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An agreeable year-round climate allows travellers to walk along the Easter Island coastline and visit the numerous 'ahus' that contain the gigantic 'moai' head statues. Who made these stone sculptures, and when, remains an unsolved mystery, but it is presumed that the island was inhabited from the beginning of the first centuries AD and that the moais are several hundreds of years old.

To give you an idea of just how isolated Easter Island is, Santiago is a five-hour flight away, and the nearest inhabited island is Pitcairn, 1,200 miles to the North West. This might help explain why the islanders, of Polynesian descent, are so independent - they believe themselves to be Rapa Nui people with little or no connection to Chile.

It is known that numerous tribes lived on the island, during this time they fought amongst themselves, destroying the environment. It is not known why these giant 'Moai' sculptures were made and then why the majority were destroyed.

The island was given its name by the first recorded European to visit; a Dutch navigator who arrived on Easter Sunday, 1722. Although the pleasant climate means the island has visitors all year round, we believe the best time for an Easter Island holiday is during February and March, to coincide with the Tapati Festival. You can explore this mysterious island in the company of an expert guide and treks range from the easy to the moderately difficult, and are combined with picnic meals on the rocks of the seashore.

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Rano Raraku Crater
If You Do Three Things
1
Visit Rano Raraku

Visit the volcanic crater of Rano Raraku in the south-east of the island, which was used as the quarry where around 95% of the island's famous Moai statues were cut. The statues were carved directly into the stone and then detached and moved around the island, although around 400 remain in the crater, mostly unfinished.

Easter Island coast
If You Do Three Things
2
Explore the Island on a Guided Hike

Spend a full day exploring the island with an expert guide and hike the ancient Moai transportation routes, taking in some of the island's most impressive Moai statues along the way. It is believed the statues were transported along ancient roads, but it is still a mystery how this was done, as there were no wheels or large animals on the island that could have helped.

Easter Island ocean and boat
If You Do Three Things
3
Snorkel in Bird Islets

Take a boat from Hanga Roa to explore sea caves while enjoying impressive views of the cliffs, the Rano Kau crater and Motu Nui islet. Snorkel in the crystal clear water and explore one of Easter Island's biggest attractions: its underwater world. The island's remote location means the water is beautifully clear and you can see wonderful coral, marine life and even underwater Moai statues.

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A Note on Price

Chile doesn't come cheap, but don't let that put you off! Many of the hotels are all-inclusive (meals and excursions included), so you usually don't need to worry about expenses when you are there. A two week trip to Chile staying at some of our top choice hotels could cost around £6,000 per person.

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