Easter Island is also known as Rapa Nui. The name Easter Island comes from the date the Dutch expedition led by Admiral Jacob Roggeveen set foot on the island, Easter Sunday, April, 1722.
It was later visited in:
1770 by the Spanish under Don Felipe Gonzalez de Haedo from Peru.
1774 by Captain James Cook.
1864 by Eugene Eyraud, the first European Missionary.

The nearest land mass to Easter Island is the Pitcairn Island (of HMS Bounty fame) 1900km to the west. The nearest inhabitated islands are the Mangaevas (Gambier) Islands 2500km to the west and the Marquesas 3200km to the north-west. The South American coast is 3700km to the east.

The maximum length of the island is 24km and the widest part is 12km. There are three major volcanoes, all of which are extinct. Terevaka which is 625m, above sea level in the northern part of the island, Pu A Katiki 400m above sea level in the eastern part and Rano Kau, 410m above sea level in the south west corner. There are other smaller crators on the island, including Rano Raraku and Puna Pau. Both Rano Kau and Rano Raraku have freshwater lakes inside them.

The average maximum summer temperature is 28C, minimum 15C. The average maximum winter temperature is 22C, minimum 14C. May is the wettest month, July and August are the coldest and January and February are the hottest, which is also when the annual Tapati festival is held.

The Moai range from 2m to 10m, however the usual length was between 5.5m to 7m. There were larger ones in construction at the quarry, however they never made it to their Ahu (platforms). The longest which has been found is 21m, it's face alone is 9m, it is 4m across the shoulders and it's body is 1.5m thick. Both the front and sides are complete, but it never made it out of the quarry at Rano Raraku.

  • Population: 3000
  • Capital: Hanga Roa
  • Area: 117 sq km
  • Major language: Rapa Nui, Spanish
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Monetary unit: 1 peso = 100 centavos