AOMlover From France, joined Jul 2001, 1297 posts, RR: 12 Posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1511 times:
Well I've been living in Tahiti for 3 months now (another 3 months to go) and recently the thought of taking a trip to Easter Island has been growing on me.
Easter Island is one of the few destinations that can be reached directly from PPT. In fact the only way to get there is to fly through Santiago de Chile, or Tahiti. That's why it's a "now or never" kind of opportunity.
HOWEVER I still have to find a good air fare as there's (obviously) no competition on that route. I'd be leaving for 4 days sometime between October and December.
Now here is my question: has any of you ever been to Easter Island ? Is it worth it ? Is it OK to move around the island if you have no car (I don't even have a driving license actually so renting a car won't be possible) ?
Although I've never been fascinated by moais, Easter Island does seem interesting on the cultural side, it is definitely a unique place. Plus I love that feeling of being "in the middle of nowhere".
So, for the lucky few who've been there, please share your experience !
LAXspotter From India, joined Jan 2007, 3650 posts, RR: 5 Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1506 times:
Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter): In fact the only way to get there is to fly through Santiago de Chile, or Tahiti. That's why it's a "now or never" kind of opportunity.
Yes, go right now, its a unique place. Cool thing is, that the flight carries enough fuel for the roundtrip incase there isnt a possibility of landing in good conditions, I dont think Easter Island has a ILS.
Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter): Now here is my question: has any of you ever been to Easter Island ? Is it worth it ? Is it OK to move around the island if you have no car (I don't even have a driving license actually so renting a car won't be possible) ?
Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter): it is definitely a unique place. Plus I love that feeling of being "in the middle of nowhere".
a while ago, there was a trip report of a guy who went from SCL-Easter island, he gave a great report, hopefully he will answer more. Youre right, it is a unique place and I would love to go there.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
It does have an ILS, but they need to carry full fuel for the round-trip (maybe not the full round-trip as not all airplanes would make it anyway, they usually turn back earlier) as the only alternate would be the departure airport, there's nothing else nearby...
FlySwiss From Switzerland, joined Jul 2003, 437 posts, RR: 48 Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1458 times:
I visited the Easter Island in 2000. I stayed one week and I was very lucky that I could stay with locals.
In three days you can walk around the island but you have to carry all food and drinks with you as can not buy anything except in the main village.
You can book tours in town but I have no idea about the prices. In 2000 the accomotions started from USD 20.00.
Every where you can pay with USD or the local currency. The bank on Easter Island is changing only USD, no other currency and there is no ATM on the Island. And with my Visa card got nowhere any money.
LA is very strict on overweight. They wanted to make me paying for 3 kgs overweight but with my IATA card I came away.
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10241 posts, RR: 40 Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1458 times:
Have you thought of going on a package tour, hotel + air fare, something you could get from one of the travel agents in PPT? Might be a good way of doing the trip... Maybe some "last minute discounts" deals?
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
Ussherd From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 328 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1429 times:
I was on Easter Island for 4 days in July of this year, and absolutely loved it. Before going, I wondered if I'd look at the moai, and think, right, ok, what's next? but I found that the Island just pulled me in - you'd need to be an particularly unimaginative individual not to be engaged by the place. There isn't a lot to do other than visit the archaeological sites, do some energetic walking or cycling, watch the sunsets and generally just chill out, but it's the most memorable place I've ever visited. You can also go swimming at Anakena beach - white sand and palm trees (nothing compared to Tahiti, I'm sure) - but no beach on Tahiti has five moai with red topknots for a backdrop! Bear in mind that Easter Island lies outside of the tropics, so the water can be somewhat chilly outside of summer. I loved the fact that I was in such a remote spot - if you hike up to the highest point on the island you get a full 360o view of the island and there's nothing on the horizon other than ocean as far as the eye can see. The shopping and restaurants are nothing special, but you're not going to Easter Island for either of those.
