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Best way to do Easter Island

Dallas, Texas
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Best way to do Easter Island

I am planning a trip to Easter Island for March of 2011 for 3 people (adult and 2 teenagers) - what is the BEST way to do and see it all. Where to stay, guides to use, etc. How long should I plan to stay there?

I am also thinking about staying in Santiago on the way home for a few days. What is there to see that is a MUST?

Santiago, Chile
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1. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

It is always a good idea to take at least one tour when you arrive to orient yourself and get an idea of where you would like to return to spend more time. Reading up also helps before you go. You can hire a car (or bikes) when you are there. Hanga Roa has the only potable water so all hotels and B&Bs are in or around it. If you go out for the day take water. If you will be in Santiago before you go, stock up on some snacks and food supplements for the teenagers. Everything has to be brought to the island which makes for high prices.

There a lot of reviews of lodging here on TA which you can look through to get an idea of what is available.

There is a lot of information here:


Must sees depend a lot on what you like to do. There are a lot of outdoor activities, vineyards, the possibility of visiting Valparaíso for a day or more.

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2. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

Hi, I stayed at Easter Island in March this year for 5n/4d. The basic itinerary was:

Day 1 – there was a tsunami warning so all tours stopped. Had a look around Hanga Roa township, the Tahai archaeological site, walked along the coast

Day 2 - morning tour to south west of the island (Rano Kau volcano crater, Orongo, moai, cave paintings). Afternoon tour to centre of island (Puna Pau quarry, the moai at Ahu Akivi, lava tube cave at Ana Te Pahu)

Day 3 - full day tour to the east and north of the island (Rano Raraku volcano crater and quarry, lots of moai, Ahu Te Pito Kura, Anakena beach)

Day 4 - Sebastian Englebert Museum, the church (fascinating carvings), caves at Ana Kakenga (west side of island)

There is only one town on the island – Hanga Roa – so this is where most accommodation is located. Most hotels provide airport transfers and breakfast. I stayed at Mana Nui Inn, on the north side of Hanga Roa and about a 10 minute walk to the main street. I enjoyed my stay there but if you don’t like walking you might want to consider a base closer to the town centre. Accommodation on the island is generally quite basic, clean and friendly.

The tour operators and agents generally offer packages of tours plus accommodation but I found it was cheaper to arrange tours and accommodation separately, and you have a wider choice of hotels. I booked Kia Koe tours after I arrived and thought they were very good –there was plenty of time at each stop, the guides were excellent. Kia Koe’s office on the main street of Hanga Roa.

It could have been covered in 3 days but I planned an extra day in case there was bad weather. During my stay the weather was good, only about 10 minutes of rain, however there was a lost day because of the tsunami alert.

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3. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

I would recommend at least one guided (day) tour. We did it with patricio Ballerino of AOTours and were VERY satisfied with him; very relaxed trip, no hurry and he did know a lot about the culture and history of Rapa Nui.

(Already regret we didn't another halfday trip.)

- we rented a scooter for a half day exploring parts of the island.

- just walked along the coast with the moai; try to catch a sunset

( flickr.com/photos/… )

- visited Rano Kau with a taxi and walked back to Hanga Roa

- visited a service in the church of hanga Roa (Sunday)

By the way, we were not very impressed by Santiago; one (or perhaps) two days for the city itself is enough. Or add a day trip to Valparaiso and/or the Andes Mountains, for instance to Cajon del Maipo.

happy travels


Dallas, Texas
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4. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

Has anyone stayed at the explora??

Corning, New York
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5. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

I am currently in Santiago, so far not impressed, just spent a week on Easter island.( was impressed), Will try to tell you my experience when i arrive home next week.

Washington D.C.
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6. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

I agree with logman99 and vtveen. Santiago and Valparaiso are nice enough, but we enjoyed EI much, much more.

I posted a kind of stupidly long trip report on this forum; if you don't have the time to read it all just read the summary in the last paragraph or so: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g316040-i7121-k349…

Dallas, Texas
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7. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

Thank you! I appreciate your time in advance! Safe travels home...

Austin, Tx
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8. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

Thanks to all who posted the detailed information and thoughts on Santiago vs Easter Island. Very, very helpful. Did anyone go alone (female) -- and, if so, did you feel safe? Thanks much.

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9. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

Just got back and I suggest you go to website for Easter Island Foundation and use their 5 day plan but I would stay longer than that. I suggest you use Patricio at AO Tour as a guide, patricio.aotour@gmail.com

He was excellent. If you want lower cost accommodations you might consider Residencial Tahai where we stayed. www.aotour.cl/www.aotour.cl/English.html

We went to Santiago afterwards and took skitotal bus to the Andes to ski valleys and to Cajon de Maipo and to Pomaire, Isla de Negra, Valparaiso, and Vina del Mar. We stayed at Hostal Rio Amozonas Plaza Italia and they helped us arrange for a excellent driver to the canyon and the coast. Best wishes.

Sarasota, Florida
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10. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

Hi there,

I would love to hear about your trip to Easter Island when you get back. I would like to take my husband there for our anniversary in February. I could use some pointers. Is a week to long? Would you suggest we stay a night or so in Santiago as well? Have a safe trip home.