Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. It’s most famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai.
Why visit Easter Island? 7 reasons, via this guest post:
To throw claim to the fact that you’ve been to one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world.
Easter Island is part of Chile, but located nearly 2000 miles (3000 km) away from the mainland. It doesn’t get much more remote than this!
2. To watch the sun come up over Ahu Tongariki – breathtaking!
I recommend heading there as early as you’re able to wake up. Rent a car to make the experience truly memorable.
3. To climb a real volcano, stand at the top and take in nothing but fresh Pacific Ocean air… and this stunning view!
The photos don’t even do it justice. There are several hiking paths around the crater and a visitors center. Views of Hanga Roa town are also spectacular!
4. To wander in the footsteps of the ancient Rapa Nui people through the quarry of Rano Raraku.
Admire the unfinished moai and puzzle over just how these (sometimes huge) sculptures ended up scattered all over the island!
5. To make new friends.
Wild horses and cows frequently appear in the road. They have the freedom to roam as they wish so be sure to move aside if you spot them ahead. Don’t be afraid to stop and snap some photographs; they’re renowned for their quiet temperament.
6. To see some incredible wildlife up close and personal.
These beautiful birds of prey were plentiful in number. They were more than happy to sit and pose for photos.
7. To watch the sunset over the statues at Tahai in Easter Island.
Arrive early to set up your spot. Everybody in Easter Island wants that perfect sunset photo. The sky changes color so quickly – enjoy every moment!
Know before you go
Easter Island is far, hard to get to, and expensive. But it’s special, and very few people get to visit.
Getting to Easter Island:
Comprised of three (now extinct) volcanoes, Easter Island is accessible via a daily flight from Santiago (or a weekly flight from Tahiti).
Budget – Easter Island:
If you’re planning your trip, be aware that flights are expensive and hotels aren’t cheap. Only a handful of people get to visit Easter Island in their lifetime
This was a guest post by Jess, who writes the awesome travel blog Jess is a Wanderer. Join Jess’ adventures around the globe, to top tourist spots and off the beaten track.
I went Volcano Boarding! (and lived to tell about it…)
Volcano Boarding is #2 on CNN’s “Thrill seekers bucket list: 50 things to do before you die.” They say Cerro Negro Volcano in Nicaragua is the only place in the world that has it. Naturally I booked my flight right away. It was so much fun!
Here’s the experience, in 26 photos:
What is Volcano Boarding? Volcano Sledding
It’s a bit of a misnomer – Volcano Boarding is less like snowboarding, and more like sledding. You’re not standing up; instead you’re
Cerro Negro is a live volcano, which erupted as recently as 1999. They’ll have a speed gun to track you – the record is more than 80 kilometers per hour down the volcano.
I can hardly believe we climbed this beast
Hiking Cerro Negro Volcano – the climb
The hike was just a few hours long, and isn’t as difficult of a hike as it seems. The only challenging part is that you’re awkwardly carrying your board while hiking. There’s barely a trail and no trees to hold for stability. The first third of it is challenging because of the uneven rocks, while carrying a board. The rest is challenging because of the incline, while carrying a plywood board.
Breathtaking views from the top
Once you arrive at the top, the views are stunning! They’re also very scary once you realize you’ll be volcano boarding down this volcano.
What’s it like to go Volcano Boarding?
You get into these (seemingly) former prisoner one-piece outfits. They’re hot so you won’t want to put them on until you need to.
You sit on the board with your hand on the rope, and feet on the board. You can go faster by leaning back; slower by sitting up. You can let your heels go to the outside of the board to apply the brakes. It surprisingly felt like I had some control. If I did it again, I’d certainly let myself go faster.
Is Volcano Boarding safe?
Debatable. From one standpoint, it felt fairly safe, but go at your own risk. They say it is, but then again, they’re collecting your money. You’re flying down an active volcano at crazy speeds. While we had a prison jumpsuit to protect from minor skin abrasions and goggles, there’s no helmet or armor. It feels very unsafe but lots of fun.
With a straight face, the guide said “the secret to the technology is formica on the back” that helps you pick up speed even though we’re on an active volcano. “But don’t leave it out in direct sunlight , or it might peel off.” Yes he actually called it technology.
We lived! We survived volcano boarding. Woohoo!
Where can you go Volcano Boarding?
The only place in the world where we’ve heard you can go volcano boarding is in Leon, Nicaragua, at Cerro Negro Volcano. Book it through Bigfoot Hostel.
I had hiked up a volcano before, but this was an active volcano, and we went sledding down it. Add it to your list!