How to Get to Easter Island
Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is an isolated and inhabited island located 1850 miles (2,985 km) from its nearest populated neighbor. It is 2,295 miles (3700km) off the Chilean coast – making it a speck in the Pacific Ocean.
Hundreds of gigantic stone statues known as Moai are found all over the island. These statues overlook the ruins of the settlements. For many years now, the Moai mystery and the island’s natural beauty has continued to attract tourists, archeologists, and explorers from all over the world.
So, how do you get to this enchanting island?
Easter Island Flights
Because it’s remotely located and isolated, the best and quickest way to get to this island is by plane. Latam Airlines (LAN) is currently the only airline that offers scheduled flights to Easter Island at Rapa Nui. LAN connects the island via one daily flight from Arturo Merino Benítez Airport in Santiago de Chile. However, the number of flights varies in season and tourist traffic.
The flight to Easter Island from Santiago de Chile takes approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes and about 4 hours 45 minutes on a return flight. This is due to the wind influence.
The ticket prices from Santiago de Chile to Easter Island also vary. Although an economy class ticket depends on the date, you can be sure to get one for as low as $350 during the low season or book a flight several weeks before the high season.
If you buy a ticket shortly before traveling or in high season, it can cost you up to $1000. Executive and business charges range from $800 to over $3000 when the demand is high.
If you want to land a great deal on your flights, it’s important to be very attentive to the offers that LAN publishes occasionally to encourage internal tourism in Chile. Usually, these discounts last for limited days, but you are able to get a ticket at a convenient price.
Traveling by Boat
For travelers who want to head to Easter Island while enjoying the mystical sea experience, boats are your best bet. You can also reach Rapa Nui via surfing, just like the first settlers. There are a lot of surf travel guides that offer this.
However, the most adventurous option by sea is using a sailboat or private yacht across the ocean. The central anchorage site is situated at Hanga Roa Bay, a nice and cool place that is protected from the winds. You can also choose to anchor on Anekana beach or Hotuiti. It’s necessary to change the anchoring location depending on the direction, intensity, and state of the sea.
The Aquiles Ship
The other sea option is boarding the Aquiles Ship that belongs to the Chilean Navy. This multipurpose vessel sails to the Easter Island, Antarctica as well as other isolated areas mainly for logistic, scientific purposes, and leisure. If you are an explorer, you’ll love traveling by this ship.
The boat usually departs from Valparaiso. It takes seven days to get to Easter Island because it makes several stopovers including the Robinson Crusoe Island in Juan Fernández Archipelago.
Moreover, the quotas in the ship are limited. The navy personnel including their families are given the first priority, the island’s residents are given the second priority, and lastly, the tourists. To use the ship, you need prior authorization from the Chilean Navy via post mail, explaining your reasons for taking the trip. You can also contact them via telephone.
The cost of traveling by sea is less compared to airfare. This is great news to budget-conscious travelers. However, it’s not the quickest option. And if you use the Aquiles, it’s compulsory to return using the same ship. This limits your stay on the gorgeous island.
Cruises to Easter Island
This is probably the most exclusive mode of transportation to Easter Island. These luxury ships are just incredible and memorable. You can’t miss out.
The Oceania Cruises company offers the most economical option connecting Papeete (Tahiti) with Lima (Peru). The trip costs around $2800 and lasts 17 nights.
Another interesting suggestion is provided by the Ponant Company. Starting at US $3800, the 13-night trip begins at Papeete to Easter Island, and stays for three days, giving travelers adequate time to visit the key landmarks.
The other cruises will take over 20 days, departing from the Valparaiso port to Sydney, and make a stopover in Hanga Roa. The Costa Cruceros ships and Cunard Company’s Queen Mary offer cruises via this route.
Easter Island Should be on Your Bucket List
There are so many things to do in Easter Island – from swimming at the Anakena Beach, scuba diving at the Moai, stargazing at the beautiful night, to exploring the anthropological museums and enchanting caves.
Now that you know how to get there, your next step is to set a date.