The Easter Island belongs to Chile since 1888 and it is one of the Polynesian Islands. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this originally volcanic island is one of the main tourism destinies of the country.
Some strongest scientific evidences shows that the island has been inhabited since the fourth and fifth centuries AC by the Polynesian ethnic Rapa Nui. This mysterious ancient culture grow up isolated from the rest of the world, and has created magnificent stone sculptures known as moais. These artworks aroused great scientific interest becuase it suggested a certain knowledge of the cosmos from this civilization, and admiration for their ancestors represented in the giant sculptures. The government has serious interest in preserving these archaeological wealth and UNESCO declared the island as a World Heritage Site in 1995.
Its name comes from the date it was discovered by the Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen, on the 5 April of 1722, Easter Sunday. It is the largest of Chile’s islands and has a population of 3.760 people. The climate is tropical rainy, with an annual temperature average of 21.9 ºC.
The Easter Island has a very poor diversity of flora and fauna all over its territory. Some archaeological studies suggest that the natives cut the original palm forest, to use the wood for building the statues of the moais. However, in the sea the biodiversity increases, due to the presence of coral reefs that attract numerous species of fish, reptiles and seabirds.
The products and services of the Easter Island are more expensive compared with Chilean standards. There is a State Bank where you can withdraw funds and change your currencies. The flights are the main transport mean to access to the island. Lan Chile has a daily frequency of flights from Santiago-Thaiti with a stopover in the Easter Island.
The Tapati festival is the main artistic and cultural activity of the Rapa Nui. The celebration starts in the last week of January or early February and lasts 10 days. Another tourist attraction is the Anthropological Museum R. P. Sebastian Englert, which expose about 1.500 pieces of great cultural value and highlights the only female moai found.
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