Floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—over 2,000 miles west of South America, off the coast of Chile—Easter Island is a destination like no other. Considered one of the most remote, but inhabited, islands left in the world today, this important geographical location spans 63 square miles. It closes out the the Polynesian triangle with Hawaii and New Zealand, forming the southeast corner, and is most known for its ancient moai statues. They’re impossible to miss; there are nearly 900 of them.
Plan a family trip to this historic island and include Easter Island tours of the sites below. We promise you’ll love them just as much as your kids!
Taking up nearly half of the island, this UNESCO World Heritage site and park is where you’ll find all of the moai statues, also known as “Easter Island Heads.” Spread both above ground and partially buried beneath it, these giant stone shrines were routinely built between the 10th and 16th centuries to pay homage to the spirits of ancestors, chiefs or other high-ranking males that were important to the island’s history. When you go, don’t miss Ahu Tongariki, on the southeast shore of the island. There’s a row of 15 towering moai statues, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, with a backdrop of the South American sky.
This is the only museum on the island, and it’s most known for its impressive collection of ancient fishing hooks, white coral moai eye, and obsidian stone tools called “mata.” Easter Island tours like these are the perfect way to start your trip! It’s free, it has an art collection and it will even teach your kids about the history of Easter Island, so you don’t have to.
Most of the Easter Island coast is rocky, but at Ahu Tongariki, you can lounge on the white-sand beaches of Playa de Anakena. The water is a glittering turquoise and the whole beach is fringed with palm trees, but what makes it truly special are its resident landmarks: the moai statues “guarding” its sand.
This volcanic crater has become a moai quarry over the years. Today, you can find nearly 400 stone-faced giants there, some half-carved or broken, some above ground and others buried mostly below ground, with maybe a head peeking out of the terrain. This part of the island, which looks like a snapshot in time, is where historians study the moai statues to figure out the history of the area. Whether you’re interested in history or not, a trek through the crater is still worth it. The views of the island from Rano Raraku are just stunning.
This is the only town on the whole island! Not much happens on Easter Island in general, but this harbor is where you’ll find all of its hotels, restaurants and shopping, all just steps from the sites you’re there to see. Commercialism aside, go here to fish, spot sea turtles, or go swimming or surfing. The serenity you’ll feel just being on Easter Island is incredible.
Don’t know how to start planning your family trip to Easter Island? Reach out to us at Surtrek, the leader in custom and local South American travel, and we can help you create a vacation you won’t forget.