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Easter Island Sights

Playa Anakena

  • Beach–Sight
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 12/02/2014

Fodor's Review

Easter Island's earliest settlers are believed to have landed on idyllic Playa Anakena. Legend has it that the caves in the cliffs overlooking the beach are where Hotu Matu'a, the island's first ruler, dwelled while constructing his home. It's easy to see why Hotu Matu'a might have selected this spot: on an island ringed by rough volcanic rock, Playa Anakena is the widest swath of sand. Ignoring the sun-worshipping tourists are the five beautifully carved moai standing

on nearby Ahu Nau Nau. On the northern coast, Playa Anakena is reachable by a paved road that runs across the island or by the more circuitous coastal road. For 15,000 pesos (or ask your hotel to negotiate a better price), a taxi takes you from Hanga Roa and picks up at the agreed-upon time later. Bring snacks and water from Hanga Roa. Amenities: toilets; parking; food and drink. Best for: snorkeling; swimming.

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