Easter Island Is A Fantastic Vacation Destination, But Know These Things Before You Go

If you have travel plans to Easter Island, know the proper name of the island, bring plenty of cash, be aware of food prices, rent a car and a guide, and enjoy.

By Tiffany Velasquez | Published

Easter island

Do you have a list of exciting travel destinations to check off? If you do, add Easter Island; if you don’t, create one now and add Easter Island as the number one location to travel to. Before you jet off, make yourself aware of island etiquette and some must-know travel points.

The Name Of The Island

Most people may know this island, which lies around 3,686 kilometers or 2,290 miles off the western coast of Chile, as Easter Island. This name reflects that of Dutch colonization. Easter Island became the colonized name of the island because Dutch ships reached the shores on Easter Sunday.

Rapa Nui is the proper name by which the original inhabitants and current indigenous population refer to the island as. This, you should also refer to the island as such, especially when speaking to the residents. In Spanish, the island may sometimes be called Isla De Pascua.

The People

It is estimated that there is a current population of around 8,000 Rapa Nui people living on Easter Island. At one point, disease from European colonizers almost wiped out almost the entire Rapa Nui population, leaving only 100 people from the indigenous population in the 1700s. Today, Spanish is the primary language spoken by those that call the island home.

Families that inhabit Easter Island compete in an annual event, Hanga Roa, sometime in February. Tales are told about the two tribes, the long-eared and the short-eared people, from which modern-day islanders are descended from. The statues, or Moai, are said to be the ancestors of those who live on the island today.

The History

Learn the true history of the indigenous people when you travel to the island and speak directly to them. It is estimated that the original inhabitants arrived on the island around 300 AD. Colonizers came in 1772, which sparked war, slave trade, and disease. It wasn’t until the 19th century that things on the island began to settle down, leading the remaining inhabitants to gain Chilean citizenship.

The Sites

The Moai are the most distinguishable and well-known Eastern Island sites. Although many sites require a local guide to lead your visit, the island bodes many archaeological spots that can be toured solo. In addition to the iconic and historical Moai, visitors can tour the only museum on the island or watch an extraordinary sunset while they relax on one of the tranquil beaches.

Furthermore, the island bodes a vast array of activities to partake in. Visitors can scuba dive and explore underwater sites, surf, stargaze, and more. While it’s best to plan some things ahead, as you explore the island, you will discover the magic that it has to offer.

Getting There

You must have three valid documents to get on a flight to visit Easter Island. Guests must have certified proof of lodging or an invitation from a resident. Additionally, visitors will need a valid passport and a return ticket within 30 days or less.

Flights to Rapa Nui fly out of Chile and Tahiti, typically costing around $1,900. Flights generally occur on a regular schedule, with two flights per week out of Chile and one per week out of Tahiti. For the best flight view, sit on the plane’s left side.

Getting Around

A car is recommended to get around the island, and expect bad road conditions. Other modes of transportation include motorbike, scooter, and horse. It is best practice to hire a local guide, at least for a few days, to get the best perspective of the island and help you navigate.


Aside from flight, food will be the most expensive thing. Budget generously for meals. Furthermore, consider packing a small food supply to eat

Before flying to Easter Island, exchange your currency for Chilean currency. Having plenty of cash is vital, and some places even offer lower prices for paying in.