Rapa Nui, the navel of the world

After only two days in Santiago and when we were starting to get over the tedious jet lag we packed our backpacks and headed to the airport again. Ahead of us a 6 hour flight across the Pacific to Easter Island! Ivan, the owner of the hostel where we were going to stay, welcomed us with the traditional flower necklace at the tiny Mataveri airport in Hanga Roa, and gave us a little tour around the town as we headed to the hostel. It didn’t take long until we saw our first moai in the very same Hanga Roa.

Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited places on earth. To get an idea of its isolation, their closest human neighbours are in Pitcairn Islands 2075km away and Santiago is only 3770km away. There are several theories about the origins of the inhabitants of Easter Island. Most agree the first to reach the island were Polynesian, but other theories relate them with people from South America. The legend says that some 1,500 years ago a Polynesian chief named Hotu Matu’a sailed here in a double canoe from an unknown Polynesian island with his wife and extended family.

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