Luxury Easter Island Vacation
Few places on the planet exude as much magnetism as this tiny dot of land afloat in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Known to the locals as Rapu Nui, Easter Island is one of the most isolated places on Earth, which only adds to its allure. From gazing upon the stone moai at Ahu Tongariki, to hiking along the crater of the Ranu Kao volcano, let our South America experts demystify and design a luxury Easter Island vacation.
Why visit Easter Island?
Easter Island’s towering stone statues represent one of the world’s last great archaeological puzzles: How on earth did the Rapu Nui people move them to their present locations all over the island? UNESCO describes the moai as “one of the most remarkable cultural phenomena in the world”—but that doesn’t mean that your Easter Island tour starts and ends with these enigmatic statues. You’re sure to find yourself stretching out on the white sand at Playa de Anakena, searching for petroglyphs at Orongo, or horseback riding at Terevaka. If you’re looking for a pristine destination that’s overflowing with intrigue and beauty, Easter Island is ideal—whether as a standalone trip or South America add-on.
Things to do on Easter Island
- Tour Rano Raraku, the ancient quarry where the moai were sculpted. Dozens of moai at all stages of progress litter the volcanic slopes.
- Hike along the crater rim of Ranu Kao, Easter Island’s highest volcano. The views of the offshore inlets are unbeatable, and the solitude is exquisite.
- Saddle up for amazing views from the peak of Terevaka.
- Head into the town of Hanga Roa to see the impressive “Moai Eye” and Rongo Rongo Tablets at the Sebastian Englert Museum.
- See petroglyphs at Orongo and learn all about the island’s “Birdman Cult,” which was linked to fertility and the god Makemake.
- Get off the beaten track during your Easter Island tour to discover the network of caves at Te Pahu or Ana Kai Tangata.
- Spend happy days snorkeling, swimming, diving or kayaking
- Backdropped by the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, witness the sky burst into shades of pink and orange against the silhouettes of the island’s moai statues.
Key travel info for Easter Island
If you want to get the very most from your Easter Island vacation, we recommend a minimum of three nights.
Virtually all of the hotels on the island are owned by Rapa Nui people, so every island stay is a cultural experience. If you can plan your Easter Island vacation in advance, try to visit during the Tapati Festival, which usually happens the first two weeks of February. This vibrant festival is a celebration of Rapa Nui culture and includes dancing, singing and unique events like the “Haka Pei,” where people use a banana leaf to slide down Rapa Nui’s steepest hillside.
When is the best time to visit Easter Island?
You can enjoy an Easter Island vacation year-round. High season is between October and March, so if you want to avoid the crowds, April to September is the best time to go.
Consider the following factors while planning an Easter Island tour:
- Summers run from December and March and are warm and humid.
- Winters (June to September) are mild, with temperatures rarely dipping below the mid-60s.
- The driest months are from October to February, and the wettest month is April.
How much should I budget for a trip to Easter Island?
Depending upon your accommodation preferences, we suggest budgeting around $400 to $800 per person per day for your Easter Island vacation.
Is Easter Island a family-friendly destination?
Easter Island is absolutely a family-friendly destination. Touring the island’s fascinating relics is a unique educational experience for kids, and searching for petroglyphs, snorkeling or just hanging out at the beach is a lot of fun.
Easter Island FAQs
To its original inhabitants, the island is known as Rapa Nui (“Great Rapa”) or Te Pito te Henua (“Navel of the World”). The first European visitors, the Dutch, named it Paaseiland (“Easter Island”) in memory of the day they arrived there, back in 1722.
Yes, today there some 5,000 residents on the island, about half of which are indigenous Rapa Nui; the balance hail from Chile. The island welcomes about 10,000 tourists each year.
Easter Island is 14-miles-long and seven-miles-wide. It covers an area of 63-square-miles—nearly half of which encompasses the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Rapa Nui National Park. There is only one town on Easter Island, Hanga Roa, which is where most of the hotels are located.
The oldest Easter Island statues can be traced back to 1300, and the “youngest” date to the late 1500s or early 1600s.
Easter Island’s famous megaliths are called “moai,” which means “statue”. Contrary to popular belief, these statues aren’t just heads—they have torsos too. On average, they stretch 13 feet in height and weigh 10 metric tons. The largest moai ever discovered, called “El Gigante,” is 69-feet-tall and is believed to weigh about 22,000 pounds.
At the last count, there are 1,043 complete moai on the island. However, the real number remains a mystery, as many of them remain buried in the Rano Raraku Quarry.
According to oral tradition, the moai were carved by the Rapa Nui people in honor of their ancestors. They believed their ancestors descended from gods and that after death they once again became divine and had the ability to use their “mana” or spiritual power to protect the tribe.
Easter Island luxury trip itineraries
Marvel at the mysterious Moai up-close and navigate the moon-like landscapes of the Atacama Desert
Unveil the ancient wonders of Machu Picchu and Easter Island
Wild Patagonia meets the lunar landscapes of the Atacama and lush wine valley of Millahue
Our favorite luxury accommodations on Easter Island
Other areas to explore
A visit to Easter Island is often part of a longer luxury trip to Chile. It pairs well with visits to Santiago, and the Atacama Desert. We also see history-loving travelers couple Easter Island with Machu Picchu (Peru) for a multi-cultural journey back through time.