Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Hiking Guide to Easter Island

Ask me which Pacific island has the most to offer hikers and I'll probably answer Easter Island. Here on an island 11 km wide and 23 km long you'll find nearly a thousand ancient Polynesian statues strewn along the beautiful coastline or littering the slopes powerful extinct volcano.

Legend of the Easter Island have told many times. What is less known is that the magic of a variety of islands that are easily accessible by foot from the comfort of the only settlement, Hanga Roa. Before setting out to see the sights, however, visit the excellent archaeological museum next to Ahu Tahai on the north side of town (the term "ahu" refers to the ancient stone platform). Besides the exhibition, the museum map that can help you plan your trip.

The first morning after arrival, I suggest you climb the volcano's most spectacular Easter Island, Rano Kau, where Orongo, a major archaeological site, sits on the edge of the crater. However, instead of marching straight up the main road to the crater, looking for traces of a road marked shortcut to the right just past the woods south of the city station. It takes less than two hours to cover the six km from Hanga Roa to Orongo, but bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it. (If you climb the 316 meter hill sounds daunting, you can take a taxi to the summit for around U.S. $ 6 and easily walk back later in the day.) Once at the top, you will find climbing into the colorful crater presents difficulties. It also may look easy to go right on the edge of the crater, but only do so if you are a very experienced hiker and have a companion along as shear 250 meter cliff fell into the sea from the ridge.

Another day, get up early and take a taxi to lovely Anakena Beach at the end of the paved road on the north side of the island (you should pay under U.S. $ 10 to 20 km). Some of the famous Easter Island statues have been restored at Anakena and you could go for a swim, although the main reason you've come is the chance to travel back to Hanga Roa in the northwest corner of the island freely. You'll pass abandoned statues lying facedown on the lot where they fell, and living simply is not possible to find is a small brown hawks which will watch you intently from perches on a nearby rock. If you keep moving, you'll arrive back in town in five or six hours (but take adequate food, water, and sunscreen). This is probably the best beach in the South Pacific.

Almost as good is the hike along the south coast, although you will certainly run into other tourists here as a paved highway follows the coast. Begin early and catch a taxi to Rano Raraku, the stone quarry where all the statues of the island of his birth. It is easy to see the island's most spectacular with 397 statues in various stages of completion lying scattered around the crater. And each day large tour groups come to Rano Raraku to sightsee and have lunch. However, if you arrive before 9 am, you will have the site to yourself for a few hours. When you see the first tour bus into the street, climbing to Ahu Tongariki on the beach, where 15 large sculptures reerected in 1994. From here, just started walking back to Hanga Roa (20 km) along the southern coast. You'll pass many fallen statues and enjoy some incredible views. Every time you get tired, just go up to the highway and stick out your thumb and you'll be back in town in a heartbeat.

A 13-km walk starts circulating in the museum and follows the west coast five km north to Ahu Tepeu. Like everywhere else, keep your eyes pealed for banana trees growing from barren rocks as these often indicate caves you can explore. Inland from Ahu Tepeu is one of the island's most photographed sites, Ahu Akivi, with seven statues restored in 1960. From here an interior farm road runs straight back to town (study the maps at the museum carefully, because you will go far out of your way if you choose the wrong path here).

A shorter hike takes you Puna Pau, a small crater which provide stone for the red topknots that originally crowned the island's statues. There is a view of Hanga Roa from the three crosses on a nearby hill and you can easily do it all in half a day. Walking a different path takes you right at the airport 3353 meter runway, which crosses the island in the south of the city. Near the eastern end of the runway is Ahu Vinapu perfectly fitted monolithic stone bearing resemblance similar construction in Peru.

Moderate climate of Easter Island and less vegetation make for easy cross country hiking, and you will not find yourself blocked by fences and private property signs very often. You can also tour the island by mountain bike, available from several locations in the U.S. $ 10 per day. If you are surfing or diving, there are plenty of opportunities here. Required a minimum of five days to see the main sights of Easter Island, and two weeks will be much better. A variety of things to see and do will surprise you, and you will be blessed with some unforgettable memories.
Judul: A Hiking Guide to Easter Island
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