The Myth and Mystery of Rapa Nui

4 Days

Mysterious Easter Island was discovered by Jacob Roggeveen in 1722 on Easter Sunday, hence its name. There are however, other claims to earlier discovery which are not so well documented. It is known by the locals as Rapa Nui and is situated 3,600 km west of continental Chile, with an area of 163.6 km² and a population of around 4,000. To get there from Australia you can fly via Santiago. It is one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world, with its closest neighbour, Pitcairn Island some 2075 km away. Easter Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the world’s largest 'open air Museum' on account of the Moai, or human-like stone statues that can be found on the island. There are more than 300 moais on the slopes of Rano Raraku volcano alone and many more dot the island and its three volcanoes.

Day 1

Easter Island

Arrive into Easter Island, Rapa Nui or Te Pito Te Henua (the navel of the world), at Mataveri International Airport whose single 2903 metre runway was lengthened by the U.S. space program to serve as an alternate emergency landing site for the space shuttle. Transfer to your hotel at Hanga Roa Village and spend the next three days unravelling the myths of Rapa Nui, and listening to local legend. Many a scientist and explorer have passed this way, and still there are many mysteries surrounding the origins of the island and its people.

This afternoon, visit the site of Ahu Akivi also called the Seven Moais which according to legend represent the first emissaries to the island sent by King Hotu Matua. Continue to the Puna Pau Quarry where the red stoned hats were fashioned, Tepahucave.

Day 2

Easter Island

Today you will be taken on a full day tour of the island, with a visit to ruins and Moai platforms at Vaihu, Akahanga, and then onto the spectacular Rano Raraku quarry, the original “factory” of the moais. The gigantic statues cover the inner and outer slopes of the volcano; in different stages of production, from carving in the rock to upright position, and lying face down awaiting transfer. Also visit the reconstructed platform at Ahu Tongariki. Scientists estimate that the Moais were carved during a relatively intense burst of creative and productive megalithic activity, largely between about AD 1100 and 1600 and consumed a considerable fraction of the island’s resources The most widely-accepted theory is that the statues were carved by the ancestors of the modern Polynesian inhabitants (Rapanui) at a time when the island was largely planted with trees and resources were plentiful, supporting a population of at least 10,000-15,000. When Roggeveen and Cook visited, on their respective voyages in 1722 and 1774, the majority of the statues were still standing. However, by the mid-19th century, all the statues had been toppled, presumably in inter-clan wars. As impressive as the statues are, the ahu platforms contained 20 times as much stone.Stop for lunch at Anakena Beach, where Thor Heyerdahl and his team have re-erected some of the toppled moai. Continue circling the island, returning to your hotel in the afternoon.


Day 3

Easter Island

This morning, visit the archaeological site of Ahu Vinapu, and the Orongo ceremonial village, site of the famous “birdman” culture. In the cult of the birdman, a competition was established in which every year a representative of each clan, would dive into the sea and swim across to Motu Nui, a nearby islet, in search of the season's first egg laid by a manutara (sooty tern). The first swimmer to return with an egg intact, would secure control over distribution of the island's resources for his clan for the year. The tradition was still in existence at the time of first visit by Europeans. Explore the caves which were home to the natives, around the edges of the impressive Rano Kau Volcano. Return to your hotel, stopping for a short visit to the market in Hanga Roa. Afternoon at leisure to explore the island on foot, or perhaps on horseback.


Day 4

Easter Island

Depart Easter Island today, with the mysteries of the Moai on your mind.



• Transfers between local airport and your explora destination.
Transfer schedules subject to change without prior notice.
Inquire about transfer schedules at each explora destination.
• Accommodations.
• Full board. 3 Meals per day. Bar.
• Daily explorations with bilingual guides and equipment; boats, horses,vehicles and bicycles (max group size: 10 explorers per guide). Equipment varies at destination.

Not Included:

Airfare and any item not mentioned as included.


Rates are subject to change without notice and availability.
More nights available on request.
explora reserves the right to alter, change or eliminate parts of the exploration itineraries without prior notice, when advisable for the well-being or safety of guests.


B.  Breakfast included
L.  Lunch included
D.  Dinner included

Why Choose BFirst Travel?

BFirst Travel, a wholly owned Australian tour company, helloworld affiliate. For the past 15 years we have specialised exclusively in Latin America. We know a few parts of the world, and we know them well. Our been there, done that expertise elevates your experience beyond the ordinary, to the level of adventure with comfort! "Travel is all about the experience, which starts with your travel preparations”.

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