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Rapa Nui - The Hidden Gem of Attractions

Rapa Nui - The Hidden Gem of Attractions
By Nikita Jaeger

TP 201905 global 01澶嶆椿鑺傚矝

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TP 201905 global 02Rapa Nui - the land of 887 Moai, monolithic human statues, is barely 163.5 square kilometre in size, a Chilean volcanic island located in the south-eastern Pacific Ocean. Rapa Nui is also popularly known by Eastern Island, famous for its archaeological sites that were the creations dating back to the thirteenth century. Being a mere dot lying upon the vast Pacific Ocean, the Rapa Nui is one of the rarest types of destinations, which has more aura of mystery that can satisfy the thirst of adventure and travel that goes deep far into a traveller.

 

It is high time for people who want to visit and explore more of Rapa Nui, as tons of hidden secrets are there to explore. During our recent visit to Rapa Nui, we were able to witness some of the exotic pink sand beaches through caves, windswept grasslands and even a local festival that helped us learn about their age-old tradition and culture. I am sharing here some of the hidden locations and things to do, as per the fantastic experiences we have experienced during our trip to the lovely Rapa Nui.

TP 201905 global 03How to reach Rapa Nui?

The barren island, devoid of trees is not a favourable list of locations due to many reasons, and one of the main reasons is the expensive mode of travel. Because of this very reason, people skip visiting Rapa Nui, and if you are yet planning for a visit, you need to do some good homework. The island is 3512 kilometres away from Chile.

 

You can reach there by air from Santiago, and only one flight service is available in a day, which will take 6 hours approximately to reach Rapa Nui. Rapa Nui is the local name, but it is officially known as 鈥業sla de Pascua鈥 derived from Spanish.

TP 201905 global 04Ana Kakenga - the path to heaven

Although many tourists used to hang out in this small cave in Rapa Nui, it was the first place we went down to hunt for hidden locations. To our surprise, we could feel the rise of adrenaline after witnessing whole new northerly caves that not many people decided to walk through.

 

On venturing further north we found out two different outlets that were overlooking the sea. The entrance looked like a small dent, which made people think that the cave was not the one to access around. But, walking through the cave was an easy go task, and with the help of our torch lights, we found a large cave that had an entrance marked along with a tree. This large cave took a while to finish walking, and we saw a circular rock formation that goes all the way with a path at the exit of the cave. There were some excellent shaded places located around to sit and watch the sea. The calmness that we felt being through the caves and the chillness in the wind can never be explained in words.

 

These northerly caves can be reached either by walking or by cycling around. As the roads are quite rough and rocky, you need to pick up the cycle only if you have an excellent prior mountain biking skill. Also, visit the caves as early as possible, as you can explore more of the large caves and return before the dawn.

TP 201905 global 05The hidden botanical beauty of Rapa Nui

If you are a fan of lush green plants, then Jardin Tau Kiani Nui is a must place to visit. We hired a taxi from Ahu Akivi and landed in this small botanical garden early in the morning. We came by morning to witness the aroma of the tropical plants. The Jardian Tau Kiani Nui botanical garden is the right place for leisure to enjoy the freshness of nature.

 

Walk through the garden to explore more of Rapa Nui symbols and sculptures. Many people visiting Rapa Nui are unaware of this beautiful garden that hosts different plant species. Tourists can also use the shuttle transport facilities available here, which is much cheaper than taxi services.

 

Ahu Akivi to Rapa Nui is a 16-minute drive, and you can easily hire a taxi, board a local bus or make use of the transportation facility from Jardin Tau Kiani Nui itself.

TP 201905 global 07The fascinating Tapati festival:

The locals are very friendly, and they put valuable inputs in scheduling our travel plans. Some of them suggested to be part of the Tapati festival, celebrated during the first half of February. We were lucky enough to schedule a visit for Tapati festival, as we reached the spot at the right time.

 

The Tapati festival enriches the tradition and culture of the Rapa Nui people, and we were able to watch the colourful dances of the locals in their best traditional costumes, painted body as the way their ancestors did centuries back. This festival is a replica of the rich culture of Rapa Nui and their fascinating life.

 

There were tons of competitions and activities with the active participation of the local people throughout the festivals. Haka Pei was the riskiest, and we had a chance to watch the daredevil performance. During the game, the participants slide down from a slope, while lying upon the rustic trunks of the banana tree. The winner will be the person, who covers the distance with the shortest possible time. Music is the soul of the Rapa Nui people, and locals participate in various stage celebration in mass numbers and showcase their artistic and physical skills.

TP 201905 global 08Conclusion

It was a three to four days鈥 trip to Rapa Nui, and we were overwhelmed by the thematic experience in conjuncture with the mother nature and the rich tradition of Rapa Nui entirely. The local people were so kind to welcome us and even offered some safety tips while venturing the cave rides. There are still many different hidden locations to explore in Rapa Nui, and we are just crossing our fingers for the next year鈥檚 tour programs.

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