Easter Island Travel Answers

change location
Equine4ever's Profile Photo

Traveling to Easter Island next week

by Equine4ever Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM

I'm looking forward to my trip to Rapa Nui next week. I'll be staying 7 days, flying in from Lima, Peru. I have a number of questions, and any advice would be appreciated. I hear there are now a couple of ATMs that take Visa Debit cards. Have others had success with them? Also, can you bring packaged food from Lima to EI--energy bars, instant coffee? Any stories about customs at Mataveri? I'd like to rent a horse (first with a guide and then on my own). Can anyone recommend a place/person? Also like to see the dance company Kari Kari. Any suggestions there?

Thanks!

Quote & Answer
11 Answers
  • JessieLang's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by JessieLang Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Bookmark. I hope to get there someday.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • annwag's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by annwag Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Hi there!
    As come to ATM you are right. Now it is possible to get money from ATM ( last year I used my Visa card, however 7 years ago only one ATM didn't worked at all )
    Mataveri Airport is the most friendly airport I have ever been. Custom office check the baggage using dogs but they are trained to find narcotics. You can bring some food except for meat and derived from it preparation (it is forbidden everywhere in Chile). You can see dance performances in hotels it's easy to find it Hanga Roa is a small city, you can hear the music from afar. People here are nice - just ask.
    I cannot tell about horse riding I have never seen any tourists on the horse back only jorgas but in my opinion it is very likely you can find someone who rent you a horse. 7 days in Rapa Nui is a lot of time you can feel there like at home among family.
    Enjoy yourself!

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by cgf Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    I've been there two months ago and with flight from Lima.
    first advise. try to be ahead in the long line waiting for passport control, beside you could get out earlier, if raining you'll not get wet. When I've been there was only two people, one of them very slow, for a almost full B767 (221 people+crew) to check passport.
    While in line, one of you can go buying the permit for the two site where it's request, others sites are all free. imho it's worth to buy it.
    As you've 7 days be carefull to plane the visits because is valid only once for site and it has to be used for both sites within five days since the first site visited.
    you can buy just as you arrive before entering to airport *while on line for passport* there's a little bungalow on left and a ranger inside, buying there you save money. btw, the toilette would be on the right, there are two doors and 2 months ago there was not written what behind. no worry, unless you're are not traveling in business you've plenty of time to look and buy it.
    we [wife and I] had some biscuits and energy bars and found no problem about custom, have no fresh fruit, you may be fined for that.
    ATM my wife used [mastercard] debit card, no problem at all.
    I can't tell about horses tours, we saw people riding them but we rented a car and hiked, first time we did not visited ad we had not the car yet, it was very first day, while walking in a path it happened we arrived up to Rano Kau vulcano, well going there and back to/from Hanga Roa.... it's easy but long way. btw the Rano Kau vulcano has also a road which we did later day to visit one of the two site on permit, Orongo.

    you're going to stay there 7 days?
    before 7:00 am on Wed we were out of airport (plane was earlier) and left in the evening of following Sunday, it was not a week but we found enough the time [and money] spent there, when I read seven days I thought they are too many....
    anyway it's a very nice place, probably we expected to find people like in other parts of Polynesia, but they are more like the people living in Santiago, we did not like much the people there, the owner of the hotel never say hello, when we met her, she always turned her face. Her daughter, who seems so smiling and nice, at check-out wanted to take us to airport just 40 minutes before flight, then we understood she had to pay the man and if we went earlier, she had to pay more as he had to wait for other people coming. Actually when we arrived, more than two hours before flight, to airport there was already a long line at check-in!! ok, the plane was not there, but one thing is waiting on line other taking a cooffe or walking, seeing the sunset..
    we did not like this last `au revoir'

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by angiebabe Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    Hi, well lucky you to be there for 7 days! I was there in November for 3 nights, 2 days and an afternoon and evening.
    I loved being there and would love to have been able to stay longer - particularly re the kiwi and Maori language connection.

    There are officially 2 ATMs but when I was there one was not working and some locals who went past said it had been out for the past week but there was a Santander bank with ATM just around the corner - I ended up using it twice during my stay - both quite close to each other and just down the hill from the main shopping street - ask locals for directions but also you can get a map from the tourist office.

