5 reasons to visit Easter Island

Story highlights

There is more than the incredible moai on offer

The island's top celebration is February's Tapati Festival

Seafood meals are outstanding

Several eco-lodges are a highlight for many visitors

CNN  — 

There are, of course, those massive stone statues of ancient legend lining its coast. Then there’s the epic isolation – more than 2,000 miles from the nearest population centers (Chile, Tahiti), it’s one of the most remote inhabited places on Earth.

But those aren’t the only reasons to rank Easter Island (“Rapa Nui” to locals) high on your list of exotic travel wishes.

Polynesian in culture and Chilean in nationality, this volcanic archipelago in the southeastern Pacific Ocean remains a vibrant center of Polynesian culture and otherworldly scenery.

What’s more, it’s not hard to get to, with Chile’s LAN Airlines making the five-hour flight from Santiago to Easter Island several times a week.

Measuring 15 by eight miles, it’s easy to cover all of Easter Island in a single, unforgettable stay. Here are five reasons to start planning now:

1. Moai statues

Numbering almost a thousand, the moai (monolithic human statues carved from a single piece of stone) are scattered all over the island. They’re the principal reason people come to Easter Island and truly make any trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience.