Polynesian Experiences offer rare interactions with local artists who have dedicated their lives to following in the footsteps of their ancestors. Deeply rooted in mythical origins, Easter Island possesses an extensive past filled with tales of epic legends, recounts of famous navigators, cultural practices and art forms passed down from generation to generation.
UNRAVEL THE MYSTERIES OF SECRET EASTER ISLAND
You can explore the hidden face of Easter Island by hikking in the company of a guide-lecturer, passionate about the island’s history and knowledgeable about its many facets – geology, botany, its peopling by Polynesian migrants, traditional tools, archaeology, agriculture and so on.The many charms of this mystical island will be revealed as you are taken around cultural and historical sites: the village of Hangaroa, the volcanoes of Raraku, the panoramic view from the beaches of Anakena or Ovahe, and the stone walls of Vinapu.
THE TAPATI FESTIVAL
Rapa Nui, the legendary Easter Island, emerges in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Without a doubt, the moais, the gigantic megalithic sculptures, stimulate the imagination of travelers from all over the world. However, this mythical volcanic scenery is more than just statues. A millenary Polynesian tradition is the base of this unique, pride, mysterious and lively culture. Tapati is its reflection. Every year, during the first two weeks of February, Tapati Rapa Nui festivities –or the Easter Island Week- takes place in the Island. Though it is been 30 years since they first started celebrating, the origins of these festivities go earlier than its most old practices. Through the years, this celebration has become a major tourist attraction. It could be just another carnival, but its roots and basis have a deeper motive: defending Rapa Nui’s culture, preserve its traditions and pass on to the new generation of islanders its own values. A poetry and music festival took place every year, but on 1975 some changes were introduced, provoking a very enthusiastic reaction on the people, who demanded an extension of the Tapati. Today, people enjoy a perfectly organized and attractive two-week event: this prolonged party is complemented with the cheerful environment that captivates every visitor.
THE UMU RAPA NUI
The most traditional dish is the Umu Rapa Nui or Easter Island curanto, which is cooked in a hole in the ground with firewood and red-hot stones, the same way it was made hundreds of years ago. The hot stones are covered with plantain leaves. Then, meat, chicken, and fish is placed on the leaves and covered again with more leaves and stones. A second layer is placed on top with sweet potatoes, taro, and tapioca and is covered again with plantain leaves and dirt. The heat cooks the food in a slow and long process making the curanto a community food dish.