EASTER ISLAND is over 2,000 nautical miles from the nearest population centres, (Tahiti and Chile), making it one of the most isolated places on Earth. A triangle of volcanic rock in the South Pacific –it is best known for the giant stone monoliths, known as Moai, that dot the coastline. Known as “Rapa Nui” or “Isla de Pascua”, Easter Island belongs to Chile.
The capital is Hanga Roa where the vast majority of the people live. Easter Is. is made up of three volcanoes: Poike, Rano Kau and Terevaka and remains one of the most unique places you will ever encounter; an open air museum showcasing a fascinating, but unfortunately lost, culture. The Rapanui are among the friendliest people you will ever meet, and the landscape is truly amazing – with its volcanic craters, lava formations, beaches, brilliant blue water, and archaeological sites.
Lying at the south-eastern point of the Polynesian triangle, visiting yachts are increasingly calling at this isolated island. The anchorage off the main settlement of Hanga Roa is open but sheltered from the prevailing south-easterly winds. If the wind turns, one can move to Anakena Bay, site of some of the most interesting excavations and statues on the island, or to Huituiti in the east.
Swell is a problem in all these anchorages. Tourism, fishing, agriculture and on-going archaeological studies are the primary activities of the island. The 3500 inhabitants, most of whom are Rapa Nui of Polynesian descent, live around Hanga Roa, the only town.