Knowledge that can be valuable and maybe helps to understand.
An island with a size of only 24 by 13 kilometers. No wonder that the first Polynesians who landed gave the island the name Rapa Nui, spots of earth.
Nothing but water, at least for the next 4200 km to the west and 3500 km to the east, beside the even smaller islet Pitcairn, which was once the refuge of the Bounty mutineers and today certainly with a distance of 2000 km no landmark problems will be provoked.
And on this small patch of earth with the size of Lichtenstein far away from any other human settlement stand and lie up to 10 meters high and almost 20 tons of boulders in human-like form, of which nobody knows who has placed them there, how one set them up and what they ultimately mean.
Easter Island or Isla de Pascua is called the mysterious island and Moais are called the even more mysterious, stone figures, of which there are just over 600. A Dutchman gave the island this new name because he landed here on Easter Sunday 1722.
The "discovery" and everything that came afterwards, as so often in the history of so-called civilization, did not bode well for Polynesian natives: devastation by Spanish conquerors, abduction to Peru by American whalers, enslavement by sheep breeders, introduction of unknown pathogens caused by deadly Infections decimated the population in phases to a few hundred. Today, there are nearly 6,000 who call this island their home and since their annexation at the end of the 19th century, they rather involuntarily call Chile home.
Even though tourism feeds almost every one of the inhabitants in some way, the number of visitors is rather small compared to other holiday islands, even since LATAM flies to the island from Tahiti or Santiago not just once a week, but almost every day.
Because all products except for a few agricultural products have to be imported, the price level is relatively high. Maybe one of the reasons why the stay of most visitors is limited to 1-3 nights.
The other is certain that the island is massively underestimated in terms of tourist attractiveness.
What stands hardly in a travel guide:
Something is different here, was the first thing we both independently felt when we stepped out of the inconspicuous terminal of the small airfield Mataveri. No, actually this impression had already appeared before.
A runway that stretches almost from one edge of the island to another (and was expanded by NASA to that length in 1984 to serve as an emergency landing gear for space ferries, with the welcome side effect that LATAM's bigger planes here as well can land).
An immigration procedure, which still uses paper forms rather than modern computer technology. And where most native-looking newcomers are greeted by ground and customs personnel by name, handshake and lots of hello.
And then, in front of the building, this light and these colors, which remained inexplicable throughout our stay. So bright, so clear, so intense, so pure. Hard to describe.
And those people who were incredibly nice, uncomplicated, and laid back in a way we had barely seen in our travels around the world. An example: the taxi driver from the airport to the hotel did not want his money at first, because "one sees each other again anyway“.
The landscape that spreads around the central volcano - so varied yet harmonious: wild, steep, rough, wavy, flat. Green meadows, gray stone formations, lonely trees on the horizon. Wild spray near the coast has created underwater caves and depressions for centuries, making it an insider tip for divers for a long time.
Free-roaming horses and sheep all over the island give the whole a cheesy last coat of paint.
And the Moais? Yes, they still exist. But they are just the last icing on the indescribable impression of an island with infinitely hidden charm. An island for which we had planned too little time.
Stay longer than planned!
Explore the island with a rental scooter or rental car (but insurance in advance in your home country if you want to avoid problems or do it like all those on the island, who have never heard of this topic ...)
Sunset on the terrace of the restaurant Te Moana - highly ranked in our personal worldwide ranking