Exploring Easter Island: Our Experience

Turns out that both Pete and I have dreamed about visiting Easter Island since we were kids. Neither of us remember exactly how we found out about it, but traveling to this mysterious and extremely remote island tempted us enough to add this stop to our RTW itinerary! That and the fact that Pete was skillful enough to get us some cheap award flights from & to Tahiti.

We spent a week in Easter Island (and honestly, that was a looooong time to stay on such a small and remote island…but more on that later). Here are some details behind our stay.

Getting There

You have to be very committed to get to Easter Island. As I mentioned above, we were fortunate enough to snag award flights to and from this island – you can read about how Pete did that here.

Accommodation

This is probably the most expensive part of visiting Easter Island. We stayed at this AirBnb in Hanga Roa for $100/night. The wifi didn’t work, but it was spacious, located right near the main road, and had a nice little kitchen with everything we needed. As a plus they had an amazing dog that would accompany us every time we went into town. She would sit outside of shops and wait for us to leave to escort us to the  next place, it was adorable.

Our cottage for the week

If you really want to save money, there’s a campground you could stay at. However, with the amount of rain we experienced, we wouldn’t recommend it.

Food/Drink

Everything we read before our trip made us worried about the prices on the island. We were pleasantly surprised to find that most prices were actually pretty reasonable (for an incredibly remote island).

What We Brought

We went grocery shopping in Tahiti and brought the following items to the island:

  • Peanut butter
  • Instant noodles
  • Pasta sauce & pasta
  • Granola bars

What We Bought

Here are some of the things we bought from the grocery stores on Easter Island:

  • Eggs: $3.75
  • Liter of juice: $2.75
  • Bread: ???? It was fairly expensive but not unreasonable
  • Wine: $5 (Clos wine in a box is super cheap and actually pretty decent!)

Restaurants

Inevitably, we got really sick of noodles and peanut butter sandwiches. Luckily there were some pretty cheap “fast food” restaurants in town.

Club Sandwich: Pete was obsessed with this place, where you could get a massive hotdog, loaded with condiments, for $3

Want some hotdog with that mayo?

O Te Ahi: we asked some locals where to get the best empanadas and they suggested here. We weren’t disappointed – the pollo y queso (chicken and cheese) empanada was fresh and insanely delicious!

Ahi Ahi: This is one of the three restaurants near the soccer field. Each one is reasonably priced.

Activities

Explored the island on a four-wheeler

We rented an ATV for 50,000 pesos ($77 USD) for 24 hours. Twice (because we had so much fun); I got a deal the second day for 40,000.

Before we arrived on the island, we planned to go with a tour company for at least one day. After wondering around town the first day, however, we quickly changed our minds when we saw a large tour group with selfie sticks and GoPros fighting for the best shot with the moai.

Went to the beach

While we’ve seen some pretty perfect beaches, this one might be the coolest. Where else can you go to a white-sand beach and have some moai as the backdrop?

Not only is the actual beach beautiful and the water a perfect temperature, but the site (Anakena) is a dense archaeological area, an important piece of the island’s history and culture.

Saw a concert

One rainy night, we ventured out to hear a Chilean band. They were pretty good!

Hiked up Maunga Terevaka

As the highest point of Easter Island, this hike offers some pretty great views of the entire island. If you’re not up for a hike, you can hire a horse to take you up to the top.


Final Thoughts

Easter Island was a once-in-a-lifetime destination. Would I recommend it? Yes. There’s really nothing like exploring the island in search of moai, or standing in front of the massive statues in complete awe. Plus, the coast line is gorgeous.

It also really ups your selfie game

Would I go back again? Not in a heart beat, but if the opportunity presented itself, I probably wouldn’t say no.

I might be one of the only people to ever say this, but I couldn’t wait to get off the island. The remoteness, the size, the relentless rain, and the lack of connectivity to the rest of the world made me feel claustrophobic, trapped. I think 5 nights would’ve been the perfect amount of time to spend on the island – enough time to have some guaranteed sunny days, but not too much to get cabin fever.

Was my attitude tainted by my sky-high expectations? Probably. As I mentioned, I’ve dreamed about this place my whole life; I don’t think anything could’ve lived up to what I had imagined and built up for so many years. I think the idea I created was a bit too perfect to be real.

Is Easter Island on your bucket list? Have you ever finally gotten to a place you’ve dreamed about and felt a bit disappointed?

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