Time Slows on Easter Island

Ancient culture thrives despite tourism surge
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 20, 2008 12:00 PM CDT
The Posada de Mike Rapu offers pristine sea views from its 30 eco-friendly rooms.   (Magnum Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Tourists have left no stone unturned on Easter Island, flocking at rates of 50,000 a year to arguably the world’s most remote habitation. Five hours of flying over uninterrupted Pacific Ocean lands you on this mostly undeveloped volcanic rock with its haunting stone figures (moai), but today it boasts an eco-friendly luxury lodge among the pubs in its sole village, W reports.

Posada de Mike Rapu offers 30 green rooms with pristine sea views flaunted through huge windows. Daily volcano hikes to the moai quarries show the assembly-like frenzy in which the protective figures were built until the island was deforested in the process. Despite the tourism bug, the local Polynesian descendants have preserved their culture, and time has an ancient feel.