Easter Island is one of the most isolated islands in the world (and the most remote of all inhabited islands in the world). And yet, it is also one of the most mysterious. When you travel to Easter Island, you will recognize that it is best known for the famous Moai statues. For this reason, Easter Island was named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1995. Majority of the island belongs to the Rapa Nui National Park.
History points to the Polynesians as the initial settlers in the island. They built a thriving community on the island and helped put together the stone moai that stood strong until today. Over the time, the Rapa Nui civilization weakened and most of them left the island.
Today, Easter Island is a territory of Chile. The latest census on the island reveals it has over 5,800 residents. The majority of these inhabitants (roughly 60%) trace their lineage to the aboriginal Rapa Nui.
Currency: Chilean Peso
Official Language: Spanish is the official language in Easter Island. However, the locals speak Rapa Nui, which is a Polynesian language with a Tahitian root.
Wi-Fi Availability: Easter Island is pretty remote so Wi-Fi isn’t as widely available. You can find hotels with free Wi-Fi though.
Airport/s: The Mataveri International Airport in Hanga Roa is the most remote airport in the world. You must travel to Easter Island via this airport.
Visa Required: The visa requirements for travel to Easter Island is the same with that of Chile.
International Driver’s License Accepted? You do not need an international driver’s license to drive in Easter Island. You can use foreign-issued driver’s license.
Crime: The crime level in Easter Island is extremely low to non-existent. There are no reports of pickpockets in Easter Island, even in crowded areas.
Electrical Adapters: The standard voltage used in the Easter Island is 220 volts with a frequency of 50 Hertz.
Trivia: There are three extinct volcanoes in Easter Island. Technically, it is a massive volcano rising from the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
Cuisine on Easter Island
The traditional cuisine of Easter Island consists mainly of seafood, such as fish. There is an abundant supply of fishes like swordfish, mahi mahi, and tuna on the island. Other types of abundant seafood in the island include lobsters and shrimps.
Aside from seafood, various agricultural products and root crops are incorporated into a traditional meal on the Easter Island. These food staples are also similar to other islands on the Pacific. These products include taro, plantain, yams, and sweet potatoes.
Rapa Nui is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, making it one of the most remote UNESCO sites in the world, due to limited accessibility. It’s located 3,700 km west of Chile, and to visit Easter Island Rapa Nui, you must fly to Santiago—the capital city of Chile. This is the closest flight connection available, and once in the air the flight from Santiago lasts about five hours before you reach Easter Island.
In terms of climate, Rapa Nui features a subtropical climate. You can expect the site to be windy especially when you are near the volcano summits. Since it is located below the equator, the temperature in Rapa Nui isn’t as hot. Those who have visited the site describe the climate as moderate to pleasant.
The average temperature is at 25-degree Celsius from December to February. The winter is from June to August with the temperature hitting its lowest at 17-degree Celsius.
Tourism on Easter Island
Since the expansion of the airport landing stretch in Easter Island, there is also a subsequent rise in tourism in Rapa Nui National Park. Since 2012, Rapa Nui receives an average visit of 70,000 each year! And yet, the tourism industry continues to see up to 20% growth each year. The tourism industry is, therefore, the biggest source of economy for the island.
The locals who live on the island live a modest lifestyle. The power in Hanga Roa is generated using diesel engines. The access to power is cut once a week (for two hours or more at a time) for maintenance or failure issues. The internet access in the island is also very limited.
How to Get to Easter Island
There are only two places which have flights to Easter Island: Tahiti and Santiago, Chile. Most people fly from Chile as it is easier to reach than Tahiti, but Tahiti is a very viable option.
There are a few cruise ships which stop at Rapa Nui every year, but they are few and far between. Given its remote location, there are no stops for the ship for several days on either side of reaching the island.
Where I’ve Been to in Easter Island
- Moai at Ahu Tongariki, Easter Island
- Rapa Nui National Park
- Easter Island on the News
- Life on Easter Island