Welcome to Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

But Easter Island is much more than an open-air museum. Diving, snorkeling and surfing are fabulous. On land, there's no better ecofriendly way to experience the island's savage beauty than on foot, from a bike saddle or on horseback. But if all you want to do is recharge the batteries, a couple of superb expanses of white sand beckon.

Although Easter Island is world famous and visitors are on the increase, everything remains small and personable – it's all about ecotravel.

Top experiences in Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

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Easter Island (Rapa Nui) activities

$136 Day Trips & Excursions

Easter Island Tour: Ahu Tongarik, Rano Raraku, Anakena Beach

On your sightseeing adventure, you'll come across moai, stone giants that on average stand 13 feet (4 meters) tall and weigh 14 tons (13 metric tons). Said to represent ancestral spirits or preeminent tribal figures, some moai are placed upon ahu, or ceremonial sites. After hotel pickup, your guide takes you to Ahu Akahanga, located on the southeastern coast of the island. Unlike most ahu, Akahanga has not been restored, allowing you to stumble upon the area as European explorers first did. The platform, about 59 feet (18 meters) long, originally contained about a dozen moai and is believed to be the burial site of Polynesian king Hoto Matu’a. Walk about the grounds sprawled with overturned moai that have pukao, decorative head topknots, with tribal fighting providing one explanation for this curious scene. Next, head north up the coastline to Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial site with an impressive row of 15 upright moai. Learn how a tsunami in 1960 sent these statues, some weighing 30 tons (27 metric tons), flying several hundred feet inland. Restoration of this site took five years and was completed in 1992.Then travel inland to Rano Raraku, where on its volcanic slopes Rapa Nui sculptors had carved moai from volcanic stone before moving about one third of them to various ahu. Many of the island’s 800-plus moai remain in the quarry and close by; as you trek with your guide toward the stone pit, you’ll see poking up from the grassy earth hundreds of moai heads or partially buried torsos.Enjoy a barbecue lunch (provided) at a nearby camping area, which includes chicken and other meats, fish, salad, rice, fruit and water. A vegetarian option can be arranged upon request. You’ll spend about 2.5 hours in total at Rano Raraku with lunch time. Along the northern coast, reach your final stop at Anakena and explore the extremely well-preserved seven moai of Ahu Nau Nau, four of them wearing pukao. At this site, archaeologists located one nearly complete coral eye, inlaid with red volcanic scoria stone.Your sightseeing complete, swim or stroll along Anakena, one of the few white sand beaches on the island, for about 30 minutes before being transported back to your hotel. Or feel free to stay longer, and your guide will arrange a cab ride for you (own expense) when you’re ready to return to your accommodation. Changing rooms with showers are available on site for a small fee.

$604 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Easter Island 4-Day Tour: Moai Statues, Ahu Akivi, Akahanga

This four-day tour of Easter Island takes you to the island’s most famous archaeological sites, moai statues, temple ruins and volcanoes. With airport pickup and drop-off included, you have a choice of three-star, 3.5-star or four-star accommodation; breakfast is included, as are a few other meals.Itinerary:Day 1: Easter IslandAfter arriving at Mataveri Airport, you’ll be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for your evening’s accommodation. Once here, the rest of the day and night is yours to explore on your own.Accommodation: O’tai Hotel (three-star), Taha Tai Hotel (3.5-star) or Hotel Altiplanico (four-star)Day 2: Easter Island (B)After breakfast at your hotel, your tour of Easter Island begins with a visit to see the Manutara bird paintings of Ana Kai Tangata cave, sacred to the warriors of Easter Island. Next, see the huge lagoon crater of Ranu Kau volcano and visit the ceremonial city of Orongo at its base. Here, admire the island’s greatest concentration of petroglyphs, depictions of the Tangata manu birdman creator god. In the afternoon, visit the Ahu Akivi archaeological site in the island’s heart, and hear the legends of Ahu’s seven moai (head statues). On the way back to your hotel, visit the small town of Hanga Roa, where the statues’ signature red stone hats, or topknots, were quarried and sculpted.Accommodation: your same hotelDay 3: Easter Island (B, L)Breakfast at your hotel is followed by a full-day excursion to the ruins of the temple of Akahanga, where you’ll see the moais’ topknots lying tumbled on the ground. Next, visit the Rano Raraku volcano, whose rock was used to carve the island’s moai statues. If you climb to the edge of the crater and peer within, you’ll see the volcano’s lake and see moai in various stages of construction scattered around. Continuing to Ahu Tongariki, you’ll see where many moai were toppled by a large sea quake in 1960. In the afternoon, go for a swim at Anakena beach before revisiting the town of Hanga Roa and returning to your hotel.Accommodation: your same hotelDay 4: Easter Island (B)After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be transferred to Mataveri Airport for your departing flight. Depending on the time of your flight, you might have free time for you to explore Easter Island further on your own.

$63 Cultural & Theme Tours

Ahu Akivi, Ahu Vinapu and Puna Pau Tour

Rapa Nui National Park, a wildlife sanctuary spread across most of Easter Island and a UNESCO World Heritage site, contains about 900 moai sculptures as well as 300 ahu, or ceremonial platforms, on which the carved figures stand. Sculpted from solidified volcanic ash, these statues are believed to represent the spirits of ancestors and high-ranking members of each tribe. After hotel pickup from Hanga Roa, travel south with your guide into the park to Ahu Tahai, a ceremonial platform that has a unique moai, a stone giant that stands alone, but which is protected by its more than 4 meters high and its imposing figure. Continue north to Puna Pau to see how some moai sport a different look. You'll notice they have pukao, or topknots made out of red scoria on their heads. It's believed the volcanic rock was used to impress rival tribes. Roughly 30 pukao are located in or near the Puna Pau quarry, the source of the red scoria. Then head to Ahu Akivi, where you’ll see a line of seven moai looking out toward the ocean. The moai here each stand 16 feet (5 meters) tall and weigh about 18 tons (16 metric tons). What's mysterious about these sea-facing figures? It's an unusual sight considering the other ahu moai stand with their backs against the water. One theory behind their unusual position: These moai symbolize the seven explorers from the Polynesian homeland of Hiva sent by the chief to find the island of Rapa Nui. According to this hypothesis, these statues face the ocean in the direction they came from. Our last point will be The -Ahu Huri a Urenga- one of the 25 platforms that are not on the coast, but in the interior of the island and corresponds to an agricultural area, human settlements. After your engaging exploration of ahu moai, you’ll be taken back to your hotel.

