Easter Island is a name given by Dutch seafarer Jacob Roggeveen in 1722 to the Polynesian island of Rapa Nui. It is a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, known for it's huge moai statues. The island is often called to be the most remote place in the world.
A type of gigantic statue made in hundreds by the Rapa Nui people in approximately 1400 - 1700 AD - often placed on ahus. They are what Easter Island mainly is famous for. Read more in the moai section.
To honor dead leaders and important persons. Read more in the moai section.
3500 km to the west of South America, in the Pacific Ocean. It marks the southeast corner of the "polynesian triangle", of which the other corners are Hawai'i in the north and New Zealand to the southwest.
On Easter day 1722, a Dutch seafarer disembarked on to the island and chose thereafter to let the outside world know of it as "Easter Island".
Everyone speak and understand Spanish well. Rapa Nui language is spoken well by most elders, though those born in the 70s or later often tend to prefer Spanish. English is spoken mostly by those who work in tourism, and sparingly otherwise.
Chilean, officially since 9th of Sept, 1888.
There was no treaty signed, but only a symbolic act. In 1888, the Rapa Nui people were almost extinct as a result of slave raiding, and Chile offered protection for giving them the land. The governing king Atamu Tekena put dirt in one hand and grass in the other. He gave the Chilean representatives the grass, giving them permission to stay on the island, but kept the dirt for himself, meaning that the land will always be of the Rapa Nui people. Up until present day, Chileans have been called "mauku", which is the Rapa Nui word for "grass".
High season is during summer (Dec - Feb) when it rains less. The peak is the first two weeks of February for the Tapati Rapa Nui festival. To pick the hotel of your choice during these dates you should book a year in advance.
Tourist operators are active year-round. Those who visit Easter Island for relaxing and staying at the beach go mainly during summer. Those who come for the archaeology go any time of the year. During winter more rain is expected, though you will have green landscapes and the island will not be as crowded. Read more about the Easter Island climate.
Subtropical. Around 27º C in summer (Dec-Feb) and around 18º C with more frequent rainfall in winter (Jun-Aug). Read more in the Easter Island climate section.
During summer months (Dec-Feb) shorts and short-sleeved shirts is mostly used. For the rest of the year, long sleeved shirts, pants and jacket is advisable.
You should always be prepared for rainfall - also during summer, even though it usually doesn't rain.
5000-6000 people, depending on the season (more in the summer).
national park ticket?
Chile has declared sites of archaeological interest at Easter Island a national park to protect these areas. For entering two of the most interesting sites (Rano Raraku and Orongo), visitors must show a park entrance ticket. This ticket costs 60 USD, lasts for 5 days and is sold at the airport and at the CONAF office at Mataveri.
At the airport and at the CONAF office.
5 days. Though, you may according to the CONAF rules still only enter each area once per ticket.
It's for maintaining the park and park ranger salary.
|Chilean citizens||20 USD|
|All other||60 USD|
It's hard to think of any safer place than Easter Island. Tourists that are victims to violent crimes such as robbery, rape or murder is unheard of. Unless you're looking for a fight, you can walk by yourself at night without worrying about your safety.
Something that does happen is theft when valuable items are left out for others to see. Don't leave your money, camera or computer in your hotel room. If you don't have a safe-box in your room, ask the hotel for one, or bring your valuables with you.
Chilean Pesos (CLP) is the official currency.
1 USD ≈ 500 CLP
US dollars is also accepted in most shops, though better value will usually be obtained by exchanging to CLP.
There are two ATM machines at Easter Island that accept major credit cards.
Yes. Exchange service is offered at various places, though the best rate is offered at the gasoline station Puna Vai at the top end of main street Atamu Tekena.
Eating at a restaurant may cost you 15 000 CLP - 30 000 CLP. There are also smaller kitchens that'll satisfy your hunger for 5 000 CLP. Add a few thousand for taxis, ice creams and other small expenses. With 15 000 CLP - 50 000 CLP per day (depending on where you eat), you should be good.
If you will rent a vehicle, you will have to add this to your budget. The appropriate license is always required. The approximate daily costs are as follows:
|Car||35 000 CLP|
|Motocross 125 cc||20 000 CLP|
|Mountain bike||12 000 CLP|
The voltage is about 220 V. Chargers usually come with a transformer (110 V - 240 V), but you may have to buy a simple adapter to match the chilean plugs. These can often be bought at the shops "Hare PC" or "Kanina".
Usually yes. The tap water at Rapa Nui has a high mineral content, and if you're not used to that and have a very sensitive stomach it might be a good idea to buy bottled water. Some might sense a slight salty taste and the clorine used for desinfecting is sometimes also noticable.
It may happen (even though it's not common) that water is cut for a while due to maintenance. There have been some cases of people experiencing stomach sicknesses once the water returns.