Reservations when renting a jeep
Make reservations at least the day before you plan to rent a car. We have to go to different car rental offices after we changed our mind with regards to renting a 4x4 jeep instead of a bicycle. Most of the agencies already rented out their jeeps for the day, and they called up different rental agencies that they know. In the end, we got stuck with paying $30 more for the jeep rental since the the only agency w/ an available jeep is the one in Hanga Roa Hotel (which also happens to be the most expensive hotel in the island).
Take a Residencial Kona Tau Tour
We stayed at the Residencial Kona Tau. They offered a 6-8 hour tour for $35 per person. Clemente, seemed to run the place and was also the guide. He seemed quite knowledgeable, his English is good enough and he was a nice guy. I feel he really gave us our moneys worth. We were not pushed at all.
While others seem to think going it on their own with a rented 4x4, car, bike or even a horse (how many weeks do you have on this island?) is the best way, these tours worked for us. Even though the island is crawling with tourists zipping from place to place, we would often be the only vehicle around. Our guide took us to places that were not well marked. One time we actually were bouncing through a horse pasture.We seemed to spend more time at each site having things explained to us in depth, while other more independent souls would drive up, walk around and quickly leave.Related to:
Lan Chile, the only airline serving the island
Getting to Easter Island is not easy by any means. There is only one airline, LanChile, that serves the island, and they only fly a couple of times a week. Generally the flights go Santiago-Easter Island-Tahiti, so you might consider doing what we did---combining a rip to the island with a trip to Polynesia. Flight prices are expensive as well, so you may wish to xonsdier looking into a package deal offered by Lan Chile or a travel agency in Santiago. They can set you up with a flight, hotel, and trasnportation for a better price than you would get if you arranged everything yourself.
Landing on Easter Island is quite an experience. We circled and circled and when we finally went to land, we descended very very rapidly and it looked like we were going to plunge into the ocean. The runway starts on one end of the island and ends on the other side, so you have corssed the whole island just doing your landing. However, that's because the runway is at the narrow end of the island.....
The airport is small....very very small!
Rent a car, or take a tour
You can take tours of different areas of the island, and this probably would be very interesting if you would like to be with someone (a local) to take you to the highlights and to explain all of the background about the Moai, etc. However, your time may be limited at each stop because it is a tour, so I still do recommend renting a car to get out and do some exploration o your own.
You can rent cars from any of the hotels, but this is a little more expensive. There are quite a few small places right in the village of Hanga Rpa where you can rent cars, mostly jeeps, and you can also rent motor scooters. Because of the terrain and sometimes sudden heavy downpours, I recommend a jeep.
Lan Chile to Rapa Nui
Lan Chile, the chilean national airline and member of the One World alliance flies to Rapa Nui from Santiago de chile as well as Papeete in Tahiti. In fact the flight leaves from Santiago de chile on wednesday and Sundays, after making a stop at rapa nui continues on to tahiti, then returns to rapanui on thursdays and mondays. from there continuing on to santiago de chile
during the summer there is an additional santiago to rapa nui round trip fligth on saturdays.
It is not a cheap flight but booking even as early as seven days can bring down the price to a manageable 530 usd. Normal summer fare is about 800 to 1000 usd.
Santiago de Chile to Rapa Nui 2350 miles or fie and half hours going to and four and half hours coming in from, flight times.
Rapa Nui to Papeete is 2535 miles and six hours by plane
from miami to santiago and then rapanui
from los angeles to papeete and then rapanui
from auckland/sydney to papeete and then rapanui but it may cheaper to take their direct flight from syd or akl to santiago de chile and continue on to rapanui (all flights on lan chile)
from europe it is easier to fly to santiago de chile either by direct flight on lanchile or connecting flights with lufthansa or american airlines and then rapanui.
whatever way you decide to fly, it is a long flight and it may require an overnight stay somewhere along the way and it is an expensive flight. but it is worth it
Hire a car - it is worth it!
hire a car to get around easter island - it is well worth it. as the island is small you can see it all in a day easily - but 2 lets you take a more leisurely pace and you can visit your favour places twice for better photos. your accommodation can usually arrange a jeep for you from a local agency. We hired a zippy red suzuki vitara (seats 5 adults snuggly) for $50US/day.Related to:
- Family Travel
Rent a bicycle for several days. Its a great way to see the island in a way that you cannot in a car. Make sure you have lots of sun screen and water. Also, give yourself a full day if you intend to traverse the entire island.
You can only fly there via Lan...
You can only fly there via Lan Chile. It's enroute between Tahiti and Santiago, Chile
Barter with the locals to rent their own car. Avoid the rental places as you'll pay too much.
You can also take a taxi
Hire a four wheel jeep, that...
Hire a four wheel jeep, that way you can spend as much time at each statue as you want. There were also horses for hire. This was the main road when we were there.
It was really strange to be told ' you only need insurance if you plan to drive off the roads!!
Only LANChile flies to the...
Only LANChile flies to the island (except the Concorde occasionally). Planes go between Santiago and Papeete amd stop in Easter Island to refuel. Tickets are about USD$900.
My pick: Jeep. We used our four-wheel drive. This costs $60-90 a day. Haggle. Roads are dusty and rough. You can also rent horses (which are the best bet if you want to go on the road-less north coast), cars, mopeds, or bikes. If you plan on walking, remember that it's a windy place and there's no place to get food or water outside of town. It's very hot and larger than you think. The terrain is rocky with tall grass and very hilly.
Great flight with LAN
LAN uses great planes to and from Easter Island. Planes with high ceilings and with your own tv-screen with games, films, music, tv-series. We enjoyed our flights!!!
Getting To Easter Island
LAN airlines is the only airline that flys into Rapa Nui. There are direct flights from both Santiago Chile (4 per week) and Papeete, Tahiti (2 per week).
Easter Island is only served by Lan Chile. Flights to and from Santiago and Papeete. It´s the only way to reach the island, except if you´re in a cruise.
We flew from Tahiti to Easter...
We flew from Tahiti to Easter Island and when we went there were only flights a couple of times a week. It was a stopover on the way to Santiago Chile.
Easter Island Hotels
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