While people associate Easter Island as that faraway island with those funny moai statues once you reach this amazingly magical place you uncover more than that. An entire culture that venerates the Bird-Man religious cult, amazing landscapes, underground caves, ancient petroglyphs and a society that has lived in this remote piece of land for thousands of years.
The byproduct of ancient volcanic eruptions, the island has two main inactive volcanoes: Rano Raraku and Rano Kau, the first of which is the volcano where the stone to build the moai came from.
Seeing photos of moai on the internet and actually standing just a few feet away are two completely different things. They are indeed majestic and you get the vibe they are simply enjoying a sense of zen state in their merry existence of that small island that is devoid of the ills of earthquakes or tsunamis (something nearly unheard of in the Pacific Rim). At the most the eastern shore in Tongariki might get small waves. However that doesn't liberate the island from unpredictable weather. Everyone was wondering why in the hell would I spend nearly a week in an island that is so small that you can drive around it in 40 minutes in a car at a slow speed. The truth is that just in Torres del Paine National Park Rapa Nui can experience all four seasons within one single day.
One day the sun was burning so hot I suffered from really nasty sunburn and the following day rainfall alternated with thunder was the outdoor landscape. The island has one iconic beach called Anakena but the storm made staying outside so intolerable I sadly missed out. The remote island resembles the fictitious island from my third book. I can view the unwelcoming barren volcanic stones such as the photo above to resemble the island in my book albeit with no traces of vegetation or fauna.
If you are ever curious to visit this amazing island there is only one airline that goes there in the entire world known as LATAM that flies via Santiago every day at 9:45 am. During the summer season a second plane arrives at night whereas the island greets planes coming from Tahiti from the same company once every Tuesday. While most English speaking countries will not need a visa to reach this island be aware that Australian are still levied with a hefty reciprocity fee every time they land in Santiago International Airport. If you reach Easter Island via Tahiti you will be exempt from the 160 USD fee. The island is definitely worth the cost and trouble to get there. If the price of the ticket is a hassle get a subscription for the LATAM newsletter for surprise discounts. Some people that come from North America travel via Copa Airlines or Aeromexico to reach Santiago and switch planes. It might work for you albeit for me the ticket was much lower via LATAM. I would love to visit the island again and see the places I was unable to enjoy due to the inclement weather.