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Everybody says: “You spent TWO WEEKS there?” Well, let me tell you, Easter Island, better known as Rapa Nui, is utterly fascinating. It is the most isolated inhabited place on earth … its nearest neighbors, tiny Pitcairn Island (of Muntiny on the Bounty fame) 1,600 miles away. It is 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile.

There is so much to see and do there. The iconic figures, MOAI, deserve repeated examinations, in different lights. Trekking is gorgeous, swimming delightful, the people beguiling. Because it is so very isolated and difficult to reach, we would not recommend to anyone that they spend less than ten days there. I can’t wait to return. We planned our trip to coincide with the annual cultural festival, TAPATI, which included a plethora of competitions, entertainment, dancing, singing …. all culminating with the crowning of a queen for the coming year.

We stayed in the village the first week, Hotel O’Tai, a charming, friendly place that has seen all sorts of guests since the Haoa family began taking in boarders in their extra bedrooms in the sixties. They have since added many rooms and it is quite comfortable with wonderful gardens tended by gardener Manuel Navel.

For our second week, we discovered the world of Explora hotels at explora Rapa Nui, set on a hillside overlooking the vast pacific on the south side of the island. The hotel, opened only three years ago, is perfect in every sense, rooms, views, architecture, excellent food, friendly staff….. It seems that there is nothing that is impossible for their guests comfort and desires. Managed by Giovanna Raineri, it can compete with any hotel in the world for the title of best.

We were there the first two weeks of February 2011…..

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