Rapa Nui

by Marc on April 13, 2009

Otherwise known as Isla de Pascua (Easter Island), this remote archeological site has long been at the top of my list of places to see.

RapaNui Aerial

Due to its remoteness this was one of the last islands on Earth to be colonized by humans – archaeologists believe the first polynesian tribes arrived here no earlier than 700 – 800 A.D.

By the time Europeans arrived in the 18th century the civilization had already begun to decline, having exhausted most of the island’s natural resources. And of course, the Europeans wasted little time enslaving most of the remaining population and/or giving them smallpox, so little was learned about their unique culture.

RanoRarakuWS

Today, Rapa Nui is a modern yet sleepy little island, with decent roads, a few restaurants and a still-developing tourist industry. The most notable remnants of the ancient civilization are the famous moai – massive stone carvings which most likely represented important ancestors.

NearMoai2PS

There are few hotels on the island – we opted to stay at CabaƱas Pikera Uri, a family run B&B / horse ranch on the outskirts of town, otherwise known as Pantu’s house.

PikeraUriRainbow1

When our flight arrived, Pantu was waiting for us (with flower leis) to drive us from the airport to his house, where we enjoyed a tasty welcome drink of fresh pineapple juice.

PikeraUriWelcome

Our room was clean, spacious and comfortable, the setting was beautiful and serene – we couldn’t have asked for a better home base for exploring the island.

PikeraUriCabana1

Every morning started with a very tasty breakfast featuring amazing fruits and juices. Well, it actually started with the crowing of one of the roosters that prowl the grounds.

PantuRooster1PS

Danielle & I loved the amazing sunsets that could be seen nearby.

RapaNuiSunset2

TahaiSunset1PS
The girls loved all the quiet, tame horses.

girlsHorses1

PantuHorsesCU

And they found a playmate – Pantu’s young daughter Tau.

GirlsTau

I think my favorite thing was the serenity – Rapa Nui was much quieter than I expected. No massive throngs of tourists clogging up all the sites like at Machu Picchu. None of the pushy street vendors that were all over the Caribbean.

That was a welcome change.

{ 5 comments }

April 13, 2009 Mary Beth Haley

It looks really calm and peaceful and I love the sunsets! I’m glad the girls found a new friend.

April 13, 2009 herbert

i’ve always wanted to visit Easter Island. The statues were actually placed there by aliens, ya’know …

April 15, 2009 DAD

This place look’s like Key West did in the early 50’s I realy that kind of quiet place

May 11, 2009 G

Easter Sunday on Easter Island? Statues are very interesting. I’d love to know more of the history on those. Perhaps I’ll just read up on it more.

February 18, 2013 ST

Wow, Easter Island looks awesome, it’s definitely somewhere on my to do list!

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