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If you’re looking to explore some of Latin America’s most iconic destinations in 2022 or beyond, now is the perfect time to plan ahead. Plus, take advantage of our new Flexible Booking Policy when booking before 31 December 2021.

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Our Real Latin America Expert

Barbara Zanotelli Rodrigues
Barbara Zanotelli Rodrigues - Former Travel Expert

With Brazilian parents, Barbara has a passion for all things Latin American.

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Tiny, unique and remote Easter Island in the South Pacific has become a mesmeric destination for historians and travellers alike. The mystery surrounding the Moai statues is what brings most visitors here: it is still unknown today how they were carved or how they were transported around the island. There are many myths about Easter Island so we thought we’d take a look at some of the known facts about this mysterious destination.

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• Completely isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the island is 3,700km west of the coast of continental Chile.

• The cultural and archaeological treasures of Easter Island were the first of any Pacific island nation to be registered by UNESCO on its World Heritage List.

• The name Easter Island was given by Jacob Roggeveen, the first recorded European visitor to the island on 5 April 1722, which so happened to be Easter Sunday.

• There are nearly 900 Moai on Easter Island, in various stages of construction.

• The average size of a Moai statue is 13 feet tall and 14 tons.

• Built to honour a chieftain or important people the natives believed the spirit of the person would forever watch over the tribe and bring good fortune. This is why the statues are called Moai: the word comes from Rapa Nui (the Polynesian language of Easter Island) and means “so that he can exist”.

• None of the Moai statues were standing when scientists first arrived, those upright today have been re-erected.

• Although commonly known as the ‘Easter Island heads’ this is a misconception as it was discovered in 2012 that all of the heads have full bodies which have become submerged.

 

 Last updated: 16 Jun 2017

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