Rapa Nui

A Paradise with Mysteries

With an almost surreal history, stunning scenery, and a unique culture with a widely spoken native language, this island is a must-see for any curious traveler.

NameRapa Nui/Easter Island
Population∼ 7000
Area164 km²
Distance (continent)3540 km
Year of colonization∼ 1000 AD
Current sovereigntyChile
Annexed in1888 AD
Official languagesSpanish/Rapa Nui
Planet rapa nui

Surrounded only by the vast Pacific Ocean, Rapa Nui is one of the most remote places in the world. Historically and culturally it is part of Polynesia, although modern influences from Chile are very present. It is an interesting fact, that on the most isolated island in Polynesia, the greatest and most impressive feats of engineering in the area were also achieved. Could it be a coincidence? Will you perhaps be the one to unravel the unsolved mysteries of this island?

The Moai

“At first, these stone figures caused us to be filled with wonder, for we could not understand how it was possible that people who are destitute of heavy or thick timber, and also of stout cordage, out of which to construct gear, had been able to erect them; nevertheless some of these statues were a good 30 feet in height and broad in proportion.”

— Jacob Roggeveen, 1722

Total amount of moai

∼ 1000

Construction period

∼ 1350 - 1650 d.C.

Average weight

14 tons

Heaviest moai erected

86 tons (unknown name, Ahu Tongariki)

Tallest moai erected

9,9 m (Paro, Te Pito Kura)

Largest unfinished moai

21,75 m (Te Tokanga, Rano Raraku)

Moai statues are what Rapa Nui is known for all over the world. Almost all of them were built in the quarry of the Rano Raraku volcano, and were transported kilometers over rough terrain to all corners of the island. His destination was an ahu; a stone platform where the caciques were buried. The statue was placed on top of the ahu, on the bones of the person it was supposed to represent. Within the statue, the spirit of the dead ancestor remained alive, blessing his decency for generations to come. Therefore, these statues were called “moai” – “so that it still may exist”.