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This is about the main town on Easter Islandmarker and not the Hangaroa river located in New Zealandmarker


Harbour scene in Hanga Roa
Post Office in Hanga Roa


Hanga Roa is the main town, harbour and capital of the Chileanmarker province of Easter Islandmarker. It is located in the southern part of the island's west coast, in the lowlands between the extinct volcanoes of Terevakamarker and Rano Kau.

The population of 3,304 (2002 census) comprises 87 percent of the total population of the island. For much of the twentieth century, the rest of the island was leased to the Williamson-Balfour Company and closed to the Rapanui; in 1914, the population of Hanga Roa was just 250 and the rest of the island was inhabited by large populations of sheep.

The island's main avenue, Avenida Atamu Tekena (formerly Avenida Policarpo Toro), is the heart of the town. Many stores, hotels, restaurants, and the island's only supermarket and pharmacy are found alongside this road. In 1998, the road was renamed after nineteenth century Rapanui hero Atamu Te Kena; it had previously been named after Captain Policarpo Toro, the Chilean Naval officer who annexed Easter Island to Chile in 1888. The island's museum and also the Roman Catholic church, are located in the center of town. With the advent of the internet and the expansion of communication services by the Chilean government, many internet cafes and even an automated teller machine (ATM) have appeared in recent years.

Hanga Roa has a multi-use stadium, Estadio de Hanga Roa, which is the home ground of the Easter Island national football team.

The town has a number of hotels and guesthouses which cater for tourists who come to see the island's World Heritage Sites, and in particular the famous moai (statues). Hanga Roa and the surrounding area have a number of impressive moai, but there are larger ones elsewhere on the island.

The actual hotel capacity is about 600 beds and the lodging offer goes from little hostels and luxury hotels. Rates range from USD$60 to USD$800 dollars per person.

In addition to tourism, other businesses in Hanga Roa include fishing, farming and administration (several Chilean government departments including the Chilean Navy maintain a presence on the island).

The island's only airport, Mataveri International Airportmarker, is served by LAN Airlines, Chilemarker's national carrier. LAN offers direct flights to Santiagomarker and Papeetemarker, Tahitimarker, from Easter Island and is the only commercial carrier that regularly flies to the island.

As well as a small local fishing industry, the harbour has a shipping service to Valparaisomarker, Chile.

References

  1. Steven R Fischer The island at the end of the world. Reaktion Books 2005 ISBN1 86189 282 9 page 248
  2. Easter Island article in Letsgochile.com



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