An Easter Island Cultural Journey
Duration: 3 hours
Tour Code: IPC-004
Learn the ways of Easter Island's first inhabitants, whose ancestors will demonstrate their ancient customs in the shadow of a mysterious moai statue site.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a short drive through Hanga Roa, the island's sole town. Before long, you'll arrive at Tahai, a ceremonial site with five moais that vary in scale and shape, unlike most of the moais on Easter Island. The two largest figures may represent a mother and father or symbolize different leaders of the indigenous people. Their exact meaning remains a mystery, despite the efforts of American archaeologist William Mulloy, who excavated the site and is now buried nearby.
Following your exploration of Tahai, you'll take a short walk to the coast where you'll meet your hosts, some may actually be descendants of the first settlers who arrived approximately 1,700 years ago from Polynesia. Today, the Rapa Nui people who live on Easter Island enjoy sharing with you their traditional culture and ancient ways. During the course of your visit, you'll discover all sorts of fascinating details about their history. Your hosts will also demonstrate typical dances and tell cultural stories using "kai kai," a form of string-figure artwork, to illustrate the essential points. If you're feeling adventurous, you can volunteer to have your body painted with "kie'a," a natural red pigment that was used in ancient ceremonies on Easter Island.
Following this rare and fascinating cultural experience, you'll walk to the close-by restored hanga kio'e, before re-boarding your bus and and traveling through the village to the church which has some interesting woodcarvings. Afterwards, you'll transfer directly back to the pier.
Please note: This tour approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing. At Tahai, there will be uneven ground and dirt paths to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing with long sleeves; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should bring plenty of water from the ship as none is available during the excursion. There is no restroom availability on this tour. Several vehicles of differing sizes are used as transportation on this tour and only one guide goes with the group so there is no commentary on board the vehicles. However, at each stop, the guide will provide commentary for the entire group. Littering or touching the statues is strictly prohibited on Easter Island. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.