Easter Island named a must see by Tripadvisor
Looking out from the coast of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as it is known to natives, the horizon seems to stretch forever, an unbroken deep blue as far as the eye can see. It is this isolation that has made this place so special, and one of the reasons tourism giant Tripadvisor included Easter Island in it’s list of islands to visit in 2014. As part of its annual Traveler’s Choice Awards, Tripadvisor named Chile’s Easter Island among the top ten islands in the world for the second year in a row. More than 1,000 miles from the nearest inhabited neighbor, Easter Island is perhaps best known for its 887 moai — massive stone statues carved from the island’s volcanic rock that look out over the now largely open landscape. Historians and researchers are still fascinated by the culture that created these giants, with many questions — such as how did they move the huge stone creations to their current locations — left unanswered. In addition to the moai, visitors also flock to the island’s three volcanoes, two of which have fresh water crater lakes.
There are also numerous caves to discover as well as remnants of the Birdman Cult that once reigned on the island. Tripadvisor rightly recommends a little R&R to reflect on all of the amazing sites found along the island’s 63 sq miles. “After exploring the unique landscape, relax on an uncrowded beach and ponder one of the most mysterious places on Earth,” the tourism site says. A great option for this is Anakena Beach, a breathtaking white coral sand oasis, believed to be the landing place of the island’s first inhabitants. However, Easter Island is spotted with great beaches as well as restaurants that look out onto the vast Pacific Ocean, serving up local favorites and seafood caught earlier that day. Easter Island was joined on this year’s short list by Aitutaki in the Southern Cook Islands, Bora Bora and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, among others.