Downhill dramaEaster Island, Chile
Some sports are best enjoyed from the sidelines, and Haka Pei is one of them. Unless of course you’re not averse to the odd broken bone, cuts, bruises and an excruciating case of gravel rash. Every year, during Easter Island’s Tapati Rapa Nui festival, young men (and some women) hurtle down the slopes of a 300-metre-high volcano called Maunga Pu on a sled made of two banana tree trunks, wearing little more than a loin cloth.
They reach speeds of up to 80 kilometres an hour, rocketing towards crowds of wincing spectators to rapturous applause. The festival, held during the first two weeks of February, is a cultural celebration of music, dance and sport.
Cascada Expediciones can organise five-day trips on Easter Island from about US$1060.