The faces of Easter Island: that’s what I called them when I was a kid. This mythical place—that many don’t know its whereabouts—offers a mysterious and volcanic enchantment that can only be experienced by looking eye-to-eye with a moai (monolithic human-like faces).
And Some Useful Easter Island Facts
Where is Easter Island?
Easter Island is located 3,500 km west of mainland Chile in the South Pacific Ocean and it’s the easternmost island of Polynesia. Easter Island is officially part of Chile but with its own culture and lifestyle. The locals speak Rapa Nui (Pascuan) and Spanish.
How to get to Easter Island?
It’s only accessible by air from Santiago, Chile, or Papeete, French Polynesia, to Mataveri Airport, Hanga Roa, Easter Island. The more economical way is to fly from Santiago since you’ll need FC Barcelona type of money to fly from Papeete. The Mataveri Airport is considered the most remote airport in the world. Ships do go to Easter Island for commercial purposes.
The park permit costs 30,000 CLP or 60 USD which can be bought at the airport or at the CONAF office. It’s cheaper to pay with Chilean pesos. The park permit is valid for 5 days from first use.
The Rano Raraku crater supplied 95% of the stone to make the moai statues. You’ll find several of the moai lying on the ground around the crater.
The island is expensive for a budget traveller or backpacker. A loaf of bread costs 3,200 CLP. French fries in a restaurant cost 4,000 CLP. Bring your own jar of Nutella.
Wi-Fi is at an all-time low speed. Physical mail can be delivered faster than a Whatsapp message. And not all Chilean mobile carriers function on Easter Island. However, there is free Wi-Fi at the park and some hotels.
It’s best to see Easter Island by renting a car. My friends and I were able to get a small Suzuki 4×4 for 40,000 CLP per day. Sometimes you can get one for 35,000 CLP. The car rental prices offered online are much higher. There is no car insurance: drive safe.
The whole island can be seen in one day. But it’s not recommended. Three to five days is good.
The weather is unpredictable and the forecast is useless.
The best place to the see the sunrise on Easter Island is at Ahu Tongariki. You’ll need a car to get here. Ahu translates to platform. The best place to see the sunset is at Ahu Tahai which is in town and walkable.