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Easter Island! One of the most incredible places I have ever been to! It’s a misterious island, with a very interesting history. It’s located on the middle of Pacific Ocean, about 5-6 hours by plane from Santiago, Chile. In Spanish it’s called Isla de Pascua; in Rapanui, the local language, it’s called Rapa Nui (“Big Island”).
Most flights depart from Santiago, Chile’s capital and the price is a bit high. I went in high season and during Tapati, a traditional festival of the island, so I was lucky to be able to get a plane ticket and I bought it with points (miles).
RAPA NUI NACIONAL PARK TICKET
You need to buy the ticket to see the main attractions of the island, so if you don’t have it yet, you can get yours at the airport or at city centre, but you can only buy with cash, they don’t accept credit or debit cards. As I didn’t have enough cash at the time and there weren’t any ATMs at the airport, I bought mine at city centre, but it seems that it’s a bit cheaper at the airport (54.000 pesos). The first picture if from the airport ticket office and the second one from city centre office. Most people buy it after the plane arrives, so the queue at the airport are longer.
HOW TO WALK AROUND THE ISLAND
The island is not so big, so there are many ways to visit the main places. With the ticket, you can visit any part of the island. I decided to go to Ranu Kau volcano by myself, it’s quite easy to get there. But then I visited other places in a 1-day tour and did an astronomic tour with a travel agency. There are many people who rent a car, a motorcycle or even a bicycle to ride around the island. The pros of joining a tour is that the guide explains a lot of things, that alone we wouldn’t know. I booked everything at the island, at Green Island Tours and it was all perfect, they were very nice and even helped me when I was in trouble.
“LOS MONUMENTOS” TOUR
In this tour we visit the main monuments of the island, such as Tahai, Akahanga, Tongariki, Rano Raraku, Te Pito Kura, Anakena, etc. It costs 60.000 Chilean pesos and takes one whole day, starting in the morning. We visit the places in a small group of 6 people and the guide/driver. One of the most interesting places is the “Moai factory”, the place where the famous Moais were made. There you can see the biggest Moai, that hasn’t been moved yet.
One of the most incredible experiences I had in this backpack trip. I really wanted to see the night sky at Atacama Desert, but the weather wasn’t good and I couldn’t see anything. I didn’t know they had a similar astronomic tour at Easter Island, so I was very surprised. On the tour day, the sky was cloudy and I thought we wouldn’t be able to see anything, but after some minutes in the car, when we were driving to a place further than city centre, the weather became better and the firsts stars began to appear. After a while we were below a sky full of stars, it was wonderful. We could even see the Milky Way. They have a big powerful telescope as well, so it was awesome. I haven’t got any knowledge about astronomy, so I wanted to learn more about it. At the end of the tour we drank hot chocolate and ate cake, to get warm. The pictures are not mine, they were taken by the guide, Marc Ross Shields.
Tapati is a festival, held at the island every year, on the first weeks of February. At this festival, Rapa Nui people join sport competitions and dance, singing and fashion presentations. It was really fun to go there during the festival, I could watch many presentations, all free. They have even a competition with bananas! They have to run carrying 10 kg of bananas on their shoulders. I’m going to put some videos here.
I really wanted to go diving in Easter Island’s sea. Actually I wanted to see the Moai underwater, but you need to have experience and a diving licence to get there. But later I found out that the Moai underwater isn’t the original, but a replica. I didn’t want to spend more money, but as it is a place where I think I wouldn’t be able to go again in this life, I decided to go diving haha. There are many specialized agencies to do it and it’s not possible to dive on the same day you have a flight, so if you are interested in diving, go get some information in advance. During the diving I saw a giant turtle swimming right next to me, it was awesome.
Ranu Kau is a volcano, located in the southern part of the island. It’s possible to visit it by walk, following a hiking path for about 2 hours. We can see the crater from the top, it’s awesome. After arriving at the crater, we can see some viewing platforms and there is a museum, on the right side of the crater.
Later, I want to write a post only about the Moais, they have a very interesting history. There are some Moai still underground, some “abandoned”, some broken into pieces, one with eyes, etc etc.
Before going to Easter Island I researched about the place and I heard and read that food in the island is quite expensive. It’s comprehensible, as the island is isolated, in the middle of the ocean. So I booked a room with a small kitchen, so I brought pasta, rice and breakfast, in order not to spend money outside. I think it was the right choice, otherwise I would have spent much more than I had planned.
The Internet in the island is very limited and usually hostels and shops don’t have wifi. But there are some Chilean Government’s wifi spots around the island. The signal isn’t so good, but I could access it most times.
My TOP 10 of this backpack trip: TOP 10 – PLACES/EXPERIENCES OF MY LATIN AMERICA BACKPACK TRIP
How much I spent in this backpack trip: LATIN AMERICA BACKPACK TRIP! ～SUMMARY～
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