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Hanga Roa

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The Heart of Easter Island

Most of the hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs on Easter Island are located in Hanga Roa. The town also has two banks, crafts shops, a supermarket, art galleries, a gas station, rental agencies for cars and motorcycles and an information center.

It is easy to get around Hanga Roa on foot with the sea breeze as your constant companion. The main avenue, Policarpo Toro, was named after the commander who claimed the island in the name of Chile, and is where you'll find most of the local businesses. Note that the smaller side streets offer surprises for shoppers and diners alike.

One local highlight is the caleta (cove), which has a number of diving schools, a couple of restaurants and a quality ice cream shop/café with a view of the sea. You might catch a glimpse of a curious sea turtle surfacing in search of food.

Don't miss the Padre Sebastián Englert Anthropological Museum, which is named after a German priest who spent 30 years on the island as a missionary and scientist. The museum offers an examination of the cultural heritage of Easter Island and its people, and is home to an interesting archeological and bibliographic collection.

Be sure to visit the Hanga Roa Crafts Market, where you can find a variety of items made by artisans from the island and other parts of Polynesia. Santa Cruz Parish, which features figures from Catholic tradition carved in wood and is built in unmistakable Rapa Nui style, is just a short walk away. A Mass featuring local vestments and hymns in the Rapa Nui language is held each Sunday at 9 a.m.

 

 

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