Your journey to the so-called Navel of the World begins in Santiago, Chile, and heads five hours due west to Easter Island, a volcanic Polynesian island guarded by 887 moai statues.
Located 1,289 miles from its nearest inhabited neighbor, Easter Island is one of the world’s most remote colonized islands. Today, it’s also one of the most mysterious in large part due to the still unexplained origin of these towering monolithic human statues.
Head to the brand-new, solar-powered Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa, on the edge of Easter Island’s town, Hanga Roa. Hangaroa offers a number of Rapa Nui-guided tours, including a trip to Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater, former quarry, and home to nearly 400 moai statues, as well as a surf safari of the island’s surrounding breaks.
Local Rapa Nui brothers Vaenga and Mai Teao offer a two-hour safari ($30; 569-9816-5381) out of a shack near the beach. Experts should head to Pakaia, where swells range from nine to 26 feet. Beginning at $640, double occupancy, all-inclusive; hangaroa.cl.