Where is Easter Island?
One of the most common question is where is Easter Island. The island is located on the east edge of the Polynesian Triangle, in the south Pacific Ocean, with a latitude of 27° 9′ 10” South, and a longitude of 109° 27′ 17” West. The closest continental point is the coast of Chile at a distance of 3,526 Km. It’s located 2,075 Km west of the Pitcairn Islands and 4,351 Km from Papeete (Tahiti) to the southwest, so that Easter Island is one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world.
Easter Island is a volcanic island formed by multiple emissions of lava from its three main volcanoes, which gave rise to a single triangular continental mass with a maximum length of 24 Km and a maximum width of 12Km. All of the island’s volcanoes have been extinct for over 10,000 years, including the three main volcanoes and the 70 smaller cones.
Easter Island has a surface area of about 173 km2. Its highest point is the volcano Maunga Terevaka with 511 meters located in the north of the island. The two other points of highest altitude are the volcanoes Rano Kau, located to the southwest with 324 meters, and the Poike, with 377 meters in the southeast.
In addition to these three main volcanoes there are various other lesser volcanoes and volcanic landforms like the Rano Raraku crater, the cinder cone Puna Pau, and a series of caves formed by tubes of lava.
The rest of the island consists of soft hills that contrast with its rocky and ragged coast. In front of it rise five uninhabited islets called motus (island in the rapanui language): Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao in the southwest end, the Motu Tautara islet in the west coast, and the Motu Marotiri in the east coast.
The coast’s altitude descends until reaching sea level in front of Hanga Roa and in the Anakena sector, where you find the beach of the same name and the Ovahe beach, which are the only beaches on the island with coral and volcanic sand.