A unique, an unswayed land laid down by a society of Polynesian culture is home to huge eccentric stone sculptures known as moai. Rapa Nui, better known as the Easter Island, in a Chilean island of southeastern Pacific Ocean houses this magnificent monumental enigma.
Some of the must-visit places and unique attractions of Easter Island are as follows:
- Orongo Ceremonial Village
- Rano Raraku
- Anakena Beach
The Easter Island houses 1000 moai in an undisturbed area of wilderness. It is an extraordinary representation of the Polynesian culture. This area was colonized by a group of settlers from East Polynesia, manifested between the 11th and the 17th century. The sculptures erected in a scarce pattern are a portrayal of their ancestral families. It was awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and is considered one of the most important archeological sites, creating a mirror to societies that existed years ago. It is believed to have more than 300 ceremonial platforms, thousands of agricultural structures, funeral rites, few housing and production, and various other activities.
The most striking of all the pieces are the moai ranging in height from 2-20m which were carved using simple yet powerful tools made up of yellow-brown lava tuff and hard basalt. The sculptures gamut the entire process carried out during the establishment of each of these moai. All of these are remarkably distinct with their raised rectangular platform filled with rubble and stones, a ramp paved with spherical beach pebbles and a leveled platform in front of all of these. Other valuable archeological structures are the caves filled with rock art.
The colonization of Polynesian people is said to have been declined due to the gradual loss of natural resource availability during the 16th Century. This downturn led to the spiritual transformation and eventual destruction of these memorial monuments. The original ancient cult was replaced by a group of the bird-man cult that holds testimony to the ceremonial village at Rano Kau volcano. This cult could be seen around the 19th century, marked by the construction of 54 semi-subterranean stone houses with elliptical floor plans.
Today, the descendants of ancient Rapa Nui dwell in the area along with some immigrants of sundry backgrounds.
Tourist Attractions for the Young and Old Alike
- Orongo Ceremonial Village:
Enriched by endemic species of organisms, the Orongo Ceremonial Village resides on floating totora reeds. The crater lake of Rano Kau sharply resembles a cauldron. From the edge of the crater, one can see the oceanic blue waters 300 meters below. It is one of the most substantial landscapes in the world. The visiting time is from 9:30 am-5:30 pm.
- Rano Raraku:
Experience the turning back of time into the times of Polynesian existence by visiting the Rano Raraku, which was the land raw material for building moai. It’s a dramatic display of structures in different stages of construction.
- Anakena Beach:
A beach reflecting the exquisite landscape of the Chilean Island welcomes you to witness the seven moai adorned with topknots. Overlooking the Ahu Nau Nau stand the Ahu Ature Huki on the south side with its solitary moai.
What and Where to eat in Rapa Nui?
To experience the palate tickling food of Easter Island, one must visit restaurants such as:
- Tataku Vave
- The Cuisine Offered: Seafood, Polynesian and Chilean
- Price: ₹₹ – ₹₹₹
- Suggested Food: Seafood Platter, Ceviche
- The Cuisine Offered: Seafood, Contemporary, Polynesian, Chilean, South American, International
- Price: ₹₹ – ₹₹₹
- Suggested Food: Ceviche, Fish, Jasmine Rice, Risotto
- The Cuisine Offered: Fast Food
- Price: ₹
- Suggested Food: Empanadas, Seafood, Fries
This land was once inhabited by people completely unrendered by other parts of the world. Nobody is sure how these gigantic boulders were moved, or why they have got huge heads and a larger body. Come visit this land of mystery and find out for yourself.