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Hugging the coast on the northwest side of the island is the village of Hanga Roa. About 5,000 people, many of Polynesian descent, make this tangle of streets their home. Few live outside the village because the bulk of the island forms the Rapa Nui National Park or is state owned. The population is beginning to spread out, however, as the Chilean government cedes more land to the locals.The
two main roads in Hanga Roa intersect a block from the ocean at a small plaza. Avenida Atamu Tekena, which runs the length of the village, is where you'll find most of the tourist-oriented businesses. Avenida Te Pito o Te Henua begins near the fishing pier and extends two blocks uphill to the church. These two roads are paved, but most others in town are gravel.
Most of the archaeological sites on the island line the southeastern coast. Driving along the coast you'll pass many ahus, all of them completely...