Easter Island is one of the most unique places to visit because of its remoteness, concentration of archeological sites, geography, sightseeing and cultural heritage. The town of Hanga Roa, located on the west side of the island, is the only settlement on Easter island. The island is very small so it is possible to visit it in one day. Cars for rent are available in Hanga Roa as well as bicycles. It is important to note that most roads outside Hanga Roa are unpaved and full of potholes.
Accommodation is plentiful. There are luxurious hotels and guesthouses also known as bed and breakfast. Staying in a B&B is the best way to experience the Polynesian way of life and their hospitality. Life in Easter Island is laid back and safe, however one should never leave valuables in the guest room. The most common health problem is sunburn, so use sunscreen and drink lots of water.
The busiest time of the year to visit Easter Island is during the Tapati Festival, a celebration of the Polynesian culture which takes place during the first half of February. During this period flights and hotels are likely to be fully booked. There are sports events, dance and singing contests, fishing competitions and the unique Rano Raraku Triathlon.
Celebrating the Tapati Festival
Flights to Easter Island
LAN Airlines, formerly LanChile, Chile’s national airline, is the only carrier that flights to Mataveri International Airport or Isla de Pascua Airport, considered the most remote airport in the world. Mataveri is located 3,759 kilometers (2,336 mi) from Santiago and is the main point of entry for the thousands of tourists that visit the island every year. According to the season they have from five to seven flights a week from Santiago and two flights a week from Tahiti. LAN also has two direct flights a week from Lima, Peru, cutting the trip a few hours shorter for those who come from Europe or North America. Due to its remoteness flights to Rapa Nui are not cheap, however if you book your flight in conjunction with your international flight LAN will give you a discount on the Easter Island portion.
Another way to visit Rapa Nui is to book a flight as part of your Round-the-World itinerary with One World Alliance. LAN is part of the One World Alliance, which includes Alaska, British Airways, American and other Airlines.
Weather and when to go to Easter Island
You can travel to Rapa Nui year-round, the weather is always pleasant. The island enjoys a subtropical climate. Summer is from January to March when the temperatures soar to an average high of 26°C / 79°F, temperatures fluctuate from 20°C° / 68°F to a high of 28°C / 82°F. The coolest months are from July to September when temperatures drop to an average low of 16°C / 61°F, the ideal climate for hiking. Ocean currents, winds and precipitation strongly affect the island’s climate. The highest precipitation occurs in May with an average of 12cm / 5 inches.
The peak tourist season is from January to March with the first half of February being the busiest because of the Tapati Festival. Accommodations are in short supply and prices are higher during this time of year.
Easter Island Time Zone
Time zone abbreviation is EAST – Easter Island Standard Time.
Easter Island Standard Time (EAST) is GMT -6 from mid April through mid October.
Easter Island operates a Daylight Saving Time (EASST) from mid October until mid April during which period time is GMT -5.