$63 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tahai, Orongo and Rano Kau Half-Day Easter Island Tour

After hotel pickup in Hanga Roa, you're driven to the Ahu Vinapu ceremonial complex. The ceremonial center of Vinapú includes one of the largest ahu in Rapa Nui. This ceremonial center has an extraordinary platform, which stands out for having an architectural structure composed of large slabs carefully wedged, similar to the Inca constructions of Cusco. Then re-board the minivan and travel south to Ana Kai Tangata, a cave along the coast.The only cave on the island to contain ancient pictures, many believe this location served as the starting point of the annual Tangata Manu ritual practiced until around 1800. As you listen to the rhythmic crashing of the surf against the cliffs and hear ancient legends, imagine the men selected from each tribe leaping from the cave and swimming toward the islet of Motu Nui to collect the first egg laid by a sooty tern. Many drowned or were killed by sharks. The first man to return with the egg was rewarded with riches for his tribe for the rest of the year.  
Leave the cave and set sights on the Rano Kau volcano and its crater lake. Capture this dramatic landscape from three different vantage points before your guide takes you to the village of Orongo at the southern tip of the island.

Orongo contains 54 restored oval-shaped houses constructed out of slabs of shale, each with a small square entryway overlooking the ocean. Note the abundance of birdmen petroglyphs here, and learn about the site's use as a ceremonial center for birdmen rites between 1600 and 1866. After your guide's introduction to village lore and legend, spend a little over an hour exploring the site on your own before transport back to your hotel.

$128 Tours & Sightseeing

Easter Island Highlights: North and West with Small Group

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Anakena Beach, Easter IslandAt the most beautiful beach of the island, the capital of the ancient society was located. In the sand stands a monument with the best preserved restored moais of the entire island. Quite recently they were dug up after centuries of having been buried in the sand. If interested in having a swim or enjoying some beach time, we suggest coming back on your own, as the tour will mainly focus on the archaeological and historical aspect of this area.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Ahu Te Pito Kura, Easter IslandThe tallest moai that was ever successfully transported to its ahu can be found in this area. It was an amazing 9.9 m tall. Just like all other statues it was toppled in ancient times, and today it is still unrestored.There is also a round magnetic rock in this area that some say has magical properties.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Puna Pau, Hanga Roa, Easter IslandSmall volcano where the red scoria stone was quarried for the moai statue topknots - the so called pukao. All of the moai statue pukaos come from this place.Duration: 20 minutesStop At: Ahu Akivi, Easter IslandThe only monument with moais that are looking out towards the sea.Duration: 20 minutesStop At: Ahu Tahai, Easter IslandThe tribesmen of this village were remarkably ambitious and hard-working. They raised several statues at three different ahu platforms. A ramp was made to enter the ocean from within the area.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Rano Kau, Easter IslandThe crater of volcano Rano Kau is one of the most stunning views of the whole island. Its crater lake was one of the most important sources of drinking water in ancient times.Duration: 20 minutesStop At: Orongo, Easter IslandCeremonial stone village dedicated to the birdman competition, located at the ridge of volcano Rano Kau. From within Orongo we will have a fantastic view of the crater of this volcano.Duration: 45 minutes

$128 Cultural & Theme Tours

Full-Day Easter Island Highlights South and East

You will be picked up at your hotel between 9:15am and 9:40am. The following sites will be visited:1) Ahu Huri A Urenga: This single statue has a remarkably strange characteristic - it has four hands. It has been dubbed "The Astronomer" for being aligned to the sunrise at winter solstice - June 21st.2) Vinapu: The most perfectly fit rock wall, Ahu Tahira, is found in this area. It was engineered with such skill that many draw conclusions on contact with the Inca Empire.3) Hanga Poukura: This is a beautiful coastal area of interesting, rough lava rock formations has several unique features. Several statues are in a strange and mysterious manner buried in a line, with only the backs being visible. The ahu is one of the most well-made ever with blocks that are cut for a better fit. Hanga Poukura area also has an amazing natural phenomena that has been occurring constantly since this these areas were created by lava flows almost a million years ago - a blowhole. The blowhole of Hanga Poukura is one of the best ones of Rapa Nui, and when the ocean is right, water will spurt up into the air as waves come in.Lunch (not included): Please bring some cash (US$10 - US$40 per person) during the tour to get the lunch you prefer.4) Rano Raraku: The volcano that was converted into a mass production factory of gigantic megaliths. Virtually all statues were carved here. One day the workers stopped, and the hundreds of statues that were left behind haven't moved since.5) Ahu Tongariki: The biggest and most impressive monument of Rapa Nui with its 15 mighty moais.Please have your national park ticket ready for your tour, and bring it with you at all times. National park tickets are bought upon arrival at the airport and are 80 USD in cash per person. This is required by all visitors to Easter Island.  Approximate ending time is 4pm, and you will be returned to your hotel.