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EASTER ISLAND

NATURAL ATTRACTIONS

- Easter Island National Park, not only contains natural resources of great beauty, but also valuable heritage from the Rapa Nui culture. Its Moais (giant rock figures) and its Ahu, (ceremonial centers), still amaze the world. For this reason it was declared a World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 1995.

Altar Ahu Nau Nau Easter Island Chile Travel The park is considered to be an open air museum, and is a "paradise" for the numerous archaeologists that arrive here to research the monumental creations of the ancient Rapa Nui, in order to clarify many doubts about this mysterious culture, whose legacy amounts to one thousand Moai and almost 300 Ahu, as well as many stone carvings and ruins of villages.

All these attractions are located in a serenely undulating landscape dotted with the cones of extinct volcanoes, with a flora formed by native and imported (by the early immigrants) species, and enriched by the seeding function of the droppings of migratory birds. This natural attraction extends over 7,130 hectares, representing around 40% of the island's surface area. It is under the protection of the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF).

- Anakena beach, Playa Anakena Easter Island Chile Travelits crystal-clear turquoise waters and coconut-palm fronded environment have turned it into one of Rapa Nui's most beautiful beaches.

According to an ancient legend, here was the place that the first island king, Ariki Hotu Matu'a, disembarked with his expedition. It is also said that it was the political, social and cultural hub, and the dwelling place of the first governors of the island, and the location of the masters of the ancient rongo rongo wood engravings, whose meanings have not yet been deciphered.

Here are found the Ature Huki Ahu and the Nau-Nau Ahu, sanctuaries that were restored by the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1954. It is located 18 kilometers northeast of Hanga-Roa.
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    -Ovahe beach,
    located very close to Anakena, this is a quiet and small volcanic beach. Its sand has a golden appearance due to a mixture of red coral sand and white sand.

    - Poike Peninsula, This place is of great historical and anthropological value. It is formed by the Poike volcano, one of the first that emerged on the island, about 3 million years ago.

    On this peninsula lived the Hanau E'epe, a large and sturdy tribe that introduced the technique of tattooing and defeated the Hanau Momoko tribe thanks to digging a long trench and using it as a booby-trap.

    On the summit of the now inactive Poike, there are three hills called Maunga Perehe, Munga Tea-Tea and Munga Vai a Heva. In this sector, one can admire a huge carved head and an interesting cave with stone engravings known as Ana O Keke, where virgins used to whiten their skins in ancient times.

    It is 23 kilometers northeast of Hanga Roa.

    - Rano Raraku Volcano,Lagoon of Rano Raraku Easter Island Chile Travel this is one of the island's most important places, since it is the open-sky quarry where the ancient Rapa Nui used to carve out their Moai. Some 300 half-carved statues are scattered around the base of the volcano, forming the so-called Moai trail.

    Among the unfinished statues is "El Gigante", with a height of 22 meters and weighing 165 tons.

    The volcano is 100 meters above sea level. With its oval shape and crater containing a lagoon over 50 meters deep it is a prime attraction. It is located 18 kilometers northeast of Hanga Roa.

    - Rano Kau Volcano, this was one of the first that emerged from the ocean, and is located at the extreme southern tip of the island. Its name comes from the words rano (volcano), and kau (huge). It has a 1 kilometer diameter and over 280 meter-depth lake (according to measurements taken in 1947) in its crater. It is 4 kilometers south of Hanga Roa.

    - Maunga Terevaka, it is almost 500 meters high, and with the Poike and Rano Kau volcanoes, it is one of the oldest in Rapa Nui. The lava from its constant eruptions formed most of the body of the island. Its most recent period of activity was some 10,000 years ago. It is now inactive.



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