Easter Island : how much does it cost for 7 days ?
Easter Island, it is the dream place for its mystery and isolation. But where is it ? It is part of Polynesia, lost in the middle of Pacific ocean. The island is located at more than 13500 km from France and a little less then 2000 km from Chile. And it belongs to that one too. We speak spanish there but also their local language, rapa nui. Besides the real name of Easter Island is Rapa Nui. Its surface is really small, and has a triangular shape.
In December 2019, I had the chance too to go to this wonderful place during my long travel trip throughout South America for my gap year (I relate all the reasons that lead me to this choice in this article).
Why this island is so fascinating ? For its famous stone statues that reign on it : the Moais ! They can reach up to 20 meters height and up to now, they are still a mystery about their meaning, their emergence and their conception. Even if today, lots of answers and suppositions have been revealed, there has never been an official proved recognition. The only guardians of those secrets live throughout the story telling from their inhabitants, the Rapa Nui (as well).
Indeed, they are called this way only if they are born on the island. And all lands are passing from generation to generation. It is impossible for a foreigner to get a land or a property on the island. It has been this way to protect the people and their wealth.
Anyway, its story is fascinating ! Personally, I loved learning about all the stories and mysteries of Easter Island.
How to get to Easter Island ?
Before arrival, it is mandatory to fill a form over the website ingresorapanui.interior.gob.cl or directly at the airport at LATAM counter. Besides, you have to have booked an accommodation listed at SENATUR. Without those 2 conditions, you will be not allowed to board !
And yes ! The only access to the island is by air (or in few cases, through cruises where Easter Island is just a stopover). The only airline company to go there is LATAM, departure only at Santiago in Chile twice a day in 4 hours or from Tahiti once a week in 6 hours. So if you have the chance to come from Tahiti, unless to pursue your journey to Chile, you will have to stay at least 1 week on Easter Island.
At your arrival, you can directly buy your entry ticket for the national park which will give you access to all different sites of the island. You will be able to enter as many times you want except for 2 places : Orongo and Rano Raraku. So if you planed to do guided tour there, it might be better to save those 2 entries with the tour to have all the explanations.
And if you haven’t buy your ticket, you can also do it at the tourist information located on the main street of Hango Roa, the capital city. It costs 54000 CLP or 80 USD (December 2019 price). Of course, it is much more interesting to pay in chilean pesos than dollars (check the currency of the day !).
What to visit on the island ?
Every corner of the island, whether it is historical sites or non, is a visit itself. This beautiful triangular shape island can be visited in 1 day by yourself with a rental car or with a full island tour.
Visit the only museum of the island
For me, this is a MUST DO before anything else. If you want to learn more about the history, the culture and traditions, you have to go to the museum. It is relatively modern, lovely built and well-explained. It is a good introduction to the history of Easter Island. Unfortunately, the only languages available are English or Spanish. But, for me, it is not enough to get the whole history.
Rent a car, a bike or a moto
A nice way to travel freely around the island ! Easter Island is relatively small and travel from one end to the other takes about 30 minutes. Be careful though with the road because it is in bad shape, due to their poor construction and/or the erosion of the island.
All agencies are located in the main street of Hanga Roa.
Hop on a tour
I highly recommend you to have a tour with a local guide for those of you who have little time on the island, but also for those of you who are interested in the history and culture. Unfortunately, all the secret stories are told on guided tours. It is a very good addition to the museum. It can be possible to find French guides but not very easy. All tours are in Spanish and English sometimes.
There are 3 main tours. The Full Day which go over all main spots of the island : Akanaha, Tongariki, Ranu Raraku, Te Pito Kura and Anakena. The lunch is included in the price but you can also bring your own food and pay a little less. There is also 2 Half Day tours which will take you the other sites : the first with Akivi, Puna Pao and Huri an Urenga ; the other with Orongo and Rano Kau.
I did the Full Day and one Half Day which were very instructive. If you have to choose one, do the Full Day.
Tips : do not book your tours online in advance because you will be charged the double or 3 times the price ! But keep in mind that it can vary within high season.
I didn’t do this activity because it is very expensive. But it can be interesting to visit the island in an other way. Some rides can make you access some prohibited tracks. Please get informations in your place of accommodation. Everybody knows each other in the island and they all know who can offer you this service.
Sunrise and sunset
They are a MUST-DO on the island !!! The story of Rapa Nui wants that the Ahu and Moais were strategically put on the island because they were oriented themselves thanks to astrology ! It will be a shame to miss those incredible sites at those specific time of the day !
The sunset is more accessible because it is nearby the main street, at Tahai ! Go there at least 1 hour before so you can get all color shades in the sky.
The sunrise is more difficult to get because the location is at the opposite side of the island at Tongariki where the famous 15 Moais are aligned. The only way to go is by car. Same than sunset, best is to be there at least 1 hour before so you admire the sky, the stars and color shades where the sun starts to rise !
Unfortunately, those 2 phenomenons are very weather dependent. And it is really hard to predict weather conditions because it can be very different from one end to the other at the same time. Indeed, at 5-5:30 am leaving from Hanga Roa on a clear sky but arriving at Tongariki, it can be cloudy and stays that way until the sunrise ..
If you don’t have a way of transportation, there is a shuttle that can take you there.
Walking through handwork shops
Easter Island has some very unique souvenirs that can be only found there ! Despite its excessive price, it might be a shame not to bring a little something.
Go to the beach
The only beach is at Anakena at the other side of the island. A shuttle exists to take you there round-trip at different times of the day. On the other side of Anakena, a more wild beach is located : Ovahe. Unfortunately, due to crumblings, it is not recommended to go there for safety reasons.
In town, there are also 2 natural pools.
Watch the planes
This is an unusual and funny activity but it may be an option. There are 2 spots to watch the planes take off and land. But the planes are not always taking off on the same side depending on weather conditions. This is a unique experience thanks to the proximity with the runway.
Really, enjoy wandering, breathing the fresh air, getting truly immersed in this unique atmosphere. I felt at peace during my week on Easter Island. I was good, I was serene, I felt alive. And I am convinced that this is due to the values and good energy of the island.
- Bring lots of Chilean pesos, credit card are not always accepted
- Everything is expansive, bring as much food as you can if you plan to cook
- Sunscreen and mosquito repellent
- plane ticket (round trip Santiago) : 285 €
- accommodation (hostels) : 140 €
- food (groceries from Santiago and some stuff bought on the island) : 40 €
- restaurants : 55 €
- souvenirs : 130 €
- tours (included the entry ticket, Full Day & Half Day) : 122 €
- miscellaneous : 3,50 €
TOTAL : 775 €
Of course, it is reflecting my travel style. If you need more comfort, you will have to double this price at least ! Despite the price, I think it is so worth it and this is an experience we only make once in a lifetime ! So go go go !!!
Easter Island, I hope we will meet again ! Thank you for this wonderful experience, for your welcome and your good vibes !