Whilst I'm sure not everything was extortionate in the museum shop, some things were ludicrously overpriced. Most notably stamps and books (especially secondhand Thor Heyerdahl ones). We saw a first day cover being sold for 12,000 Chilean pesos (£12 Sterling) there, and when we looked in the Post Office it was around 1,000 pesos.
Unique Suggestions: The Museum is well worth visiting, but look around in other shops in Hanga Roa before parting with any cash in the shop.
Fun Alternatives: Buy your stamps in the Post Office and your secondhand Thor Heyerdahl books on ebay before you go.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- National/State Park
- Family Travel
The artisan market by the cathedral
Surprisingly there don't seem to be any real cons on Easter Island and you can haggle over most tourist type things. The artisan market by the cathedral has some of the best made souvenirs on the Island, but some of the prices are plain crazy in there, but nobody is twisting your arm in there. Generally Easter Island is incredibly safe and petty theft appears to be virtually non-existant (with such a small population and nowhere to go in a hurry, nobody wants to rock the boat I guess). OK, some tourist prices can be more expensive than for the locals, and we found in the week we were there, that prices seemed to lower in some shops the more we visited, but this is pretty common everywhere, and the mark ups don't appear large anyway.
Unique Suggestions: If you go to the Artisan market haggle very very hard - nothing has a fixed price, and try to pay no more than half for most hand made objects.
Fun Alternatives: Several other smaller shops in Hanga Roa.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Restaurante Playa Pea
This restaurant was recommended in my admittedly slightly dated Lonely Planet. It is a nice looking place and it's located right over the water. The sunsets/views are great. When we were there, it was doing a good business. The food and service was a far more negative experience.
Unfortunately, our waitress was pitiful. She seemed to forget that we were even there. She would disappear for long periods of time. In order to get a splash of mayo to put on an otherwise bone-dry hamburger, we had to flag down another waitress.
Speaking of that hamburger...when it finally arrived at the table, the buns were burned black (I am NOT kidding) on both sides. As I said before, there was nothing but the bun, a thin piece of meat and a slice of cheese (it was actually a cheeseburger). No mayo, no catsup, no nada. Nothing to disquise the nasty flavor of those burned buns.
To use the bathroom, we first had to track down the man who had the key. Then go across the street to where el bano was located. It was clean but had no toilet paper, no hot water and no hand towels. In Chile, we seldom get all three, but at least one would be nice in an expensive restaurant.
My fish (which was good), the wife's hamburger, 1 coke and 1 beer cost $19 US.
Unique Suggestions: Could have sent the poorly prepared food back, however then you take the chance that the cook might add something disgusting to your replacement meal.
Fun Alternatives: Forget the Playa Pea and go to the Merahi Ra'a instead.
While there aren't many...
While there aren't many 'traps' so to speak, the important thing to remember is: Barter heartily for everything!
If you don't barter, you'll pay a heckuva lot more than you need to. Also, try bartering with the locals for practically anything. At the end of the day, you can barter their car, a room in their house, you name it...
There's not much industry to speak of there, so they have to try and squeeze as much cash out of each tourist as they can.
Laundromat (there's only 1)....
Laundromat (there's only 1). It is hardly ever open, even when they say they're going to be. There is a 2-3 hour siesta every day anyways. We were charged $16, and it took a day and a half! You can't do your own - you have to leave it with them. They didn't totally clean my muddy things, either - I would have been better to have washed them myself in the sink.
Hotu Matua's Favorite Shoppe,...
Hotu Matua's Favorite Shoppe, at the end of the main street. This has the nicest store front and quite good products - books, posters, T-shirts, wood carvings, etc. - but it's quite expensive and the employees were surly. Most people were very friendly, so this was a unique unpleasant experience. You can get the books from amazon.com or elsewhere for 75% less. When I was writing down the titles for this purpose, an employee snatched the book out of my hands as soon as I shut it and muttered that what I was doing was 'illegal'.
Easter Island Hotels
Explore the World
- Mililani Town Hotels
- Yuen Long Hotels
- San Clemente Hotels
- Elounda Hotels
- The Bahamas