Hanga Roa, Chile Cruise Port
If you've ever been intrigued by those mysterious statues (called moai) on Easter Island, then cruising to Hanga Roa, Chile will get you up close. Located on the Chilean province's southern part of its west coast, Hanga Roa is the main town, harbor, and also capital. It's also stuck in between two extinct volcanoes, Terevaka and Rano Kau, in case you needed still more intrigue. Hanga Roa's population of around 3,300 people makes up approximately 87% of the island, which tells you this is where the action is. Easter Island was annexed to Chile in 1888, and the Chilean government has added many modern amenities within the past several years. The statues are part of the World Heritage Sites, and in addition to these attractions, the town has a bustling fishing and tourism industry. Here are some of our favorite experiences while visiting the cruise port of Hanga Roa, Chile:
- To sunbathe or snorkel before or after sightseeing, Playa Ovahe is a smaller beach which tends to be less crowded than the more famous Anakena. There's also a nearby cliff which provides amazing views from the top.
- Of course travelers want to see the statues, and there are plenty of nearby places in which to do so (although they're scattered throughout the island). Closest to town are Caleta Hanga Roa and Ahu Tautira, which overlook the fishing port. Further away, Ahu Akahanga features some large moai which are unfortunately toppled over. Many cruise lines will offer specific tours to see the moai, so site options should be plentiful.
- For burst of color and lush vegetation, visit the Jardin Tau Kiani Rapa Nui (botanical garden). With over 2,500 species of plants from all over the world, the garden also features a landscape design made with the wood and volcanic rocks that characterize Easter Island.
- To explore Hanga Roa's history, visit the Museo Antropológico Sebastián Englert (Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum). Dedicated to preserving the Rapa Nui culture, you'll find everything from the weapons and tools used during ancient times to ceremonial homes and replica Rongo-Rongo tablets, whose script remains a mystery.