ChiliEscapeSouth America

Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

By April 8, 2019 No Comments

When-Where-Why?

We could not go to Chile for 2 months without stopping on Easter Island. Even though the tickets cost us quite a lot we do not regret. It is an island with very nice people even if they try to rip you off with their rides (but you cannot blame them, without the tourism they do not have too much income).

We left for a week in March 2019. It was super warm and humid but beautiful.

IMPORTANT

Reservation of mandatory housing

Since August 2018 there is a new law prohibiting to arrive on the island without having reservation of housing. The accommodation you have booked will provide you with a document that you may need to present to Customs.

-Entrance from the park

In 2019 the entrance cost us 54000 CH $ per person. We pay on arrival at the airport. It was possible to pay in cash and by card.

-Hikes not free

Easter Island is suffering from tourism with more than 110,000 tourists a year. As tourists do not pay attention to archaeological sites and the environment, the inhabitants of the city have had a kind of green light from the Chilean government to make things change. Recently, two places on the island are inaccessible to tourists without “guide” (but of course there are exceptions … how to get access I do not know but some people do). The two places I’m talking about are the Poike site and the northwestern part of the island. You can go there with a ride but count about 100 euros per person. In all honesty the two places are not worth the expense. But it’s you who see.

Activities

Below is a summary of our week-long program. You can also do horse riding and organized tours but they are quite expensive. In all honesty, if you do not expect to pay the two hikes that have become paid, 3 to 4 days are enough to visit the island, otherwise you really have to take your time (as you can see on our 7-day program).

The below image comes from the website tahitileblog.

What: Hiking that leads to the crater of Rano Kau volcano in the southwest of the island. Arriving at the top you have access to Orongo. It is a reconstruction of the ancient village overlooking the volcano. The little museum that gives you access to it is very interesting; I advise you to take a few minutes to read the panels.

The crater is super nice, in its center you will see vegetation and water. It’s quite special as landscape.

Duration: It takes about 5h in total, taking your time to eat, take pictures, do the museum.

Difficulty: In itself really not difficult; it goes up a bit but it’s bearable. On the other hand, what can make the hike tiring is the heat!

Tips: Walk along the coast, it is super pretty and you can see the waves crashing against the volcanic rock. Take the road Hotu Matu’a, continue to the archaeological site Ana Kai Tangata (it is a cave with rock paintings). Return to the road and continue until you see the sign that points you to Orongo. From there they tell you between 60-90min of walking. Remember to take water, more than live if it’s hot.

What: Drop off at the Ahu Akivi site; it is one of the major sites to see the Moais, it’s super pretty. The hike to Maunga Terevaka starts from here. It is short and the altitude difference is low.

Then I suggest you go back to Hanga Roa by the coast. There is a path that leaves just after Ahu Akivi (follow the road and you will see the small office to check in). For a while there is a path with volcanic rock, but if you have maps.me, you will find all the cellars and archaeological sites that most tourists do not see. Some cellars are pretty cool.

At the end of the path you will enter the path of the coast. If you go to the right you will be driven back because it takes a guide. Turn left and stop at all the places you will see on maps.me if not look for at least the cellar Ana Te Pahu (very nice with its banana trees) and the cellar Ana Kakenga (at the beginning it is very small then it s ‘widens super fast and you will have two views of the ocean).

Duration: One hour to go up Maunga Terevaka then one hour to go down if you only do that. Otherwise, have a good day to go back and forth from Ahu Akivi and go through the coast to return to Hanga Roa.

Difficulty: Easy. The climb is gradual.

Tips: Take plenty of water with you, at least 2L if you leave the day and your sunscreen. It is extremely hot and it is in full sun all the time.

What: We rented a car from the campsite for 35000 $ CH 24h. We took the road along the coast and started at the site of Rano Raraku (quarry where were cut the Moaïs).

Take the road again and stop at Papa Tataku Poki (you can see stones with petroglyphs), Tongariki (superb site with Moaïs lined up in front of the ocean and a Moaïs alone, as well as other things), Pu’o Hiro (a stone with holes used to call fish for fishing, according to legend), Papa Vaka (site with petroglyphs) and Te Pito Kura (biggest Moaï of the island but laying down). Then you will see Ovahe Beach. She is superb. It is not recommended to bathe but people bathe there. There is a path that leads to Anaketana beach (but you can drive there). This beach is beautiful and Moaïs stand in front of her. It is really nice. Be careful, there may be jellyfish. There is something to eat but you will have to pay in cash.

