Located at the most south-eastern point of the Polynesian Triangle, the volcanic island of Easter Island is one of the most remote places on earth. A Chilean territory, it is a truly unforgettable part of any holiday to Chile, boasting some truly iconic archaeological attractions. These, of course, include the 900 or so awe-inspiring moai statues.
While the unique sites, all-natural splendour and unrivalled tranquillity of Easter Islands does make it an ideal holiday destination, travelling to this secluded location does take some consideration and forward planning.
Flying to Easter Island
As we’ve already mentioned, Easter Island is extremely remote, so it’s no wonder that flights there are so limited. In fact, the only way to reach it is by air, with the Chilean LATAM airline being the only airline that flies to the Mataveri International Airport on Easter Island.
These services mainly depart from Santiago in Chile, with eight flights available per week. There is a service available from Papeete, Tahiti in French Polynesia, but this only operates once a week on a Tuesday. Flights used to run between Lima and the island, but in 2013, these were terminated and there are currently no plans to relaunch the service in the future. Therefore, Santiago is the main option for most holidaymakers.
The flight between Santiago and Easter Island is taken on a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, so travellers will be able to relax in comfort during the journey time, which takes around 5 hours each way. Getting from the UK to Santiago, however, can take considerably longer.
There are no direct services available from the UK to Santiago and the most convenient departure point is London. Flights from the capital will include at least one change, which is commonly at JFK Airport in New York. The total distance from London to Santiago is a whopping 4,353 miles, which takes an average flight time of just under 14 hours to complete.
Additional travel information to keep in mind
If you are planning a holiday in Chile, then you will be happy to hear that you are free to enter the country, and the Easter Island, for 90 days without the need for a Visa. However, there are a few other checks and considerations you should make before flying.
As Easter Island is so remote, there are only limited medical facilities there. Hospital Hanga Roa is the main 24-hour medical facility on the island, but its ability to deal with emergencies is extremely limited and air evacuation may be necessary if the worst does occur during your trip. Therefore, it is crucial that travellers take out medical insurance that specifically covers holidays to Easter Island.
Additionally, you will want to make sure that you are up to date with all your routine vaccines. Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations are also recommended for those visiting Easter Island, as it is possible to become infected with these diseases through contaminated food or water on the island. Another disease that has been previously reported on the island is Dengue fever, which is spread via mosquitoes.
It is therefore a good idea to make sure you have plenty of insect repellent available.
Another thing worth bearing in mind is that, if you want to visit the major attractions of Orongo and Rano Raraku when you are on Easter Island, you will be required to purchase a National Park Ticket.
This is redeemable for one entry to each of the attractions and costs 30,000 Chilean Pesos – or around £35. It is far more convenient to purchase these upon arrival at Mataveri International Airport rather than from the park ranger office but be aware that they will only accept cash payments.
In order to truly experience the wonders that Easter Island has to offer – and to take the hassle out of travelling there – you may want to book a tour, with tailor made holidays to Santiago and Easter Island available right here at RealWorld Holidays.