Easter Island Tongariki at Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
   

Quick facts on Easter Island

Moai statues of Rano Raraku, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Moai statues in the volcano Rano Raraku.
World map with Rapa Nui (Easter Island) marked in Pacific Ocean Easter Island on world map.
Male Rapa Nui dancers at Tapati festival, Easter Island Native dancers at the parade during Tapati Rapa Nui festival.

This is a summary of interesting, essential Easter Island facts. For more detailed and extensive information, please refer to other areas in the Easter Island section.

What is Easter Island?

Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is a tiny island known for its huge moai statues scattered all over the island.

The world is fascinated by the creation of these statues not only for the impressive size and quantity of them, but also for the circumstances under which they were built. This small island had very limited resources; not much drinking water, no cattle and no metal. The statues were transported to their final location several kilometers across hilly terrain - all of this being accomplished with the highest leader being a tribal chieftain.

Location

Rapa Nui is located in the Pacific Ocean, on latitude -27.15 and longitude -109.4, 3600 km west of Chile in South America (see in Google Maps). Flying from Chile's capital Santiago, which is the closest flight connection, takes around 5 hours.

Culture

The people of Rapa Nui are Polynesians, such as Hawaiians, Tahitians and the Maori of New Zealand. The native languages of these islands are very similar.

Rapa Nui is a unique culture with music, dances and art of its own. The island is today part of Chile, and strong South American influences threaten the existence of the fragile Rapa Nui culture which a mere 3000 people are part of.

Climate

The Rapa Nui climate is subtropical and often windy.

During summer (Dec - Feb), day temperature is around 25°C, and winter (Jun - Aug) around 19°C. Rain falls year-round (around 80 mm), though most between April and June (around 110 mm).

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Max day temp. °C (°F)27
(80.6)
27
(80.6)
27
(80.6)
25
(77)
23
(73.4)
22
(71.6)
21
(69.8)
21
(69.8)
21
(69.8)
22
(71.6)
23
(73.4)
25
(77)
Min day temp. °C (°F)21
(69.8)
21
(69.8)
21
(69.8)
20
(68)
18
(64.4)
17
(62.6)
16
(60.8)
16
(60.8)
16
(60.8)
17
(62.6)
18
(64.4)
19
(66.2)
Rainfall mm (in.)90
(3.6)
80
(3.4)
80
(3.4)
110
(4.6)
120
(5)
100
(4)
90
(3.7)
80
(3.4)
80
(3.3)
70
(2.9)
80
(3.2)
90
(3.6)
Sources: records of Mataveri International Airport weather station from years 2004 to 2012 (day temperature) and Weatherbase (rainfall).

Table explanation: during February, one could expect day temperatures between 27 and 21°C, and in October between 22 and 17°C.


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