Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is the world’s most remote inhabited island. About 3,600kms (2,236 miles) separate it from the American continent at its nearest point: the Chilean coast. Pitcairn Island, the nearest inhabited place, is almost 2,000kms (1,243 miles) to the southwest.
The island’s remoteness, stunning geography, vast array of wildlife and rich culture led UNESCO to declare Rapa Nui a world heritage site in 1995. Rapa Nui is said to have been inhabited starting around 600 A.D., when a group of colonizers arrived from the Eastern Pacific. Once an extremely populated island with around 15,000 inhabitants in the 17th century, deforestation and diseases introduced by European sailors led to there being only 111 indigenous inhabitants in 1877.
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