Easter Island: Itinerary and Master Guide [Work In Progress]
Editor’s note: This currently unfinished article is the launch of a new series of itinerary and master guide articles which will contain links to separate articles pertaining to a particular destination as part of an effort to better organize The Gate. They will also double as an impetus for the remainder of unwritten articles to be written. Each itinerary and master guide article is a work in progress and will be completed once all of the articles have been written and posted.
Easter Island is considered one of the most remote destinations in the world — but one would likely be unaware of that fact when wandering the town of Hanga Roa after stepping off of a Boeing 787-9 Y+ “Dreamliner” airplane operated by LATAM Airlines from Santiago.
Easter Island: Itinerary and Master Guide
Known most famously for its hundreds of Moai and the various Ahu — or platforms — on which they stand, Easter Island also has caves, its only town, and even two beaches.
Because its 7,150.88 acres comprise approximately 43.5 percent of the total area of Easter Island, you will need a pass — which is a slip of paper on which your visits will be stamped — to enter many of the sites of Rapa Nui National Park. Upon arrival on Easter Island, you will need $80.00 per person in cash for the entrance fee into the national park. United States dollars and Chilean pesos are accepted. If you do not pay the entrance fee at the airport, you still can go into the central area of Hanga Roa and pay the entrance fee at your leisure — again, in cash only.
Rapa Nui National Park was named as a UNESCO Global Heritage site on Friday, December 8, 1995.
Day 1 on Easter Island
Depart Santiago de Chile at 9:30 in the morning on LATAM Airlines flight 841 to Isla de Pascua on Easter Island arriving at 12:55 in the afternoon. Primeclass Condor is a Priority Pass lounge located in the domestic terminal of Santiago International Airport and is open 24 hours daily.
Cabañas Honu Nui — Bungalow was priced at $393.32 at Booking.com and was discounted ten percent from the rate of $437.00, but the total cost wound up to be $414.61 for four nights, which included complimentary access to Wi-Fi, soap, and complimentary transportation to and from the airport. Meals are not included; but a full kitchen and barbecue facilities are available. Unlike many lodging options which are available on Easter Island which accept cash only, Cabañas Honu Nui accepts American Express and other credit cards.
Two Moai statues in town on the water near the Sernatur.
☆ Mirador Hanga Kio’e means “bay of the mouse” and is only a short walk from the bungalow at Cabañas Honu Nui. If you see the word mirador, that means lookout.
★ Tahai is an archeological site which is one of the oldest settlements on the island whose earliest remains date back to the year 700. It is a short 10 minute walk from Hanga Kio’e and is a popular place to watch the sunset — if the weather cooperates. Five Moai and one Moai with restored eyes are located here.
Day 2 — Southwest Corner of Easter Island
Tahai is worth a second visit during the day to see the details of the Moai which are located here, as the sunsets sihouette them.
Mirador Hanga Kio’e is also worth a second visit for similar reasons.
Easter Island Cemetery is in Hanga Roa on the west coast just southwest of Tahai, only 30 meters from the sea. What is the fourth cemetery in the history of Easter Island was inaugurated in 1951. Visit through the gate of the cemetery to appreciate the amalgamation of different religions of the Easter Island.
Oceanic Rent a Car — Four days, picking up the vehicle at 1:00 in the afternoon. Full to full fuel policy. Open 9:30 through 20:00 seven days per week. Suzuki Jimny or similar — unlimited kilometers $150,000 CLP or $219.20 total.
★ Orongo ancient village CAN ONLY VISIT ONCE. The archaeological site of Orongo has the remnants of stone houses — the first of which was supposedly constructed in the year 1,400.
★ Mirador Rano Kau is the largest volcano on Easter Island. Visitors to Orongo can visit Rano Kau with a short walk.
Hanga Roa lookout — a nice view of the town and its airport.
★ Ahu Vinapu is an archaeological complex located at the edge of the south coast of Easter Island and beyond the end of the airport runway. Remains of three platforms have been discovered here. All of the moai were unfortunately torn down during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries during wars which occurred between different clans of the island.
☆ Ana Kai Tangata is more like a grotto than a cave, and its walls have paintings on it. Visitors are treated to a nice view of the sea.
★ Ana Kakenga is a cave with two “windows” which are actually openings along the sheer cliff by the sea — and nothing to stop someone from falling if he or she gets too close to the edge.
★ Ahu Akivi has seven Moai statues which are actually the few which are inland and not at the edge of the ocean. These Moai statues are also unusual in that they face towards the sea and not away from it.
Day 3 — South Side of Easter Island
★ Ahu Tongariki is where the 15 most famous Moai statues are located. People gather here prior to dawn to watch the sun rise either behind them or to the side of them.
★ Rano Raraku volcano and statue quarry CAN ONLY VISIT ONCE — 10 minute walk from Ahu Tongariki — is where the enormous Moai statues were made. Rano Raraku is located 20 kilometers northeast of Hanga Roa and only 1,000 meters northwest of the Hanga Nui bay.
★ Anakena Beach includes Ahu Nau Nau and Ahu Ature Huki — 6 minute drive from Ovahe Beach — also known as Hanga Rau.
Ovahe Beach — 4 minute drive from Ahu Te Pito Kura
☆ Ahu Te Pito Kura — 2 minute drive from Papa Vaka Petroglyphs
☆ Papa Vaka Petroglyphs — 3 minute drive from Pu O Hiro
☆ Pu O Hiro — 8 minute drive from Ahu Tongariki
★ Ahu Tongariki for return to see it in different light
☆ Ahu One Makihi — 2 minute drive from Ahu Tongariki
☆ Ahu Aka Hanga — 8 minute drive from Ahu One Makihi
Village portion of Vaihu
Day 4 — North Side and West Side of Easter Island
☆ Ana Te Pahu largest cave, “banana” cave — 6 minute drive from Ahu Akivi
☆ Ahu Te Peu — 8 minute drive from Ana Te Pahu
☆ Ana Te Pora — 5 minute drive from Ana Te Peu
★ Puna Pau “hat” quarry — 18 minute drive from Ana Kai Tangata
Watching the Boeing 787-9 Y+ “Dreamliner” airplane take off
Time in Hanga Roa
Day 5 on Easter Island — Last Visits and Departure
Ahu part of Vaihu
Four handed Maoi statue — Ahu Huri A Urenga
Back to Hanga Roa
DID NOT DO Terevaka highest point on Easter Island — hike to the top — 18 minute drive from Anakena Beach to “Polar Nut” which is the closest thing to Terevaka that Google Maps will go.
Depart Isla de Pascua on Easter Island at 2:55 in the afternoon on LATAM Airlines flight 842 to Santiago de Chile arriving at 21:35 or 9:35 in the evening.
This was my itinerary for Easter Island and will serve as the master guide for the articles pertaining to Easter Island which are posted to The Gate.
As the itinerary and master guide series of articles is a new project which I have taken on for easier access to information, your thoughts and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
All photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.