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Enjoy a pre-tour extension to Easter Island before joining our 2020 Brazil and Argentina Solar Eclipse tour.
Easter Island is a volcanic island that has intrigued generations of scholars. Famed for its monolithic statues, Easter Island is shrouded in mystery. Its population—once sizable—collapsed.
“The clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by overexploiting its own resources,” is how University of California Los Angeles geographer Jared Diamond once described it. But the island’s history may not be as clear-cut as Diamond suggests. While scientists agree that broad-scale deforestation occurred here at some point, the verdict is still out on what exactly caused the downfall of the Rapanui people.
About 5,000 people live on Easter Island today, and thousands of tourists come to see the anthropomorphic “moai” statues each year. Amid strain from a rising population, the island faces challenges ahead. It has no sewer system and continues to draw on a limited freshwater supply.
Arrive Santiago and arrange your own transfer to our hotel. Overnight at our hotel in Santiago.
Transfer from our hotel to Santiago Airport for your early morning flight to Easter Island. Upon arrival, meet and greet and transfer to your hotel. After welcome drinks, the rest of the day is free at leisure.
This morning, enjoy a private half day excursion Rano Kau and Orongo. During this half day excursion, you will discover Orongo – the ceremonial site for the Birdman Cult – whose stone houses are set right by the circular crater of the Rano Kau volcano. The Birdman Cult only emerged after the collapse of Moai Culture, and was focused on fertility rites and the Birdman competition.
After a short drive you will reach the rim of the crater and will be able to savour a spectacular view overlooking the crater’s large lake, as well as the sea and the town of Hanga Roa. From another viewpoint you can see the three Motu Islands. These small islands were the focus of the young men chosen during the ceremony of the Birdman Cult, held at Orongo. One individual per clan swam out to the Motus, to climb and steal the first swallow’s egg of the year. The winning clan was allowed to nominate Rapa Nui’s king for the following year.
The tour ends with a transfer to your hotel.
In the afternoon, we will have a private half day excursion to Ahu Akivi, Puna Pau, Sebastian Englert Museum and Ahu Tahai. The excursion starts with a visit to Ahu Akivi, which is one of the few ahus not located by the sea. Its seven resurrected moais are sited according to the equinox, which indicates the advanced knowledge of astronomy once known on Rapa Nui. Afterwards you will continue to the Puna Pau quarry, where the headdresses made of red stone that were set on many moai were produced.
Your next stop is the Sebastian Englert museum in Hanga Roa, where you’ll learn about the archaeology and anthropology of the island. The final highlight will be Ahu Tahai (“where the sun hides”), located north of Hanga Roa on the Coast, where you will see three restored ahus. The moais here look over the island and have their back turned to the sea. One of them is Ko Te Riku, the only moai with eyes made of white coral and black obsidian.
Return to our hotel. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
After breakfast, we will depart for a full day excursion to Ahu Akahanga, Rano Raraku and Anakena. This tour goes in search of the secrets of Rapa Nui’s culture, and begins with a visit to the cave dwellings and moai platforms of Akahanga, on the southern coast of the island. The platforms have been left untouched, with their moai still lying on the ground where they fell, during the destruction of the island’s ceremonial sites. Over time, the statues’ ahus – ceremonial platforms where the moai were originally placed – have become overgrown with grass.
The ceremonial centre Ahu Tongariki, your next stop, is the largest, and perhaps most beautiful, of the island’s ahus. 15 resurrected moai throne on their platform, overlooking the island with their backs to the Pacific Ocean.
Afterwards, the tour continues to Rano Raraku, an extinct volcano of trass stone. This is perhaps the most intriguing sight on the island, because it is the quarry where the moais were cut from the rocks. The giant sculptures lie scattered all over the volcano’s hillsides, ready for a transportation that never took place. Higher up, even more moais can be found in various stages of completion, some still connected to the rock, as if they were abandoned from one day to the next. From here, you drive north, to Te Pito o te Henua (known as ‘The Red Navel’ or ‘Navel of the World’): a large smooth round stone, supposedly with magical powers. According to legend, King Hotu Matua himself brought this stone here, during the earliest occupation of Easter Island.
Last stop on the itinerary of this exciting day is the beach at Anakena, where King Hotu Matua made land, accompanied by the first Polynesian settlers. You can visit two restored ahus called Nau Nau und Ature Huke The fine white sand is a good place to relax and take a refreshing swim in the Pacific, before being taken back to your hotel. Overnight at our hotel in Easter Island.
Private transfer from the hotel to the airport in Easter Island for your flight back to Santiago. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in Santiago. Overnight in Santiago.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Santiago Airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival at Rio, transfer to your hotel and join the group of 2020 Brazil and Argentina Solar Eclipse Tour
Cancellations must be in writing by email, fax, or mail. Cancellation Penalties are as follows:
Booking date – Feb 6,2019: 25% penalty
Feb 7, 2019 – Feb 14, 2020: 50% penalty
Feb 15, 2020 – Trip date: 100% penalty
The Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa Resort is located on a privileged spot on the Easter Island, on the seaside and only a short walk away from the village. This allows the guests to explore the environment themselves and to be integrated in the community. The resort is designed in a way that all rooms offer an own terrace with sea view. Two restaurants plus a large spa and wellness area are complementing the resort. The Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa Resort is working in a sustainable way, where nature and environment are considered in all processes.
Facilities: air conditioning, telephone, music, minibar, room safe, desk, bar, swimmingpool, spa, two restaurants
Traveling to a remote and unique place such as Easter Island you might want to be well prepared to make the most out of your stay. Reading through this Easter Island travel guide will hopefully answer the questions that you may have. If you afterwards still have things you wonder about, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll surely be able to help you out.
Easter Island is part of Chile. Citizens of USA, European Union, Canada and Australia do not need a visa to enter Chile. All these citizens need is a passport and a flight ticket showing that you will leave the country within 90 days. Visitors from other countries must apply for a visa at their nearest Chilean consulate.
Violent crimes towards tourists at Easter Island is basically unheard of. Even at night you’ll be safe walking alone.
Something that does occur is theft at your hotel room. Don’t leave money and valuables for people to see when you leave your room and make sure you lock the door. At the better accommodations you may ask for a safe box if there isn’t one already in your room.
The winds can be quite strong during any period of the year. During summer (November – March) temperatures don’t often reach more than 30°C, though it may sometimes feel like more because of humidity. The sun during this period is strong, so do not forget to put on sunblock (can be bought at the pharmacy Cruz Verde in the town center).
It does rain occasionally during summer, but especially during winter (May – August) is it important to bring a light rain coat for any spontaneous showers. The day temperature may still sometimes peak to a bit below 30° C, but the temperature drops quickly on cloudy days. Especially at nights it might get cold, with temperatures dropping as low as 10° C. At winter it’ll often be too cold to lay at the beach, but the water will still be warm enough for a swim if you’re not too picky.
It may be windy any day of the year, so if you bring a hat, preferably bring one that won’t easily blow away.
Being part of Chile, Chilean pesos (CLP) is the official currency, but USD are also accepted everywhere at Easter Island. Be aware though, because the shops may have different exchange rates and sometimes it may be better to pay directly in pesos. 1 USD is around 500 CLP, but do check the current exchange rate to be aware of any recent changes.
There are three ATM machines at Easter Island; at the airport (opens two hours before plane arrives and closes when plane leaves) and at the banks Banco Santander and Banco Estado. The ATM machines at the banks are open 24/7. The one at Banco Santander usually works best with foreign credit cards. Both banks are located by the coast, below the central market.
Sometimes it happens that the ATM machines go out of service. If you want to be on the safe side you could bring some money in cash, but most bigger restaurants and shops accept credit cards nowadays, so you should be fine without cash for a day or two anyway.
Since everything has to be flied or shipped in, Easter Island is an expensive travel destination – often several times more costy than the rest of Chile. If you are staying in a cabin or a hostal you may have access to a kitchen. In that case, if you will pass by Santiago and will be staying for a week or more, it might be a good idea to do as the locals; fill up your remaining kilos of your suitcases with meat etc.
The tap water of Easter Island is clean and is fine to drink unless you have a stomach that’s unusually sensitive to high mineral content. It has a slight smell of clorine and a somewhat salty taste, though the water will taste better if you fill up a bottle and cool it down in the refridgerator.
Water pipes are quite thin and they are not designed to handle toilet paper. There should be a trash can in the bathrooms where you can throw your toilet paper.
The power is of 220 V. The plug is similar to the European with two circular metal pins, but the pins are slightly smaller. Sometimes the European devices fit and sometimes they don’t. If your device doesn’t you may need a simple connection converter.