Monday, April 15, 2013
Trip Report: Easter Island
There is no question about it, Easter island is far far far away from everywhere. Situated over 2,100 miles off the coast of South America, Easter island is the most isolated inhabited island on earth. As such, visiting this small dot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean can be tricky. The island is serviced by LAN Airlines with non stop routes from Santiago Chile, Lima Peru (possibly being discontinued?) and Papeete Tahiti. mataveri airport (IPC) is located in Hanga Roi, the only real town on the island, the rest of the island is practically uninhabited. There is one main road that makes a large loop around the island. The island is relatively small - only 63square miles. 4 days there is sufficient to see all of the main sights if you have a car.
I was able to visit Easter Island using British airways miles prior to their conversion to avios. I was able to book a flight from New York to Lima (Stop Over), Lima to Easter Island (stop over). Easter Island to Buenos Aires (Stopover) and Buenos Aires to New York on LAN. The first 3 legs of the trip were booked into Business class and the final leg was in economy. The total mileage cost was 60k per person. LAN has an excellent business class product including fully flat seats. If you have extra American airline or British airways miles lying around, LAN may be a good option for you.
As for accommodations, I ended up stying in a campground which I reviewed separately here. I thought this was a great, cheap way to see the island. The weather there is perfect for camping year round. Food is very expensive every where you go. The one thing that I would have done differently was to bring some food from the mainland. As far as language, we had no issues as most people could speak English.
I was able to rent a car from my campground for 50$ a day, and i would have gladly paid double that in retrospect because of the amount we were able to see. As mentioned above, I think that 4 days is enough time. We rented the car for 2 days. We spent 2 days exploring sites close to our campsite and around town and 2 days driving to the more inaccessible areas.
Most people are only able to recognize Easter Island by pictures of the iconic moai. Below, I tried to include some pictures of other things as i think that the remote beauty of the island is reason enough to consider visiting. With a car, you can easily get out of town and be the only person on the road. I hope you enjoy the pictures, if you have any questions about my trip please don't hesitate to let me know.