RETOUR TO PARADISE
with Carolina Hehenkamp and Rapa Nui guides
Arrival in Hangaroa on Rapa Nui / Easter Island. Rapa Nui lies 2,400 miles from the mainland of Chile and is the most isolated human habitation in the world. Some call it paradise! When you arrive the annual Tapati Festival will have already begun and as the whole village participates in this festival that recreates the traditional culture, chants, dances and sports, you will become a member of the Rapa Nui community.
During your stay you will be part of the event with hundreds of others. Every day the Rapa Nui families compete in some field of their traditional culture, like banana trunk sliding; making their skirts with flowers, shells and plant material; full body painting; stone carving; hula dances till deep into the night; ocean and lake canoe competition; sharing umu, the traditional meals, cooked in the earth and lots of chanting, story telling and hula dancing.
On your first day, you will arrive in your hotel and have some time to relax, to unpack your luggage and get *grounded* in Hanga Roa, the only village on the island. In the evening we will gather and meet our first Moai (giant statue) at a special sunset spot, which is a very special place for ceremony and meditation. Our guide will introduce us to the cultural history and the sacred environment and invite us to be part of it.
During our sacred journey we will explore the island and the ancient culture, be part of the community and share with all. The island is special, one of a kind, very inviting and green with clear tropical skies and beautiful sunsets, with many volcanic craters and thousands of horses everywhere, completely free to go where ever they want to. There are wild, unspoiled open spaces in every direction and you really feel in paradise. The energy is very high and some can feel it. The island is twenty-two miles long, has 5,000 residents and only few tourists arrive each week, staying mostly for two or three days.
We will have time to (stone platforms)visit the sanctuaries, the ahu´s where we will see the Moais, the mysterious ancient stone statues with the elongated heads and meet the beings in the statues. They are very sacred and there are over 600 of them on the island, some as tall as 68 feet, weighing as much as 200 tons. During our stay we will have our own private transport to all sites and activities.
Our guide will explain Thor Heyerdahl’s theory about the statues, the significance of the orientation of the sites and other aspects of the ancient Rapa Nui religion. Many legends are told and he will explain us about it. We will hike /walk to Orongo, a huge crater on the western tip of the island with high cliffs dropping into the sea. On the rim of this mountain crater we find a ceremonial village of the ancient tangata manu (birdman) cult. Fertility rites were performed here in the old culture. There are still petroglyphes of the birdman and many carvings on the rocks.
We will visit Rano Raraku. On this mountain most of the big statues we carved out of the rocks and about 400 giant statues are still lying on the ground, still attached to the rocks or standing halfway in the earth in varying stages of completion. It is an overwhelming sight and many of us had long time dreams to see them for real!
There will be time to be by your self, to meditate and look at every detail of the carving process. On our way we will be at one of the most impressive sites, called Ahu Tongoriki - a huge platform near the ocean with fifteen Moais (giant statues). They had been toppled by a tidal wave in the sixties, but archeologist put them up again. It is a beautiful spot for sunrise.
On our tours we will visit the only white sand beach on the island - Anakena Beach – an ancient abode of the main chiefs of Rapa Nui. This place has many archaeological sites too, including two large altars and important groups of petroglyphes. We swim in the crystal clear waters and have time for ceremony at the Moais.
When we have the Tapati Festival season, the Festival offers events nearly every day,
we will spend a lot of time attending the different events. You will have free time, early morning meditations, time for gatherings and for those who want to shop, there are many little shops and a marketplace to find beautiful souvenirs, pareos and artwork to take home with you.
During our stay we will be provided with good saddle horses and guides who will lead us on a trip exploring the rest of the island, much of which is inaccessible by car. We will spend time with the horses, sleep out country
and enjoy beautiful and sacred spots and will go to the highest point of a volcano mountain, from where you can see the entire island.
It is important to know that our schedule of activities and events on Rapa Nui may vary, as we will have to go with the flow, the changing activities and the weather.
Since 2005 I have been living for several months a year on the island, so this trip will give you a far more intensive and intimate impression of the island and its local people as any other trip can provide. Being now part of the Rapa Nui family has opened me many doors and I would like to invite you to be part of this experience. An experience you will never forget and bring back with you to your country and life with the children and young ones
I hope to celebrate the "Ancient Culture" with you all, that the Rapa Nui people have rebirthed and are now sharing with their children in daily life.
The journey starts on the island Rapa Nui - Easter Island
rates per Person in a double room: see actual offer 2011
included are normally:
double in a Residencia/hotel (Hotel-Tax incl.)
Transfers Airport - Hotel
Transport - Airco Bus on 4 days
Guides from the island
Guidance - Carolina
Lunch - 7 days
Dinner - 4 days
drinks when offered at meals
Museum-, Park- entrance fees
Horses tour and horses guides - 2 days
Entrance all Festival activities
International flight to Chile or Tahiti
National flight Lan Chile to Easter Island
Breakfast - all days
Lunch - 2 days
Dinner - 5 days
extra drinks (beer, wine, espresso etc.) at meals
Tips bus driver and guides
What you need - extras:
Depending on your budget you can have a dinner in a restaurant (between 20 and 30 US $) or cook at the residencia. A wonderful *empanada* with fresh tuna fish cost you 3 US $ and is a lovely meal!!!) Products for breakfast are available in the market and supermarket and you can eat and prepare it in the kitchen of the residencia. Or go to one of the café in the village. Prices are like in the US or Europe. Tap water is save and many can drink it from day one!!
International flights are better to book earlier, as they can change prices weekly, many companies have monopoles on the routes. Tahiti - Easter Island is 580 US $ for both ways.
Actual Travel Information
Information about other sacred journeys: