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Easter Island Insider Tips: How To Easily And Affordably Plan Your Trip


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Annabel Washington



Welcome to Easter Island, a remote and captivating destination located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Known for its mysterious Moai statues, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Easter Island offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or simply a nature lover, this enchanting island has something to offer for everyone.


In this article, we will provide you with insider tips and essential information to help you plan your trip to Easter Island easily and affordably. From the best time to visit to must-see attractions, we will cover all the key aspects to ensure you make the most of your time on the island.


With its remote location, getting to Easter Island may require some careful planning and consideration. We will guide you on the various transportation options available and help you choose the best route for your journey. Additionally, we will provide recommendations on where to stay on the island, ensuring you have a comfortable and convenient base to explore from.


No trip to Easter Island would be complete without marveling at the iconic Moai statues. We will share insider tips on how to explore these ancient wonders, including the best sites to visit and how to get up close and personal with the statues. Furthermore, we will highlight the cultural events that take place on the island, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local traditions and celebrations.


Easter Island is not just about history and culture; it also offers mouthwatering cuisine that showcases the flavors of Polynesia. We will introduce you to the local dishes you must try during your visit, ensuring a true gastronomic adventure. Additionally, we will provide valuable tips on saving money, so you can enjoy your time on the island without breaking the bank.


To ensure you are well-prepared for your trip, we will share an essential packing list, including items you should bring to make your stay on the island comfortable and enjoyable. Furthermore, we will discuss safety precautions and health tips, so you can have a worry-free and healthy experience during your time on Easter Island.


So, get ready to embark on a journey to Easter Island, where ancient history, stunning landscapes, and captivating culture await. Let’s start planning your trip to this mystical destination!


Best Time to Visit Easter Island

Easter Island enjoys a mild and pleasant climate year-round, making it a destination that can be visited at any time. However, there are certain periods that offer optimal weather conditions and unique experiences, depending on your preferences.


The peak tourist season on the island is during the summer months of December to March. This is when the weather is warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). The sea is also calm during this time, making it ideal for swimming and water activities. However, keep in mind that the island can get crowded, and prices for accommodations and flights tend to be higher.


For those who prefer fewer crowds, the shoulder seasons of spring (September to November) and fall (April to June) are great times to visit Easter Island. During these periods, the weather is still pleasant, and you can enjoy the island’s attractions with fewer tourists. The landscapes are lush and vibrant, and you may even find better deals on accommodations and flights.


If you’re interested in cultural events and festivals, plan your trip during the Tapati Rapa Nui festival, held in late January to early February. This lively festival showcases traditional Rapa Nui culture through music, dance, sports, and art. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the local festivities and witness traditional ceremonies.


Keep in mind that weather patterns can be unpredictable, and occasional rain showers can occur even during the dry season. It’s always a good idea to pack a light raincoat or umbrella just in case. Regardless of the time of year you visit, Easter Island’s unique allure and incredible sights will surely leave you awe-inspired.


How to Get to Easter Island

Due to its remote location, reaching Easter Island requires careful planning. The only way to reach the island is by taking a flight from mainland Chile or Tahiti. The Mataveri International Airport is the gateway to Easter Island and receives regular flights from Santiago, Chile, and Papeete, Tahiti.


If you’re traveling from Chile, the most common route is to fly from Santiago (SCL) to Easter Island (IPC). Several airlines operate flights to Easter Island, including LATAM Airlines and Sky Airlines. The flight duration is approximately 5 hours, and there are multiple flights per week.


If you’re coming from Tahiti, you can take a flight from Papeete (PPT) to Easter Island. French Polynesia’s flagship carrier, Air Tahiti, operates regular flights to Easter Island, with a flight duration of around 5 hours. This route provides an excellent opportunity for a combined trip to both Easter Island and Tahiti.


It’s important to note that flights to Easter Island can be limited, especially during peak season. It’s advisable to book your flights well in advance to secure your preferred dates. Additionally, keep in mind that airfares can vary, so it’s a good idea to compare prices on different travel websites to find the best deals.


Once you arrive at Mataveri International Airport, you will be greeted by the island’s unique charm and beauty. The airport is located just a short distance from the main town of Hanga Roa, making it convenient to reach your accommodation. Many hotels offer airport transfers, or you can hire a taxi to take you to your destination.


While there are no boat services that regularly transport passengers to Easter Island, cruises occasionally include the island as part of their itineraries. If you prefer a more leisurely travel experience, keep an eye out for cruise options that visit Easter Island.


Now that you know how to get to Easter Island, it’s time to start planning your journey to this secluded paradise. Whether you’re traveling from Chile or Tahiti, the scenic flight over the Pacific Ocean will be the beginning of an extraordinary adventure on Easter Island.


Where to Stay on Easter Island

Easter Island offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. The majority of hotels and guesthouses can be found in the main town of Hanga Roa, which serves as the hub for tourism on the island.


If you’re looking for luxury and comfort, there are hotels and resorts that provide upscale amenities and stunning views of the ocean or the island’s landscapes. These accommodations often include spacious rooms, swimming pools, restaurants, and spa services. Staying in a luxury hotel on Easter Island allows for a pampered and indulgent experience.


For travelers on a mid-range budget, there are plenty of comfortable guesthouses and boutique hotels available. These accommodations offer a cozy and personalized atmosphere, with clean and well-appointed rooms. Some guesthouses may also provide breakfast and other amenities, making it a convenient option for a pleasant stay on the island.


For budget-conscious travelers, there are also budget guesthouses and hostels available in Hanga Roa. These options provide basic facilities and dormitory-style rooms, perfect for those looking to save money on accommodation. Staying in budget accommodations allows you to allocate your funds towards exploring the island’s attractions and immersing yourself in the local culture.


If you’re seeking a unique and immersive experience, you can also consider staying in a traditional Rapa Nui guesthouse known as a “Mana.Ona”. These guesthouses, typically run by local families, offer an authentic opportunity to learn about the Rapa Nui culture and customs. Staying in a Mana.Ona also supports the local community and provides a more meaningful travel experience.


Regardless of where you choose to stay on Easter Island, it’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. This ensures you have a place to stay that suits your preferences and budget. Additionally, staying in Hanga Roa provides easy access to restaurants, shops, and tour operators, making it convenient for exploring the island.


Easter Island offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for luxury, comfort, or a budget-friendly stay, there is something for everyone on this enchanting island.


Must-Visit Attractions on Easter Island

Easter Island is renowned for its fascinating archeological sites and breathtaking natural beauty. Here are some must-visit attractions that will make your trip to Easter Island truly memorable:

  1. Rano Kau: This volcanic crater located on the southwestern part of the island offers stunning panoramic views. Take a hike along the rim of the crater and marvel at the lush vegetation and the pristine lake inside.
  2. Orongo: Visit this ceremonial village, situated on the edge of Rano Kau crater. It is famous for its stone houses, intricate petroglyphs, and the legendary Birdman cult. Learn about the rich cultural history of the Rapa Nui people and soak in the spiritual ambiance of the site.
  3. Anakena Beach: Relax and unwind on the golden sands of Anakena Beach. This picturesque beach is not only a great spot for sunbathing and swimming in crystal-clear waters, but also home to Ahu Nau Nau, one of the most idyllic and well-preserved Ahu platforms on the island.
  4. Rano Raraku: Witness the birthplace of the iconic Moai statues at the Rano Raraku quarry. This extraordinary site is where the giant stone sculptures were carved centuries ago. You can get up close to the unfinished statues and gain insights into the statue-making process.
  5. Ahu Tongariki: Admire the grandeur of Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial platform on Easter Island. This impressive site features 15 restored Moai statues, lined up against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a remarkable sight that showcases the island’s ancient craftsmanship.
  6. Puna Pau: Explore the Puna Pau quarry, where the topknots (pukao) that adorned some of the Moai statues were sculpted. Learn about the significance of these red stone cylinders and see the remnants of the pukao scattered across the site.
  7. Ahu Akivi: Visit this unique archaeological site that is known for its seven Moai statues. What makes Ahu Akivi special is that these statues face the ocean, rather than the inland like other platforms. According to legend, they represent the seven explorers who were sent to evaluate the island before its colonization.
  8. Ancestral Caves: Discover the mystical ancestral caves scattered across the island. These underground tunnels were used by the ancient Rapa Nui people for various purposes, such as housing and burials. Explore their intriguing architecture and immerse yourself in the mystique of the island’s past.

These are just a few of the many incredible attractions that Easter Island has to offer. Remember to respect the sites and follow the guidelines provided to help preserve these remarkable treasures for future generations to enjoy.


Exploring the Moai Statues

The Moai statues are the most iconic and intriguing feature of Easter Island. These massive stone figures, carved by the Rapa Nui people centuries ago, hold a special place in the island’s history and culture. Exploring the Moai statues is a must-do when visiting Easter Island.


One of the best places to witness the Moai statues in their full splendor is at Ahu Tongariki. Located on the eastern coast of the island, this site features 15 towering statues lined up on a large ceremonial platform. Watching the sunrise behind the Moai at Ahu Tongariki is an awe-inspiring experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.


Another significant site to explore is the Rano Raraku quarry, where the Moai statues were carved. Take a walk through the quarry and marvel at the numerous unfinished statues and the remnants of the carving process. This is where the giant stone figures were born, and it provides a unique insight into the craftsmanship and dedication of the ancient Rapa Nui people.


As you venture around the island, you will come across various other Ahu platforms that host Moai statues. Each site has its own distinct charm and historical significance. Some notable examples include Ahu Akivi, which features seven statues facing the ocean, and Ahu Nau Nau at Anakena Beach, which showcases five statues with intricate carvings.


While exploring the Moai statues, it’s important to respect the cultural heritage and significance of these sacred monuments. Do not climb or touch the statues, as they are delicate and easily damaged. Keep a safe distance and take in the magnificence of these ancient structures from the designated viewing areas.


To fully appreciate the Moai statues, consider hiring a local guide who can provide valuable insights into the history, legends, and meanings behind these magnificent sculptures. They can also share fascinating stories and help you develop a deeper understanding of the Rapa Nui culture.


Exploring the Moai statues on Easter Island is a journey through time and a chance to witness the incredible achievements of the Rapa Nui people. Immerse yourself in the mystery and wonder of these enigmatic stone figures and create lasting memories of your visit to this mystical island.


Participating in Cultural Events

Participating in cultural events on Easter Island is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions and unique heritage of the Rapa Nui people. These events offer a glimpse into the island’s past and present, providing an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the local culture.


One of the most renowned cultural festivals on the island is the Tapati Rapa Nui festival, held annually in late January to early February. This two-week-long extravaganza showcases the best of Rapa Nui culture through music, dance, arts, and sports. Witness traditional competitions such as Haka Pei (sliding down a hill on banana tree trunks) and Tau’a Rapa Nui (ancient spear-throwing), and marvel at the colorful costumes and energetic performances.


During the Tapati Rapa Nui festival, the island comes alive with festivities, parades, and exhibitions. Visitors can actively participate by joining workshops to learn traditional crafts like wood carving and coconut fiber weaving. Engaging with the locals and learning their customs offers a unique insight into the island’s rich cultural heritage.


Throughout the year, you may have the opportunity to attend other cultural events like music concerts, dance performances, and art exhibitions. Keep an eye out for local announcements and ask your hotel or guesthouse for information about upcoming events. These events often provide an intimate setting to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Rapa Nui people.


While participating in cultural events, it’s important to respect the traditions and customs of the Rapa Nui people. Dress modestly, be mindful of photography etiquette, and engage respectfully with the locals. Attending these events not only allows you to connect with the culture, but it also supports the preservation and continuation of Rapa Nui traditions.


By participating in cultural events on Easter Island, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the island’s history and the resilience of its people. It’s an opportunity to celebrate diversity, share joy, and create lasting memories of your time on this remarkable island.


Trying Local Cuisine on Easter Island

Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of any travel experience, and Easter Island is no exception. The island’s Polynesian heritage has influenced its culinary traditions, resulting in a unique blend of flavors and dishes that you must try during your visit.


One of the most iconic and traditional dishes on Easter Island is “Tuna Poi.” This dish features fresh tuna marinated in lime juice, onions, and spices. The lime juice helps to cook the fish, resulting in a tangy and refreshing flavor. Tuna Poi is often served with roasted sweet potatoes, creating a delicious combination of savory and sweet.


Another must-try dish is “Curanto.” This traditional Polynesian feast is prepared by cooking a variety of meats, including pork, chicken, and fish, together with an array of root vegetables and other ingredients in an underground oven known as an “umu.” The slow cooking process gives the meat a tender and smoky flavor, while the vegetables become infused with rich juices. Curanto is a communal meal, often shared with family and friends during special occasions.


For those with an adventurous palate, sampling “Tuna Eyeball” is a unique local experience. Considered a delicacy on the island, the eyeball is usually lightly grilled or sautéed and then served as a flavorful and tender treat. While it may not be for everyone, trying this local specialty can be an exciting and memorable culinary adventure.


To satisfy your sweet tooth, don’t miss out on “Mote con Huesillo.” This refreshing drink is made with husked wheat cooked in sweet syrup and served with dried peaches. It’s a popular beverage to enjoy on a hot day, providing a cool and satisfying treat.


Easter Island is also known for its tropical fruits, such as papaya, pineapple, and mango. These fruits are often enjoyed freshly sliced as a snack or as accompaniments to various dishes. Their juicy and sweet flavors perfectly complement the island’s cuisine.


When dining on Easter Island, be sure to visit the local restaurants and food stalls in Hanga Roa. You can sample a wide range of dishes influenced by the fusion of Polynesian, Chilean, and international flavors. From seafood platters to empanadas, there is something to satisfy every palate.


Exploring the local cuisine on Easter Island is a delightful adventure that allows you to discover the island’s unique flavors and culinary heritage. Don’t hesitate to embrace the local dishes, as they offer a true taste of the island’s vibrant culture and traditions.


Tips for Saving Money on Your Trip

Traveling to Easter Island doesn’t have to break the bank. With careful planning and smart choices, you can enjoy an affordable trip without compromising on the experience. Here are some tips to help you save money on your journey:

  1. Book your flights in advance: Flights to Easter Island can be expensive, especially during peak season. By booking your flights well in advance, you have a better chance of securing cheaper fares.
  2. Consider traveling during the shoulder seasons: Traveling in the spring and fall can offer more affordable prices for accommodations and flights compared to the peak tourist season.
  3. Look for budget accommodations: There are guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels available on Easter Island that offer comfortable and affordable stays. Research and compare prices to find the best option that fits your budget.
  4. Eat at local eateries: Instead of dining at upscale restaurants, try local eateries and food stalls where you can enjoy authentic and affordable meals. Look for places frequented by locals to get a taste of the island’s cuisine without breaking the bank.
  5. Prepare your own meals: If your accommodation offers kitchen facilities, consider preparing some of your meals. Visit local markets and grocery stores to purchase fresh produce and ingredients, giving you the opportunity to experience a more budget-friendly dining option.
  6. Join group tours or hire local guides: Exploring the island with a group or hiring a local guide can often be more cost-effective than arranging individual excursions. Plus, you’ll benefit from the knowledge and insights of a knowledgeable guide.
  7. Use public transportation or rent a bike: Instead of relying on taxis, consider using public buses or renting a bike to get around the island. This can save you money on transportation costs while also allowing you to enjoy the stunning scenery at your own pace.
  8. Take advantage of free activities: Easter Island offers several free attractions and activities, such as visiting the various Moai sites and exploring the breathtaking landscapes. Make the most of these opportunities to enjoy memorable experiences without spending extra money.
  9. Plan your itinerary wisely: Take the time to plan your itinerary in advance, ensuring that you optimize your time and minimize unnecessary travel expenses. Grouping activities in the same area can help you save on transportation costs and make the most of your time on the island.
  10. Stay hydrated with refillable water bottles: Instead of buying bottled water, bring a refillable water bottle and fill it up from taps or fountains. This not only helps reduce plastic waste but also saves you money on buying drinks throughout your trip.

By implementing these money-saving tips, you can make your dream trip to Easter Island more affordable. Remember, experiencing the wonders of the island doesn’t have to come at a high price – it’s about immersing yourself in the rich culture and breathtaking beauty that Easter Island has to offer.


Essential Packing List for Easter Island

Proper packing is key to ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable trip to Easter Island. Here is a list of essential items to pack for your adventure:

