Easter Island goes by many names depending on the language you speak - its nickname is 'the navel of the world.'
Landing on Easter Island, it was amazing to see the huge stretch of runway on such a small island. I later learned that it also serves as an emergency landing strip for the Space Shuttle - who would have guessed?
Most of Easter Island is no longer inhabited- there is one small town of about 3000 people. The majority of the island has been designated as national park land inhabited by those big, giant heads you would always see on the cover of National Geographic.
I also learned that 'big giant heads' is not how people refer to the statues and that generally they are not just heads but entire bodies called Moai.
On a two-day long mini-bus tour of the island, we saw the Traveling Moai, the Kneeling Moai, the only female Moai, the Seven Moai facing the ocean, the Moai at Anakena beach, the... well, you get the picture.
While it's easy to think that they all look the same, the longer you hang around the more you begin to notice the differences between all the Moai. Some locals even say they have different personalities. We had a fabulous guide (I never thought I'd be writing postings on a travel web page so I never bothered to remember many details). I highly recommend a guide- even for just your first day. It's always better to hear the local history and legends from, well, a local. Everyone I met was very generous with their opinions. Not only that, but you have lots of time between Moai to get to know the other travellers on the bus- ours made for excellent dinner companions. A little tip... try to sit at the fromt of the bus, that way you're the first one off the bus and can usually snap some great photos before the others get to the site. After everyone's off the bus it's hard to get any quality time alone with your Moai.