Travel to Easter Island, an ancient civilisation

  • Easter Island, Chile
    Amy Harris / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Chile

Easter Island is a little piece of land, far from any continent or archipelago (Chile and Tahiti are about 2,500 miles away), that would have been impossible to reach without the invention of caravels. The island was discovered by the Europeans when a Dutch ship came into port in the 17th century. Its history is fiercely disputed by historians who cannot agree on the original dates the island was first inhabited, or when the legendary Moais (statues representing divine ancestors) were built. Today, like the Egyptian pyramids, Pascuan statues have been restored, though they still remain shrouded in myth. Travel to Easter Island isn't very direct, but it's without a doubt a unique experience.

Easter Island: the key figures

Surface area : 166.0 km2

Population : 3790 inhabitants

  • Easter Island has an archaeological heritage that is unique in the world.
  • The climate is pleasant for most of the year.
  • The destination remains costly.
  • Accommodation opportunities are limited on the island.

Easter Island: what to visit?


  • Maunga Terevaka, Mount Maunga Terevaka, Landscapes, Easter Island
    Mount Maunga Terevaka
  • Rano Kau, Rano Kau Volcano, Landscapes, Easter Island
    Rano Kau Volcano
  • Rano Raruku Volcano , Rano Raraku , Chile
    Rano Raruku Volcano
  • Puna Pau quarry , Puna Pau , Chile
    Puna Pau quarry
  • Puna Pau quarry , Puna Pau , Chile


  • The beaches , A beach each on Easter Island , Chile
    The beaches
  • Snorkelling , Wenger Coral , Chile
  • Snorkelling , Wenger Coral , Chile

The fauna and flora

  • Birds , Manutara , Chile
  • Flora , The Balearic palm tree , Chile
  • Flora , The Balearic palm tree , Chile

Arts and culture

  • Tapati festival , Tapati , Chile
    Tapati festival
  • Hanga Roa anthropological museum , Hanga Roa museum , Chile
    Hanga Roa anthropological museum
  • Hanga Roa anthropological museum , Hanga Roa museum , Chile


  • Orongo ceremonial village , Orongo , Chile
    Orongo ceremonial village
  • Ahu Tongariki site , Ahu Tongariki , Chile
    Ahu Tongariki site
  • Ahu Akivi site , Ahu Akivi , Chile
    Ahu Akivi site
  • Ana Kai Tangata cave , Ana Kai Tangata , Chile
    Ana Kai Tangata cave
  • Ahu Hanga Te'e site , Ahu Hanga Te'e , Chile
    Ahu Hanga Te'e site
  • Ahu Hanga Te'e site , Ahu Hanga Te'e , Chile

Easter Island: what to buy?

Sculptures in wood or stone and miniature replicas of the island's statues, are some of the souvenirs in great demand. There is also local made cloth, seashell necklaces and obsidian jewellery. The best places for handiwork are the central market of Hanga Roa, located on avenida Tu'u Maheke, and the local art market, next to Iglesia Catolica. Shops are open during the week, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Easter Island: what to eat?

The local food is inspired by Chilean cuisine with various fish and seafood dishes. Conger, sea perch, swordfish and stockfish are served grilled or fried. Shellfish (sea urchins, crabs, clams) are served plain or in a bouillabaisse. Also try some typical dishes such as cazuela (chicken and corn soup), ajiaco (spiced beef stew) and choclo pastel (chopped meat with onions and dry raisins grilled in the oven). Tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro flavour salads and sandwiches. The best-known Chilean wines are available. There is also beer and pisco, a grape liqueur that is transformed in pisco when you add lemon and sugar.

Easter Island: main cities

Easter Island: what are the cultural particularities?

Bargaining is common practice on local markets, but it is to be done discreetly. First go to handicraft shops to get an idea of prices, and take into account the quality of the items before suggesting a price. Make sure to ask for a just price for objects, not forgetting that they often require hard work to make.

Easter Island: travel tips

In order to see the numerous archaeological remains, it is a good idea to start by taking a guided tour. In a day, you will have seen a good glimpse of different sites, and then you will be able to come back and see the ones that you like best on your own. Hotels will fill you in with information on reliable guides. Try to attend the dominical mass at Iglesia Catolica in Hanga Roa. Although it is close to the liturgy, the religion mixes words in Rapa nui and in Spanish, but best of all, offers the opportunity to hear gospels that sing traditional songs of the island.

Elsewhere in the world
Easter Island : Holidays
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  • Hotels
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