Easter Island, Chile
Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is a remote place. This 64-square-mile volcanic island lies some 2,000 miles from Tahiti and the coast of South America.
The giant stone monoliths of Easter Island have fascinated and puzzled Westerners since the Dutch seaman Roggeven first made landfall there on Easter Sunday, 1722. And the mystery of Easter Island's first settlers remains just that—a mystery. Most anthropologists believe the island was settled as part of the great wave of Polynesian emigration, since the first inhabitants arrived in 400-700 BC.
In addition to erecting the great Moai, the society of Rapa Nui possessed considerable masonry skills, on par with those found in the Inca Empire of South America. Today, Easter Island has a population of approximately 3,400, although it is believed that the society that produced the great stone Moai no longer exist.
Easter Island's one and only town is home to most of the island's inhabitants.
Ahu are the low, ceremonial mounds occupied by the great stone Moai. The Ahu at Tahai hold the island's earliest stone monoliths.
The main quarry for the great Moai is actually the crater of an extinct volcano. Some 394 Moai in different stages of production are found there.
- South America Cruise
- South America Cruise Vacations
- South America Cruisetours
- Why Visit South America?
- Ports & Excursions
- Ships to South America
South America Brochure
Search our range of itineraries to find one that's right for you.