale, which is a huge festival where everybody dresses up and parties the night away. It was definitely an experience I'll never forget. Thanks for this post about another great location!

1:04 PM, October 20, 2005

 
Blogger popovich said...

These places are gorgeous and have so much to see!! I want to visit them all! I really like how much culture there is to experience on Easter Island. It seems like historians have worked hard to restore the original cultural appeal of the island.

The pictures of the stone monoliths are amazing! It is such a shame that the island has experienced such anguish in their past. Although I guess all countries have some degree of bloodshed in their past. The island seems to be rich in art, which I love. The Tapati Rapa Nui sounds like so much fun!! I bet the island really comes to life then! And the beaches...I love a beach anywhere anytime!

Thanks for all of the great future vacation ideas...now if only I had the money...

12:14 AM, October 21, 2005

 
Blogger Stefanie said...

I love that there is a lot of history about Easter Island that can be shown through the Moai and other rock carvings. It is unfortunate that so many got torn down but luckily the archeologists were able to preserve some of them so that some of their past can be remembered. The Tapati Rapa Nui sounds like so much fun and if I visited Easter Island I would definitely make sure it was during the time of the carnival. It would be cool to see their traditional dancing and experience their different types of food. And also, I'd definitely take advantage of the shell necklace stringing contest because that just sounds like a lot of fun!
Keep up the good posts! Every week amazes me with these random and secluded places that you find!

9:22 PM, October 21, 2005

 
Blogger LauraL said...

Easter island sounds like an amazing vacation destination. I love how rich the area is with its past culture. I've always wanted to head to South America and this island sounds like the perfect place to visit. I am a big art enthusiast and the rock and wood carvings look beautiful. It's unfortunate that a lot of the original pieces were destroyed. I find it a little weird that they used to practice cannibalism, but hopefully I have nothing to worry about today. I love how this island has both beautiful scenery and a rich cultural experience. I will definitely add Easter Island to my list of must see places to vacation. I look forward to read about the next exotic location you have to offer us through your blog.

2:33 PM, October 26, 2005

 
Blogger wildwestlax said...

I'm glad that you always try and mention what activities you can do on the island rather than just ramble off facts about the history and ecology...although I do like to hear about that. Being interested in travel, though its a good way to sell the trip and gives me some idea on what I would do once their. I knew about the giant heads on the island but i don't know if it would be worth the cost just to see them. Keep telling me what activities are available. Also I really like ow you place so many great photos of these locations. I want to know how you added more than one to each blog. It looks really good and gives me a greater idea of what the island or location is like. It would help my blog out if I could do the same. Either way, nice looking post

12:43 AM, November 18, 2005

 
Blogger Mike said...

Talk about an interesting history. I can not imagine conditions getting that bad where you would eat other people. The festivals you mentioned are probably a great experience that I would love to someday see. This place seems like a gem. I hope it remains that way for some time to come. Keep up the good work finding such amazing places. On a side note, it is funny to see hose giant stone monliths because they were featured on a Super Mario game for Gameboy when I was a little kid.

4:17 PM, November 21, 2005

 
Blogger Kristin said...

Some of your knowledge about these places is really amazing. Cannibalism? That is pretty crazy. Although I heard that sometimes it is a cultural thing, and was completely normal in some tribes a very long time ago. Have you ever been here? do you want to go here, it seems really interesting. I would like to do Tapati Rapa Nui. That sound really neat!

4:54 PM, November 22, 2005

 
Anonymous mortgage refinancing said...

thought-provoking, mootable pv. just my thoughts, well anyways gl & be chipper is what i say

7:02 PM, December 21, 2005

 
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