Hanga Roa


Place of mystery and natural adventure…

Hanga Roa is the main city, port and capital of Easter Island, province of Chile. It is located on the southern part of the west coast of the island, on the plains between the extinct volcanoes of Terevaka and Rano Kau. The population of 3,304 inhabitants (2002 census) comprises 87% of the total population of the island.

Hanga Roa in the native language rapa nui means "broad bay" or "long bay".

After the island's Chilean claim, the Rapanui were gathered in Hanga Roa, and the rest of the land was rented out to a sheep farm. For much of the 20th century, the rest of the island was leased to Compañía Explotadora de la Isla de Pascua (CEDIP) (a subsidiary of the Williamson-Balfour Company) and closed to Rapanui.

Some disagreements between the Chilean government and Rapanui have led residents with ancestral roots to "take over" many hotels in the city.


For local residents, it is a way of drawing the line between the Chilean government's policy making on the island, and the ancestral rights of the Rapanui in their lands.


The city has a number of hotels and inns and the island's World Heritage Sites, in particular the famous moai statues. Hanga Roa and the surrounding area have an impressive number of moai, but there are bigger ones elsewhere on the island. The actual capacity of the hotel is around 600 beds, ranging from hostels to luxury hotels.

Every year, the city hosts the farandula cultural festival, an event of months when residents carved giant wooden statues. The celebration includes a habit where people get naked and bathe in clay that covers their bodies.

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