I stayed at the Mana Nui Inn, near the Tahi complex, at a cost of US$ 70 - 80 per night per room (highly recommended - see my comments on Trip Advisor). 4x4's are for rental at around US$60 per day, but if you don't have a licence you have the option of hiring a scooter or a bike (don't know about prices for those). The island isn't cheap, but definately won't be as expensive as Tahiti.
If you need to know anything else, please e-mail me.
Lan_Fanatic From Chile, joined Sep 2001, 1071 posts, RR: 7 Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1401 times:
Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 1): a while ago, there was a trip report of a guy who went from SCL-Easter island, he gave a great report, hopefully he will answer more. Youre right, it is a unique place and I would love to go there.
Now answering AOMLover's questions, YES, the island is worth a visit, even if you're not very fond of moais or archaeology. As you well said, the greatest thing is the feeling of being in "the middle of nowhere".
The landscape is gorgeous, Anakena Beach is great (though nothing like Tahitian beaches), at night you can see every single star in the sky, you can get off the road and go walking by the grassy hills, etc, etc.
But even if you're not very interested in moais, their history is fascinating and once you see their size (specially those at Ahu Tongariki) you'll feel something.
It is not necessary to rent a car, you can rent bikes or scooters, which might be better. The road from Hanga Roa to Anakena is beautiful (there is a eucaliptus forest in the middle) so if you go without a roof the experience might be better.
You MUST visit the Rano Kau crater and the Orongo village (it is the only place in the island national reserve where you have to pay a fee for entrance). Also you have to see Rano Raraku and go to the top of the Maunga Terevaka (highest point in the island).
And you also have to eat Tuna and Cheese fried empanadas. I don't remember the name of the place, it was something like "Tía Moni" or something like that, and it is located at Atamu Tekena street (Hanga Roa's main road). Those empanadas are worth a try.
Remember to take an insect spray containing DDT as there have been some isolated cases of dengue (back in march when i want there, don't know about the situation now)
That's all for now. Hope it helps
Have a nice LAN flight
AOMlover From France, joined Jul 2001, 1297 posts, RR: 12 Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1357 times:
Thanks for all the inputs guys !
Quoting Ussherd (Reply 8): but no beach on Tahiti has five moai with red topknots for a backdrop
Yes you're right ! The more pictures of those moais I see, the more I'm fascinated.
Quoting Ussherd (Reply 8): I loved the fact that I was in such a remote spot - if you hike up to the highest point on the island you get a full 360o view of the island and there's nothing on the horizon other than ocean as far as the eye can see.
That must be an incredible feeling. Wow I really wanna go ! It seems to be one of the most unique place on Earth. I don't care about shopping malls, water skiing or cocktails on the beach. All I want is to feel I'm at the very end of the world, far from everything else. I'm quite a lonely man, I love to walk around all alone so I guess that's the place for me. It must be so relaxing.
LAN Fanatic, the pictures in your trip report are just superb. Easter Island has been growing on me so much I think I've reached the "point of no return" lol. Today I've been to the LAN office in Papeete and booked a seat...I found a good fare, about 650€, not too bad for a 5h+ flight. All I need now is a "go ahead" from my father and my boss...fingers crossed !
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10241 posts, RR: 40 Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1354 times:
I was in PPT several times. I have visited other lost islands of the Cooks, Tonga and Western Samoa, even to Wallis Island from New Caledonia (costly flights and place).
I have missed out on Easter Island. Your wonderful trip report makes me want to go there. This is one place I would like to visit. I can make it an extension to a next trip in the South Pacific. Maybe a package tour from PPT.
Is hitch-hiking common over there? Would it be safe for a woman (no longer young) to hitch-hike on their roads?
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
AOMlover From France, joined Jul 2001, 1297 posts, RR: 12 Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1334 times:
Madame Concorde, I guess it's not worth buying an all inclusive package from PPT. There are very few outbound tour operators for Polynesian residents, and most of them target their offers to "shopping destinations" like Los Angeles, Santiago or Hawaii.
However you might consider buying a Oneworld round-the-world ticket. I guess it'd allow you to fly to PPT via Santiago and Easter Island, and then from PPT to Sydney on a Qantas flight operated by Air Tahiti Nui (they have codeshare agreements).