Easter Island with OAT
About this blog
Our visit to Easter Island was our "pre-trip" extension to the Patagonia and Chilean Fjords trip offered by Overseas Adventure Travel. In reality, it was the reason we had signed on to that trip as we've wanted to see Easter Island for ages....especially since our visit to Mt. Nemrut in Turkey.
Our trip to the Easter Islands began after a long flight from San Francisco to Miami (where we had over a 5 hour layover) to Santiago, Chile. We had a little time in Santiago where we went on a walking tour through the streets of Chile's capital. The next morning we flew on to Easter Island, named by a Dutchman who discovered the island on Easter Sunday, 1722. Our first day took us to one of the most scenic spots on the island, the fodrmer ceremonial village of Orongo. At Rano Kao Volcano we viewed the lake that has formed in the crater's depth and the ceremonial center on the crater's edge. The flight from Santiago to Easter Island also took about 5 hours so we had little else to do for the day.
After breakfast we set out to discover the island's famed moai--giant monoliths whose origin and meaning have sparked great speculation. One of the surprising things is that we learned that the Easter Island heads also have bodies that lie buried deep under the surface. There are over 887 Moai, or statues, located around the island, some of which stand up to 69 feet tall and weigh about 270 tons. While there, we visited ahus -- sacred sites where moai stand. At Ahu Vaihu, we got a chance to view moai in an unrestored state then continued to Ahu Tongariki's impressive collection of 15 restored moai carved from the quarries of nearby Rano Raraku Volcano. We also stoped to see Te Pito Kura, which today lies on the ground but--at 32 feet in length is considered the largest moai once erected on an ahu. Our last stop this day was Anakena Beach where the first Polynesian settlers are believed to have landed and where we also found six more moai.
On our last full day on Easter Island we visited Ahu Akivi, one of the only inland ahus on the island. And at sunset we were able to see the sun setting over moai at Tahai Beach.
Next day, we flew back to Santiago for an overnight before heading onto Buenos Aires to join in on the scheduled tour.
We took nearly 650 photos (mostly in Easter Island) between us and have whittled them down to 53 for Easter Island and 21 for Santiago. Hope you enjoy all of these.