Duration: The day.

Difficulty: Easy.

Tip: Rent your car around 10am. As you will have for 24h, you can do the sunrise in Tongariki (for example … well it’s THE site to see what it seems) the next day. If you rent a car, think there are only two gas stations on the island. Take some liquid if you go to Anakena.

What: We decided to go sunrise on THE sunrise site. The sky was overcast so it was so. In all honesty I do not think it’s the most beautiful sunrise of your life. In addition there are many people and people do not respect the site.

As it was ugly we decided to go to Vina Pu (remnants that will recall the Inca constructions and raise doubts about the appearance of the Incas on the island). It is not very far from the city so you can go on foot or by bike easily. If you are on foot it is quite possible that nice people will take you hitchhiking.

Duration: A few hours.

Difficulty: Easy.

What: The Musée anthropologique Père-Sébastien-Englert is located in Te Karera, Hanga Roa. It is free and extremely interesting. The explanations are written in English and Spanish but they give you a paper translation of each panel in French. I advise you to spend time at the museum because you will learn a lot about Rapa Nui culture but also about other cultures of Oceania. After the museum we went to the beach.

Duration: A few hours.

Difficulty: Easy.

What: Before returning to the beautiful beach of Anakena we decided to finish the east coast. We will stop at Puna Pau (crater where the headdress of Moaïs, pukao, were cut), Akahanga (beautiful site in front of the ocean with Moaïs recumbent, Pukao and a restored village), Hanga Poukura (sites with ahu and full of Moais) and many other places listed on the maps.me application.

Duration: A few hours.

Difficulty: Easy.

What: We took over the car but this time we left with other people from the campsite and it was much nicer. Then we spent some time in Anakana surfing the waves.

Duration: A few hours.

Difficulty: Easy.

Tips: Before the sun comes out, go outside the Tongariki site, facing the Moaïs, where you can admire the different shades of the sky above the Moaïs and the ocean. When the sun shows, enter the site (with dozens of other tourists …) and linger near the first Moai alone: ​​the light is great and the tape on the side; in the background you will see the other moais change color and on the side the career is hit by the sun (we were treated to a ray of sunshine too!). Then, when the sun starts to rise, watching the Moaïs aligned, you will see their shadows. Approach and shoot!

Transports

Bus Terminal – Airport: $ 1900 CH

Santiago – Easter Island: 300-800 euros, 4 hours, LATAM

We learned that it was possible to have really cheap tickets at the last minute. Watch the day before or two days before late at night.

In the city there are taxis, tours that offer tours, we saw a bus once, otherwise you can easily rent cars, bikes, quads and if you have the license only motorcycles, mopeds or scooters (They are strict with motorcycles but not too much with cars). It is also easy to hitchhike.

Housing

We chose to camp at Tipanie Moana campsite in Hanga Roa.

It is next to the airport but they still pick you up in van.

It is an accommodation run by locals, they have rooms and a fairly small camping area with tents available. There are at least 4 showers (with hot water), and 4 toilets.

When we arrive we are told how the places work and where everything is. There are two kitchens and several fridges. In each fridge each person at his numbered location and also has a crate on a shelf to store his food. The water is drinkable everywhere. There is even a laundry area, but they also offer a laundry service.

The manager offers to do (sometimes at his expense) bbq, ceviches and others if people are nice!

It is very clean, well organized, and the staff are friendly and helpful.

We paid $ 7,500 CH per person per night while bringing our tent. You must stay at least 3 nights.

Food

Bakery O Te Ahi (on the main street): Even if the manager is not at all pleasant, she has great cakes!

There are plenty of small supermarkets in the streets. There is a little bigger along the airport to the sea.

Rates are very high.

Advices

Plan to take food if you camp because it is quite expensive on the island.

There is only one bank. We had read that it was better to withdraw before coming so we left with plenty of liquid on us.

Do not forget to take sunscreen, the sun is very strong!

Download the maps.me application, it will give you plenty of places to visit that are not on the other maps.

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