Unusual challenges highlight a living cultural tradition

Santiago, Chile, September 26, 2013 - Imagine Olympic Games’ events such as making a reed canoe, carving a moai, or jumping off the side of a hill attached to a banana tree trunk? Such are the extraordinary challenges faced by Tapati competitors in Rapa Nui (aka Easter Island). Guests at explora Rapa Nui have the unique opportunity to observe or participate in these celebrations every February.

This traditional celebration has taken place on Rapa Nui for nearly 50 years. What started as a celebration for locals now includes thousands of visitors who want to experience Rapa Nui’s ancient culture. From February 1 to 15, 2014, islanders and visitors will stop their normal activities and create teams or ‘alliances’ that will compete to crown their candidate the Queen of Tapati. Competitors have to compete in physical challenges and traditional events to earn points. Competitions range from fishing, swimming, musical contests and gastronomic challenges to the famous triathlon, Tau'a, which is held in the lake formed inside the Rano Raraku crater. In the Haka pei, competitors throw banana tree trunks down the side of a hill at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour.

The festivities end with a “Farándula,” a parade with floats carrying locals and visitors, all wearing traditional Rapa Nui makeup and outfits.

Rapa Nui’s history is ripe with examples of the insurmountable odds of surviving in one of the most remote places on earth. Tapati is an expression of a culture that has been saved from the brink of extinction and now celebrates its heritage with pride.

One of explora’s central sustainability tenets is to support the local communities and help preserve their traditions, performing arts and languages. Partly for this reason the staff at Posada de Mike Rapu actively supports the Tapati, taking part in competitions and activities that bring them closer to the Rapa Nui culture of their ancestors.

With 30 rooms overlooking the Pacific, the Lodge at Mike Rapu is an excellent base from which to enjoy the many activities planned for the 2014 festival. Programs include transfers, accommodation, all meals, access to the bar and daily explorations with bilingual guides.

For further information, please visit: www.explora.com

About explora
explora offers its guests a new way of travelling, where three luxury lodges serve as gateways to explore some of the most remote areas in South America: the desert of Atacama, the southernmost tip of the continent at Patagonia, and Rapa Nui (aka Easter Island), in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. For the more adventurous travellers, explora offers multi-day nomadic journeys, known as Travesías . Accompanied by an expert guide, personal chef and only a handful of other travellers, Travesías take guests through little-known, remote areas of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, to discover remarkable natural beauty.

explora Manifesto
Leave home, enjoy the journey, pack light, go far, forget the time, walk, deviate from the route, go outside when it rains, ask questions, try new flavours, don't stop, stop, talk with people, listen to stories about the place, protect nature.


For more information contact:
Jayne Lloyd-Jones, Spectacular Ink
info@spectacularink.com  |  604.925.8187
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