CHILE – Easter Island Rapa Nui in 3 days; a magical remote place

Chile - Easter Island Rapa Nui
Chile - Easter Island Rapa Nui

To combine leisure time with a business trip (bleisure travel) is what I like about the travels I’m forced to do. A conference brought me to Sao Paulo and this gave the opportunity to visit Easter Island which was not that far away. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thus a place I simply had to visit one day. It’s far away, even from Sao Paulo, but compared to my base in the Netherlands, Europe it’s not far. The closest are 16 inhabitants on Pitcairn Islands about 2000 kilometers away, then it’s 3700 kilometers to Chile mainland and 4200 kilometers to Tahiti. Read on what I did on this magical island!

Arrival Easter Island exploring town

From Santiago de Chile it’s still a 6-7 hour flight to Easter Island. You really feel the distance as you fly only over water. I arrived on the small airport after lunch time. Checked in quickly at the hotel and went to explore the city on foot. There are some Moai statues there too. Polynesians arrived here about 1000 AD and in the high peaks of civilization it had more as 15000 inhabitants but due to the small amount of resources it dropped to 2000-3000 when a Dutch explorer arrived there in 1722 on Easter Day hence its name. After the Peruvian slavery and diseases it dropped to only 111 persons by the end of the 19th century.

 
Chile - Easter Island Rapa Nui
Chile – Easter Island Rapa Nui

Easter Island South

The first day I explored the south part of the island together with a guide. First we headed to the Orongo at the Rano Kau volcano. The village there is from after the time of the moai. Here the story goes that each year the men would swim to the small nearby island to get an egg from the birds. The first to return would be the head of the tribe for the coming year. We continued to the site of Vinapu. From there we went to the Huri a Urenka where there are 7 statues. These face towards the sea instead of towards the land as is the case at all other places. After this it was time to relax and have some great sea food for dinner!

Chile - Easter Island Rapa Nui
Chile – Easter Island Rapa Nui

Easter Island North

Today I explored the north; stopped at the various places along the coast where there are restored or not restored Moai and ended at the Tongariki place where there are 15 in row. After that I visited volcano Rano Raruku where the statues were carved out of the lava stone. In total there are 887 statues on the island of which only a quarter is on its place, others are on the way laying scattered from the volcano and some others are still at the volcano unfinished. In the afternoon I had again free time to relax on this magical island at the only beach of the island where Moai keep an eye on you.

 
Chile - Easter Island Rapa Nui
Chile – Easter Island Rapa Nui

Around again and sunset

Today I decided to go around the island one more time and stop by at some rock carvings on the way. I visited the museum and some other minor places of interest. I recommend getting a map at the tourist offer. I drove around slowly taking in the beauty of this remote island. I understand why UNESCO regognized it as a world heritage site. In the evening at the village I watched the sunset behind the statues. So magical! The next day my flight departed early unfortunately so I had no time today to explore more of the nightlife. It was my first time to Chile but not the last, I already had plans to visit northern Chile (see my 10-14 day Chile itinerary) the next year.

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Did you visit Easter Island too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!

Easter Island Gallery

Check the gallery for more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.