Easter Island is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 3000 km from the Chilean coast. It is the most isolated, inhabited island on the planet. The Polynesian island is semi-tropical and is known for its soft hills, extinct volcanoes, rocky coast and beaches, and famous Moai sculptures. The large Rapa Nui National Park covering the majority of the island is a protected UNESCO heritage site. The island is home to approximately 5,000 people, 60% of whom are Rapa Nui natives.
- The island is 160 km2
- Over 3000 years ago the island was covered in forest but these have disappeared due to volcanic eruption and human depredation
- Easter island was discovered by the Dutch in 1772, annexed by Chile in 1888, and still remains in Chilean possession.
- The majority of the island’s 2,764 population are of Polynesian descent
- Over 600 colossal stone sculptures known as Moai can be found on the island - their origin is still a mystery
Weather and Climate
Easter Island’s climate is subtropical. The lowest temperatures in July and August are around 18°C (64 °F), making the winter very mild, and the highest temperatures in February are around 28 °C (82°F), kept from soaring too high by ocean winds. There is rainfall all year round (April receives the most rainfall) but cyclones and hurricanes do not occur on the island.