Easter Island

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in Chile, South America, Summaries | 0 comments


Rapa Nui, as it is called in the local language, is really a hidden gem. Isolated by thousands of kilometers from landmass and other islands, it offers an escape from everything rote, preconceived, expected. Unlike other island destinations, big name resorts do not hog the best real estate. There are modest hotels, cabanas, and some eco lodges. Everything on the island is at face value. You see how the locals live, because instead of being sheltered behind the gates of a resort, you can actually walk around town, hike ,bike, drive fully confident in the safety and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when everyone you pass waves hello. The island is so small you can see most of the sights in 3-4 days, but you can definitely spend so much more time just hanging out, diving, surfing, etc. The entire island is an archeological sight…an open air museum!

Getting there: Yus and I snagged pretty affordable tickets from Lima, but airfare to the island jumps up significantly in January and February (we paid 400usd RT and in January it is 1500usd). Lima also seems to be cheaper as a starting point an Santiago, which surprised me. But the downside is that you should be prepared to stand in passport control line for 2 hours. There are 2 people processing the entire Boeing 757. While in line, buy your National Park ticket–it is 50usd at the airport versus 60 at the check point at Ranu Raraku Volcano.


Lodging: Mihinoa Camping is located ideally and idyllically near the ocean, 10-20 minute walk from town. The camping is 5500clp, dorms are 8500, and rooms 10,000 per person per night. We “splurged” for a room with an ensuite bathroom because dorms were all taken and we didn’t want to camp for 3 nights, and it was well worth the money. Mihinoa also picks you up from airport, has a great kitchen and living room/hanging out area, and everyone who works there is super friendly and helpful. You can also rent a car from here cheaper than in town (25k clp per day vs 35k in town) but make sure you can drive stick shift because automatics are 60k. If you are camping, be aware that the site charges to use electricity to charge your electronics (a couple dollars) and there is (maaaaybe dial-up speed) Internet, also at a cost. So you can wait for mainland to post all those cool Moai photos on Facebook.


Hanga Roa
It’s the only town on the island and has everything you need: rentals, tours, supermarkets, restaurants, shows. People are friendly, and while the guide books say Easter Island is expensive, I was surprised at how affordable basics are given the remoteness. We ate out one night, and the fresh fish (ceviche and grilled) was AwesomeSauce, but that does come at a cost.


Details of our Rapa Nui shenanigans coming up! Days 1-2 and Days 3-4 and Photos.

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