Easter Island, Rapa Nui or Isla de Pascua is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Sadly I only had three days to explore and try and get as many instagram worthy shots as possible, but it was enough time for a crash course in culture and history. For an island that is just a speck in the ocean and even harder to find on the globe there is a huge amount waiting for you to discover. If the gorgeous rugged coastlines and the lush landscapes aren’t reason enough to visit this Polynesian paradise off the coast of Chile, then the impressive architectural feats in the form of the island’s infamous Moai will undoubtedly be the unique selling point.
We spent our time here getting our cultural fix hopping from site to site, but no matter how many times you come face to face with these huge monolithic stones they never cease to impress. The skill and time taken to make the Moai is something that rivals the architectural splendour of the Incas, a big claim, I know. Make sure you head to Ahu Tongariki for the token tourist photo with you and the Moai before a walk around Rano Kau, a volcano at the centre of which is a stunning lake that was made for a panoramic picture.
History was never my favourite topic so an afternoon soaking up some much needed sunshine was the perfect way to break up the cultural visits. Okay so you’re still only a few hundred yards from another Moai site but Anakena beach makes history seem much more appealing. Who could turn down golden sands, turquoise blue waters with a dash of culture thrown in? Seriously, these are the kind of history lessons I could get used to…
If you think the culture stops with the architecture then the competition at the centre of the island’s Bird Man cult will seem even more impressive. Select warriors were made to swim across what used to be shark infested waters to reach the Motu Nui islet, before scaling the rugged cliffs to find a bird’s egg. They then had to make it back to the mainland without breaking said egg, not to mention survive the swim itself. The picture below doesn’t quite do it justice but shows the route of this life threatening competition.
Seeing all of the island in three days is doable but I would have loved more time to just relax instead of frantically running from one place to the next. But I’d rather have spent a little time here than to have missed out on an island with so many ancient works of art.