Isla de Pascua

Destination - Polinesia chilena - Isla de Pascua

Easter Island

(Spanish: Isla de Pascua, Polynesian: Rapa Nui) is one of the most isolated islands on Earth. Early settlers called the island "Te Pito O Te Henua" (Navel of The World). Due to its extreme geographic isolation, many people assume that only the highly intrepid traveller can get to Easter Island. In fact, the island is accessible by regular commercial air service (with Lan Chile) to its Hanga Roa Mataveri airport, and tourism is the main industry of the island.

Getting around:

Easter Island is relatively small, so it is possible to get around fairly easily, even though there is no public transport except for taxis, which are plentiful and very cheap. The most popular option is to visit archaeological sites with a tour company. It takes 2 full days to visit all main archaeological sites of Easter Island and, thus, the recommended minimum stay is at least 3-5 nights.

There are also plenty of rental cars, generally 4x4s with manual transmission, available in Hanga Roa, as well as other vehicles. However, it should be noted that vehicles of the island are not insured since mainland insurance companies do not offer any insurances for the island even for residents. Bicycles are also available to hire for around CLP8000 for 4 hours, but you should be well-prepared since summer months can be exhausting due to combination of heat and humidity. Some protection against wind and rain is highly recommended between June and August. The road to Anakena is paved but most of the dirt roads are challenging (quite uneven and potholed). However, an experienced biker will be perfectly fine everywhere on the island. The roads to all major sites are paved at least to their parking areas. There are plenty of stray dogs but since they're not aggressive, a strict voice with a gesture should shoo them away. Some areas are recuperation zones (Poike peninsula and Terevaka) where trees are planted. These areas can be accessed only by foot or on horseback. Accessing recuperation zones with a vehicle is strictly forbidden. Most of the west-coast cannot be accessed with a vehicle and, thus, hiking or horseback riding (limited availability) are options.

An often overlooked but particularly fascinating and "other-wordly" aspect of Easter Island is its extensive cave systems. While there are a couple of "official" caves that are quite interesting in their own right, there is also real adventure to be had in exploring all of the numerous unofficial caves on the island, most of which are found near Ana Kakenga. Kari Kari at the main street, Vai Te Mihi near the cemetery and restaurant Te Ra'ai above Hanga Roa hospital have their performance around the year. The discos, Toroko and Piriti, are the locations where you might join in with the locals. Big sea turtles can also be seen near fishing boats and the 2 diving stations Orca & Mike Rapu. Cafe Mike Rapu is well know n for its tasty ice cream. Trekking is possibel do to in aera for Terevaka, Rano Kau, North-West coast and Poike.

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