Chile was named in numerous bucket lists of places to travel in 2018. This year the country will mark its 200th year anniversary as an independent country. Travelers can experience the bustling capital of Santiago, the vast dessert that is Atacama and the contrasting geography of snow-capped mountains and alpine fjords in Patagonia. In addition to those, visitors also have the opportunity to travel to Easter Island; a remote Polynesian island whose iconic stone carvings have become a symbol of the country. Easter Island travel is more accessible than ever, thanks to daily flights from Santiago.
Easter Island Travel Guide
How Many Days Should You Stay
The island itself is not large; only 64 square miles. Rapa Nui National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, makes up half of the island. Most touring companies suggest anywhere from 3-5 days to truly enjoy the sights and appreciate the beauty and cultural history of this secluded island. Most accommodations are in Hanga Roa and they vary from backpacker’s guesthouses to properties akin to bed and breakfasts.
When Should You Go
Since tourism is the island’s main source of income, tourism is open year round. Climate on Easter Island doesn’t vary as much but if you plan on traveling during the southern hemisphere’s winter season; make sure to bring a raincoat and a sweater for colder nights.
What to Do While There
Your Easter Island travel is a nature lover’s paradise. Surrounded by the deep blue Pacific Ocean, you can swim, snorkel or dive. There are also two white sand beaches on the island: Anakena located on the northern end, where most locals can be found surfing; and the more remote Ovahe on the western end. Getting there can be a bit of a trek though, but the views are most certainly worth it. Hiking and trekking are also popular daytime activities especially since some parts of the island are inaccessible by car.
It goes without saying that the main attraction when visiting and staying on Easter Island are the Moai statues scattered around the island. Some 900 of them remain on the island; with the majority located in or near the volcanic craters of Rano Kau and Rano Raraku. It is highly recommended that you hire a tour guide that will take you around the national park. Not only will they be able to provide you with a more extensive history of the Moai; you will also get tidbits of information that only the locals will know about.
NOTE: These statues are revered and also protected by law. Touching or even attempting to get close to them is forbidden.