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Journey to Easter Island (photo gallery)

Easter Island. 

Who didn't read Kon Tiki  by Thor Heyerdahl when they were growing up? (A  lesson in how reading impacts your later life....) If you read it, certainly your imagination was piqued about the people who lived there who built huge statutes known as moia (pronounced mow-i). Those questions and that curiosity never went away.

While a trip to Easter Island was not on a 'bucket list,' when my husband Richard suggested a trip to Antarctica for January of 2015, I thought we should stop at Easter Island "on the way," not realizing  that Easter Island really isn't on the way to anywhere. (It's actually a 5-hour flight west of Santiago, Chile.) But it was south of the U.S. so I thought we were headed in the right direction. In spite of my lack of geographic orientation, he agreed.

We made reservations to stay at the Rapa Nui Explora Lodge (we had previously stayed in their lodges in Patagonia and Atacama), which arranged for guided hikes with local guides enabling us to visit several sites on the same day. The weather was gorgeous (in the high 70s ), the hikes long and photogenic, and the guides knowledgeable. 

For the three days, we crisscrossed the triangle island’s 64 square miles, seeing more than 100 of the statues, about 40 that have been restored to their platforms (Ahu), along with many that have been pushed down or fallen over and remained where they fell. The views from the trails of ocean, sun and sky were simply spectacular. We spent a large part of one day wandering through the quarry where the statues were carved (and many remain in various stages of complete/incompleteness). I couldn't get enough pictures, and I felt I couldn't really do them justice.

It was unlike anything we had ever experienced, and left us wanting to know more. 

What better recommendation for travel?


Ellen Miller
I was the founder of three nonprofit organizations in DC, most recently, the Sunlight Foundation. Now I am retired and travel with my husband, Richard, when we're not home enjoying our family and pairing down my photos from the most recent trip.