No trip to Easter Island is complete without a visit to Anakena, the beach where the first Polynesian immigrants arrived to the island. It is also where they settled. Anakena is a marvel because of its warm and placid turquoise waters, white coral sands and palm trees (brought over from Tahiti in the 1960s) as well as the unique character offered by its two Ahu sites and their respective Moai statues.
The beach is located about 18 km northeast of Hanga Roa, so you'll need to take a rental car or taxi. This is the only beach on the island that is officially approved for swimming, though the Rapa Nui natives prefer to the natural pools formed between rocks in other areas. If you walk east, you'll come across Ovahe Beach, with its curious pink sands and a dramatic cliff hanging over the sea (not appropriate for swimming).
At the entrance to Anakena, you'll find a number of kiosks attended by Rapa Nui families complete with shaded tables and benches. Enjoy a beer, a cheese or tuna empanada or an anticucho (a kind of kebab). You can also sample poe, a type of sweet pudding made with flour, squash and plantain.
If you have time and a guaranteed ride back, treat yourself to a night of stargazing. The atmosphere is absolutely charming.
|The Caves||Moai Statues|