Rapa Nui National Park: History and culture
In the park you will find most of the scultpures and architectural manifestations of the Rapa Nui people. The archaeological resources like statues (moai), ceremonial altars (ahu), rock paintings, villages, and so forth, form a unique archaeological heritage in the world, making this park an extraordinary outdoor museum.Â
Easter Island or "Rapa Nui" was born 3 million years ago, when three volcanoes erupted: Poike, Rano Kau, and Maunga Terevaka. In the island there are at least 70 more craters, which made up Rapa Nui's landscape: an island with soft meadows, hills, and extincted volcanoes.
There are two main theories about the peopling of the island. One postulates that its first inhabitants came from the Polynesia and arrived in the island during the IVth century A.D. The second theory poses a Southamerican origin, given the similarities between the Andean and Pascuense buildings.Ever since its peopling, the island developed isolated from the rest of the world, until its discovery in 1722 in Easter Eve. Through the years, the Rapa Nui developed a complex culture that in many aspects continues to be a mistery.
In the park you will find most of the sites of archaeological interest in the island: Orongo ceremonial village, Rano Raraku quarry, Rano Kau crater, Puna Pau and Ahu Akivi quarries, among many others.