Where we are ...
Easter Island, or RAPA NUI in the language of the indigious people, is one of the most isolated inhabitated islands on the planet, where people live. It constitutes the most easterly point of the great polynesian triangle: Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island and is Chilean territory.
The closest inhabitated island is Pitcairn at a distance of about 2,000 kilometres (1.240 miles), continental Chile is around . 3,700 kilometres (3.000 miles) away. It is here, so far away from the world, that a unique mentality and culture arose.
Rapa Nui has a size of around 170 square kilometres (105 miles²) and has a population of approximately 6,000, most of them living in Hanga Roa, the only village on the island. Situated in the pacific ocean the island is of volcanic origin and constitutes the area with the highest amount of extinguished volcanoes per surface unit on earth. But world-wide attention focuses on their seemingly enigmatic cultural history, which gave birth to around 1000 statues of lava tuff - called Moais. They and the beauty of the nature makes Easter Island one of Chile's major tourist attractions.
Because of that tourism is the principal source of income for the island's inhabitants.
Iorana translates as welcome and has here a very special meaning.
Whoever travels so far to visit us will be greeted very warmly.
Almost two thirds of the island surface is national park. In the year 1995 UNESCO declared the island a world heritage site.
Apart from the indiginous name for the island this term also stands for the ethnic population and their polynesian language. There are about 2000 Rapa Nuis, the rest of the population are made up of continental Chileans and a few foreigners.
The open-minded Rapa Nuis are proud of their very old and legendary mystified culture. Some of the curiosities of the loneliest island in the world are: there are no traffic lights, no public transportation, but almost 100 taxis, there are neither shopping malls nor cinema or theater; we are talking about one of the few places on the world, from which you have to travel almost 4,000 kilometres (2.485 miles) to get to the "closest" city (Santiago de Chile or Papeete, Tahiti).
The populace of the Rapa Nui surely counts among of the smallest ethnic populations on our planet. Their culture, language and customs need to be protected, so that they do not get lost in our ever so fast changing world, because even Easter Island has been awoken from its sleeping beauty sleep.
If you are interested in visiting the island, we recomend you to look at the following websites:
- National Tourism Service www.sernatur.cl
- online guide of Easter Island Imagina Isla de Pascua www.imaginaisladepascua.com/en/
- local tourism chamber "Cámara de Turismo Isla de Pascua" ww.isladepascuaturismo.com/