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Tapati Festival 2018

This February marked the 50th anniversary of the traditional Tapati Festival of the Rapa Nui and yet again attracted many tourists. In fact, Polynesia’s biggest fair broke records this year, with attendance reaching almost 12,000 participants – an astounding number considering the fact that the island itself has a population of 7,800 inhabitants. More and more tourists, both foreign and Chilean, are attracted to Easter Island. LATAM extended its offer of scheduled flights to the Easter Island, with two flights departing from Santiago to the island in the summer months. During the Tapati festival, more than 400 tourists daily arrived to the island daily.
Traditionally, during the Tapati Festival competitions are held between the biggest clans of Easter Island. There are also rituals and dances in traditional costumes in honour of the Polynesian culture and traditions, and a variety of activities like horse racing or sport fishing. In addition, typical dishes are served with every culinary speciality the island has to offer.
However, this year there were some restrictions because of the precautions made by the inhabitants in order to preserve the nature and the cultural heritance of the Rapa Nui. These measures affected activities such as the traditional triathlon (“Tau’a Rapa Nui”), which consists of competitive rowing and swimming as well as a competition in which bundles of 20 kg of bananas are dragged. The triathlon did not take place around the volcano Rano Raraku, rather in Hanga Roa a Tai, the city center of Hanga Roa, in order to protect the sensitive eco-system surrounding the volcano from the rush of the many tourists.
The Tapati Festival is an absolute highlight of a visit to the Easter Island, but the island offers a versatile and breath-taking range of possibilities to explore and experience its nature and culture throughout the entire year.
If you are interested in visiting the island, please contact your travelArt representative.

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