A Hiking Information To Easter Island
Ask me which Pacific island has essentially the most to supply hikers and I’ll probably reply Easter Island. Right here on an island eleven km vast and 23 km long you may discover nearly a thousand historical Polynesian statues strewn along a powerfully lovely coastline or littering the slopes of an extinct volcano.
The legends of Easter Island have been recounted many times. What’s less identified is that the island’s assorted wonders are easily accessible on foot from the comfort of the only settlement, Hanga Roa.
Earlier than setting out see the sights, nonetheless, go to the superb archaeological museum next to Ahu Tahai on the north aspect of town (the term “ahu” refers to an historic stone platform). Other than the exhibits, the museum has maps which might allow you to plan your journey.
The primary morning after arrival, I counsel you climb Easter Island’s most spectacular volcano, Rano Kau, the place Orongo, a major archaeological site, sits on the crater’s rim. However rather than marching straight up the primary road to the crater, search for the unmarked shortcut path off a driveway to the right simply past the forestry station south of town. It takes underneath two hours to cowl the six km from Hanga Roa to Orongo, however bring alongside a picnic lunch and make a day of it. (If climbing a 316-meter hill sounds daunting, you possibly can take a taxi to the summit for around US$6 and simply walk again later within the day.) As soon as on top, you may find hiking down into the colourful crater presents no issue. It may also look straightforward to go proper across the crater rim, but solely do so if you are a really experienced hiker and have a companion alongside as shear 250-meter cliffs drop into the sea from the ridge.
Another day, rise early and take a taxi to lovely Anakena Beach at the tip of the paved road on the north facet of the island (you need to pay underneath US$10 for the 20 km). A number of of the well-known Easter Island statues have been restored at Anakena and you may go for a swim, although the principle reason you’ve got come is the prospect to trek back to Hanga Roa around the street-free northwest nook of the island. You’ll go quite a few abandoned statues mendacity facedown where they fell, and the only residing creatures you are unlikely to encounter are the small brown hawks which is able to watch you intently from perches on close by rocks. If you retain moving, you’ll arrive back in city in 5 or 6 hours (but take adequate food, water, and sunscreen). This might be the finest coastal walk within the South Pacific.
Virtually nearly as good is the hike along the south coast, though you’re sure to run into other vacationers here as a paved freeway follows the shore. Begin early and catch a taxi to Rano Raraku, the stone quarry the place all stone island mesh reflective blue the island’s statues have been born. This is easily the island’s most spectacular sight with 397 statues in numerous levels of completion lying scattered around the crater. And every day massive tour teams come to Rano Raraku to sightsee and have lunch. However, if you happen to arrive before 9 am, you’ll have the site to your self for just a few hours. When you see the primary tour buses headed your manner, hike down to Ahu Tongariki on the coast, where 15 massive statues were reerected in 1994. From right here, just begin walking again toward Hanga Roa (20 km) alongside the south coast. You will move many fallen statues and enjoy some superb scenery. Whenever you get drained, simply go up onto the highway and stick out your thumb and you’ll be again in town in a jiffy.
An outstanding 13-km walk begins on the museum and follows the west coast five km north to Ahu Tepeu. As elsewhere, keep your eyes pealed for banana bushes growing out of the barren rocks as these often indicate caves you possibly can discover. Inland from Ahu Tepeu is without doubt one of the island’s most photographed websites, Ahu Akivi, with seven statues restored in 1960. From here an inside farm street runs straight again to town (research the maps on the museum rigorously, as you will go far out of your method in case you choose the mistaken street here).
A shorter hike takes you up Puna Pau, a smaller crater which provided stone for the red topknots that originally crowned the island’s statues. There’s a fantastic view of Hanga Roa from the three crosses on an adjacent hill and you may easily do all of it in half a day. A special walk takes you right round the three,353-meter airport runway, which crosses the island just south of town. Near the east end of the runway is Ahu Vinapu with perfectly fitted monolithic stonework bearing an uncanny resemblance to related constructions in Peru.
Easter Island’s average local weather and scant vegetation make for straightforward cross country hiking, and you will not find yourself blocked by fences and personal property signs very often. You could also tour the island by mountain bike, available from a number of places at US$10 a day. In the event you surf or scuba dive, there are various alternatives here. A minimal of 5 days are needed to see the main sights of Easter Island, and two weeks would be far better. The number of things to see and do will surprise you, and you will be blessed with some unforgettable reminiscences.