Originally inhabited by the Mapuche, partly incurred into by the Inca and a one-time Spanish colony which fell into political instability in the early 20th century, the fascinating history of this nation is mirrored in the Historic Sites in Chile. There’s a number of interesting places in Chile to visit and among the very best are Easter Island and the Cementerio General de Santiago.
What are the best Historic Sites in Chile?
The Cementerio General de Santiago is a vast cemetery in Chile’s capital which is the final resting place of many of the country’s leading political and social figures. Almost a city within a city, Cementerio General de Santiago is a labyrinth of elaborate tombs and avenues.
The cemetery has numerous monuments, such as one to the victims of the dictatorship of General Pinochet.
Easter Island in Chile is a remote island surrounded by 4,000 km of ocean and with a mysterious past. Discovered by Dutch explorers in 1722, Easter Island – so named because the explorers landed on Easter Sunday – is thought to have been inhabited since 700AD and perhaps even as early as the fourth century AD.
Perhaps the most famous aspects of Easter Island are its almost 900 head shaped statues, known as moai. Originally known as the “living faces of our ancestors”, the moai are incredibly large and heavy stone statues which are thought to have been built in around 1000AD to protect the islanders. When they were found, the moai were not standing and a large number have since been erected upright.
Today, Easter Island makes up the Rapa Nui National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once there, visitors can explore the sites, including the moai heads and the quarry at the Rano Raraku volcano. Easter Island is quite small, so it can be toured within a day or two.