Rapa Nui National Park: a treasure at the end of the world
The Rapa Nui National Park was created in 1966. Its territory encompasses a little over 40% of the entire surface area on Easter Island. In 1995 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In today’s blog, we invite you to learn more about this incredible park, located in what many refer to as the navel of the world.
With its 7,310 hectares, the Rapa Nui National Park covers a significant percentage of Easter Island’s territory. It belongs to the Republic of Chile, but since 2016 it has been directly managed by the local Ma’u Henua community. Previously to this, and ever since its creation in 1966, CONAF had been responsible for the park’s administration. It was in 1995 that it was declared a World Heritage Site by the international association, UNESCO.
Would you like to know more about this interesting territory, one that houses ancient remains and relics from the Polynesian culture? If so, keep reading…
What to see
The main monuments on Easter Island are located within the boundaries of the Rapa Nui National Park. The ceremonial village of Orongo, the Rano Kau and Rano Raraku volcanoes, and the Ahu Tongariki, the island’s largest platform housing moais, are all located within the limits of the park. You can also find the island’s highest lookout points in the park, from which beautiful Rapa Nui sunsets can be experienced in all their splendour.
How to access the park
To enter the Rapa Nui National Park, you must pay an entrance fee, which remains valid for a period of 10 days. Prices range between 10.000 and 20.000 Chilean pesos for Chilean nationals, and between 40 USD and 80 USD for foreign visitors. Having paid the entrance fee, you will be able to visit the entire park and enjoy all the sign-posted paths and circuits as a result.
Rules to bear in mind
To preserve the heritage belonging to Easter Island, there are certain rules that all visitors must respect. Visitors are asked to refrain from climbing up or touching the Ahu platforms, the moais, and the ancient petroglyphs. Camping is prohibited in the park and visitors are asked to not remove stones or take any stones with them when they leave the park. Naturally, it is also prohibited to drop rubbish anywhere in the park. There are many bins placed around the park so that visitors can take care of their rubbish accordingly.
The passing of time
Climate change threatens the heritage of the Rapa Nui. A report published by UNESCO reveals the extent of environmental erosion and its ability to cause serious damage to the moais. For this reason, it’s important that all visitors respect the rules as laid out above to help take care of this special place.