Many have declared Easter Island as their favourite place to visit in the world. One of the world’s most remote places, this island stands in isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Natively known as ‘Rapa Nui’, this island is world-famous for the 1000 giant stone figures which are dotting it all over. Tourists from all over the world flock to this island, full of curiosity on its remote location and to learn more about the stone figures, known as ‘moai’.
Best Time to Visit Easter Island
The best time to visit Easter Island is the low season, which occurs during the months of April to June and September to November. During this time, the weather is pleasant and enjoyable, and flights and accommodation are reasonable. The footfall is also less.
However, the peak season in Easter Island is during the early weeks of February- the time when the annual Tapati Rapa Nui Festival is organized. All participants of this festival dress up in Polynesian traditional wear and dance to upbeat music, with the Tapati King and Queen being chosen on the last day. Apart from the festival, this period might not be as enjoyable since most of the restaurants and shops are closed for the festival’s duration. A price surge can also be observed during this time.
Things to do in Easter Island
The following things can be done to enjoy Easter Island:
1. Take the Northern Circuit
The Northern Circuit is a wonderful location for learning about the ‘Birdman’ religion, visiting the Orongo village and enjoying panoramic views at Puna Pau. One can also walk around the Rano Kau Volcanic Crater and visit Ahu Akivi, the only moai that faces the ocean. The Anakena Beach is also a great option for letting loose at the end of the day.
2. Do the Southern Circuit
Starting at Vinapu, one can hike around the Rano Rarauku quarry. The sunset at Tahai must not be missed.
3. Explore Hanga Roa
Beginning the day with the beautiful sunrise at Tongariki, one can go on a climb to Tere Vaka, the highest peak of Eastern Island. The town of Hanga Roa must be explored, and visit the famous museum located there. One highlight of this aspect of the tour is the traditional Rapa Nui dance, which must be witnessed.
4. Go Diving or Horseback Riding
This day is one for those in search for adventure, as visitors can enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. A boat trip to the islet of Moto Nui can be taken, or one can also go horseback riding. Signing up for the stargazing tour is essential, as it promises to be a memorable experience.
Places to visit in Easter Island
The most sought-after tourist attractions in Easter Island include-
1. National Park
The National Park is a large space which covers all the national heritage sites of Easter Island. Once you purchase a single ticket to the National Park, you gain access to all the heritage sites located within the area. However, one must make sure not to touch any of the remains or structures or stand on any platforms. The entire area is well-preserved, with strict fines imposed on those who go against the norms. Driving and camping within the Park are strictly prohibited.
The Northern and Southern Circuits, Hanga Roa and Tongariki mentioned above are the most famous tourist attractions in the Easter Island region. These archaeological sites are under legal jurisdiction, since they are deteriorating at a fast pace.
2. Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum
This museum is located in Hanga Roa, and provides an introduction to both Rapa Nui and the Moai statues. Just 10 minutes away from the centre of Hanga Roa, this museum harbours rare archaeological items, like female moai statues. Entry to the museum is free.
Easter Island Tours
The tours provided on Easter Island are extremely important for enjoying the complete experience, as the beauty of the archaeological sites cannot be understood without accompanying information. Day tours are most popular, lasting between 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Two most-recommended day tours in this area are-
- Journey of Legend (covers the northern coast of the Island)
- Megaliths (covers the southern coast of the Island)
Both these tours provide excellent tour guides, with brilliant storytelling skills.
Popular Trekking Options in Easter Island
Trekking is one of the most popular activities to be enjoyed on Easter Island. Most of these trekking regions cannot be accessed with a vehicle. These trekking options include-
This is the highest point of the Easter Island, and can be reached easily after a 1.5 km hike. At this point, one gets a 360-degree view of the entire Easter Island. Apart from trekking, horseback riding is another option to reach the top point.
2. Rano Kau
Rano Kau can be reached by foot from Hanga Roa, with a 2-hour commute each way. One can take the east side of the crater after reaching the point in order to view sceneries which are otherwise not accessible.
3. North-West Coast
This trekking route requires some prior preparation, and takes nearly 5-7 hours to complete. The trek starts from the Anakena Beach along the coast, back to Hanga Roa. One archaeological site on the way that can be found is a cave filled with petroglyphs.
An isolated northeaster peninsula right above the ocean, it takes 1.5 hours to reach the top of Poike. The infamous ‘cave of the virgin’ can be found along the way.
Easter Island is one place which is a firm favourite to visit amongst tourists, adequately managed by the natives of the island. The number of visitors at a time is limited to ensure that the archaeological remains are well-preserved. Easter Island not only appeals to the curiosity of visitors due to its remote location, but also attracts people for its beautiful landscape and brilliant blend of Chinese and Polynesian cultures. If you’re one for going on a tough, long adventure to a remote island full of attractions, trek points and fun things to do, keep Easter Island on the top of your list!