Arrive On Easter Island
Your flight from the mainland passes over the South Pacific Ocean and touches down at Mataveri Airport. A representative is waiting to welcome you to Easter Island, or Rapa Nui in the Polynesian language of its native people and transfer you to your chosen hotel. Settle in and enjoy your new surroundings, one of the most isolated places on Earth and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Akahanga, Rano Raraku, Tongariki And Anakena Beach
It's time to explore! After breakfast your guide arrives to take you on a full-day tour to some of the best sites in the island. At the Ahu Akahanga you get your first sight of some of the moai for which the island is famous. These 13 figures are not standing, but lying down, knocked down in the clan wars that occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some are face-up, which lets you observe their facial features at close proximity and admire the skilled craftsmanship. Nearby you can see their pukao, or hats. Behind the main ahu there's a very small maoi, about two metres in length, lying on its back, that is considered to be one of the oldest on the island. Next you visit Rano Raraku volcano, where most of the stone for the moai was mined. Climb to the crater rim for views of the lake within and a number of moai scattered on the inner slopes. Next you travel to Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial structure on the island with 15 standing moai. It's all the more impressive as this site was almost totally destroyed by a tsunami in 1960 and had to be rebuilt by an international team of archaeologists and engineers. There's a lot to admire here. Finally, you arrive at Anakena beach with time for a refreshing swim, before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Vinapu, Orongo, Akivi And Puna Pau
Your morning excursion begins in Vinapu, a large archaeological complex including an impressive stone wall not dissimilar to Inca structures, demonstrating impressive stonework skills. From here you visit Rano Kau, the largest of the three main volcanoes on Rapa Nui. The enormous crater contains a lagoon with islands composed of floating totora reeds and is much photographed. The narrow south rim of the crater is the location of Orongo village, which was inhabited seasonally by participants in the bird man, or tangata manu contest whose winner ruled the island for the next year. You can see petroglyphs in some of the houses depicting scenes from the competition. Return to your hotel to relax. This afternoon you explore Ahu Akivi where seven unusually uniform moai stand on their platform. Although apparently gazing out to sea (most face inland), they are positioned facing a former village, in common with other moai, suggesting that one of the purposes of the maoi was to protect the island's inhabitants. Later, at Puna Pau, you see the small volcano from where the red stone used to create the pukao was quarried and you can see several lying scattered over the ground nearby. After the tour you are taken back to your hotel to shower and change before dinner, either at the hotel or a local restaurant as you prefer.
Depart Easter Island
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and free time until you are collected for the drive to the airport to check in for your flight back to the mainland.