Easter Island Flag

Easter Island Travel Guide

Hanga Roa Map

Hanga Roa Map and Sights

The Catholic church (1964) in the center of town is notable for its woodcarvings. Buried next to the church entrance is Father Sebastián Englert, author of Hotu Matu'a's Land (1948), who served as parish priest from 1935 until his death in 1969 at the age of 80. Adjacent is the grave of Eugène Eyraud (1820-1868), who introduced Christianity and tuberculosis to the island. The large building next to the church is the oldest European ediface on Easter Island, built of limestone in 1870.

The small boat harbor at Caleta Hanga Roa is appealing for its three restored statues, the row of local fishing boats, and the numerous surfers bobbing on the waves just offshore. North along the coast is Hanga Vare Vare, a public park featuring contemporary statues, petroglyphs, and sheltered places to swim.

Just north of town at Ahu Tahai are three ahu, one bearing five restored moai, and a large statue complete with a red 10-ton topknot reerected in 1968 by the late Dr. William Mulloy who is buried nearby. The statue's "eyes" are crude copies recently cemented in place for tourists. The Rapanui once launched their canoes down the ramp leading to the water between the ahu. This is a great place to be at sunset.

The Museo Antropológico Sebastián Englert (closed Monday; admission US$2, students US$1), near Ahu Tahai, first opened in 1973 but was modernized and rearranged in 1999. The museum has an excellent collection of old carvings and artifacts, plus a scale model of the island. Ask to borrow the English translation of the Spanish explanations, and don't miss the white coral and red scoria eye of the moai found at Anakena in 1978. The William Mulloy Research Library (open weekdays) is adjacent to the museum.