  • Lightweight and breathable clothing: Pack comfortable shirts, shorts, and lightweight pants that are suitable for the island’s warm and tropical climate. Consider bringing a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
  • Bathing suit and beachwear: Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit! Whether you plan to swim in the sparkling waters of Anakena Beach or take a refreshing dip in natural pools, a bathing suit is a must-have for enjoying the island’s beautiful beaches.
  • Sun protection: With its sunny climate, sunscreen is essential. Pack a high SPF sunscreen lotion or spray, along with a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  • Insect repellent: As with any tropical destination, it’s wise to bring insect repellent to protect yourself against mosquitos and other insects, especially if you plan to explore nature reserves or hike around the island.
  • Comfortable footwear: Opt for comfortable walking shoes or sandals that are suitable for exploring the Moai sites and hiking the island’s trails. Flip-flops or beach sandals are also handy for strolling along the beach.
  • Daypack or backpack: A lightweight daypack or small backpack will come in handy for carrying essentials such as sunscreen, water, snacks, and a camera while exploring the island. Make sure it’s comfortable to carry for extended periods.
  • Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, so bring a reusable water bottle that you can refill. It’s an eco-friendly option and will save you money on buying bottled water.
  • Travel adapter: Ensure you have the right travel adapters to charge your electronic devices, as the power outlets on Easter Island may differ from those in your home country.
  • Medications and first aid kit: If you take any medications regularly, be sure to pack an ample supply for the duration of your trip. It’s also advisable to carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and any personal medications.
  • Travel documents: Don’t forget to bring your passport, travel insurance information, and any necessary visas. It’s a good idea to keep copies of important documents in case of loss or theft.

Remember to pack light and only bring the essentials to avoid overpacking. Laundry facilities are available on the island, so you can easily refresh your clothes during your stay if needed. Be sure to check the weather forecast before your trip to pack accordingly.


By packing smart and being prepared, you can make the most of your time on Easter Island and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience exploring this enchanting destination.


Safety Precautions and Health Tips

While Easter Island is generally a safe destination, it’s important to take certain safety precautions and heed health advice to ensure a trouble-free trip. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay hydrated: The island’s warm climate can lead to dehydration, especially when engaging in outdoor activities. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: Apply sunscreen regularly and wear a hat, sunglasses, and lightweight clothing to protect yourself from the strong UV rays. Seek shade during the peak sun hours to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
  • Stay on designated paths: When exploring the Moai sites and other natural attractions, respect the designated paths and avoid climbing on the statues or venturing into restricted areas. This helps preserve the delicate sites and ensures your safety.
  • Watch out for rough sea conditions: The ocean surrounding Easter Island can have strong currents and high waves at times. Pay attention to warning signs and consult with local authorities or lifeguards before swimming or engaging in water activities.
  • Be cautious of the cliffs: Some areas of the island have cliffs and steep drop-offs. Take care when hiking or exploring coastal areas, and avoid getting too close to the edges to prevent accidents.
  • Secure your belongings: Just like in any travel destination, it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings and avoid carrying valuable items with you. Use hotel safes or secure lockers to store your passport, money, and other important documents.
  • Food and water safety: While the tap water is generally safe to drink on Easter Island, it’s advisable to stick to bottled water to avoid any potential stomach issues. When dining out, choose reputable establishments that follow proper food safety practices.
  • Medical facilities: Easter Island has a small hospital and a few medical clinics. It’s a good idea to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. Carry any necessary prescription medications and familiarize yourself with the location of medical facilities on the island.
  • Respect the Rapa Nui culture: Show respect for the local culture and customs of the Rapa Nui people. Ask for permission before taking photos of individuals, artifacts, or sacred sites. Participate in cultural events with sensitivity to the traditions and practices.
  • Emergency contacts: Save emergency contact numbers, including the local police and medical services, in your phone or written down for quick access in case of an emergency.

By following these safety precautions and health tips, you can have a worry-free and enjoyable time on Easter Island. Remember to use common sense, take care of your well-being, and embrace the island’s beauty and culture with respect.



Easter Island, with its intriguing Moai statues, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, offers a truly unique travel experience. By planning your trip wisely and incorporating the insider tips provided in this article, you can easily and affordably explore this remote and captivating destination.


Choosing the best time to visit, understanding how to get to Easter Island, and selecting the right accommodation are crucial aspects of your travel planning. Once on the island, make sure to explore the must-visit attractions, immerse yourself in the local culture by participating in cultural events, and indulge in the island’s delectable cuisine.


It’s important to be mindful of safety precautions and health tips, such as staying hydrated, protecting yourself from the sun, and respecting the customs of the Rapa Nui people. By being prepared and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.


Easter Island offers a journey that mixes history, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. From the mysterious Moai statues to the vibrant traditions of the Rapa Nui people, every aspect of the island has a story to tell. So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready for an unforgettable experience on Easter Island.


By following these tips and being responsible travelers, you can make the most of your time on Easter Island and create memories that will last a lifetime. Discover the allure of the Moai statues, soak in the island’s breathtaking landscapes, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage. Easter Island awaits you with its secrets, wonders, and a journey of a lifetime.