    Take a back up stash of USD or £ in case you have problems but I didnt have any problems. I took about 120,000 pesos with me from Chile to pay for the 3 nights accommodation (75,000 pesos) that I estimated would make up the bulk of my costs and then if needed more than that I aimed to rely on ATMs and credit cards. They also take US dollars on Rapanui. In both Chile and Peru you can withdraw either local currency or USD with a withdrawal fee so I had about 200USD with me as a back up. I used my credit card for the rental card I had for a day. ,The lady who owned the cabana I stayed at phoned the tour company for me about tours as it had rained and when it rains the tours often dont run as some of the roads are dirt roads. and they come and pick you up from wherever you are staying. It cost 20,000 pesos for an afternoon tour to Vinapu, Puna Pau and Ahu Akivu. Luckily my cabana lady took me with her to Orongo with a couple of view points along the way and then waited with a souvenir stall she had while I went to look at the excellent Orongo crater and village and info centre.
    then the tour the next and picked up a 4x4 jeep that evening ready to leave home for sunrise the next morning at Tongariki.

    I had read around, listened to my cousin who had travelled around Sth Am and Easter island independently and then decided to do an afternoon tour and then rent a car for one full day to jam pack one of my days driving myself around. This worked really well and pleased I chose to do that instead of the entire trip being tours as my travel agent had suggested...saying Id get lost as there were so many roads and bad roads... which would have made the trip to EI cost twice what i did pay looking after myself.


    So for the time you have I recommend that you do at least one good tour of the island to get your bearings and get some good verbal info as an intro. I also got invited by my cabana owner to come to her evening church service my first night in Rapanui - a sunday night - which my guidebook had recommended to take the opportunity of...that was brilliant and the guy in charge of the church music got a CD to pass on to Cecelia to pass on to me before my flight back.

    The 2nd night I went to the traditional music and dance night of Vai Te Mihi on the recommendation of my cabana lady as she said it was more traditional and real rather than commercial Kari Kari - Vai Te Mihi was also just 2 minutes from her cabana. It was really really excellent - the music was excellent and wanted to buy some of the back up groups music but they only had a dvd for25 which in a way I wish I had taken the opportunity but thought it was a bit expensive.

    then i had an excellent day driving around with 4x4 jeep. loved being out on my own. it is still a pretty big island but a horse ride would probably be very nice. I saw a of horses around the island on my travels and a number of locals out in various places on their horses. The tourist office or your accommodaton should be able to provide or suggest a range of choices. There is quite a lot to do so I would plan carefully strategies to see things but also read up on what there is to see and do.

    There is no problem with bringing food into Chile that is processed and packaged - if it is organic matter such as fruit and veges and cheese or meat they are more careful because of the risk of contagions that can affect agriculture etc on the island. they ask you to declare any items and on each occasion that I went through customs they were very pleasant - as I still had my Foxs glacier mints from the Uk with me!

    Have a good guide book with you - i used the footprints guide which was good but didnt have a map of Rapanui in it. but got a few on my travels anyway. Also bought a map in London before i flew over.

    Have a great time!

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by angiebabe Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    Hi cgf - just read your post - maybe the lady you stayed with didnt explain to you as the same happened to me - but my lady had rung the airline and found out it was arriving late and what time to expect it so that she could take me and not wait a long time at the airport unnecessarily. it was not because she had to pay anyone but my flight was meant to be 730 which is so early - i had got up very early to be ready and she was still in bed - so I was very worried and getting stressed! she wasnt stressed at all and simply rang the airport - the advantage of being a local in a small community like Rapanui!
    so it looked like she was expecting the plane to be late! anyway it gave us time to sit and have coffee and breakfast together and then go to the airport - i still had to wait for ages but it helped her not waste a trip so she was there when the arrivals came off the plane - it was a good deal for both of us!

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by angiebabe Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    Also with Vai Te Mihi shows they are on Mon, Thurs and Sat nights at 9pm. They have a restaurant and bar - I looked at the menu when i was in earlier in the day buying a show ticket before the afternoon tour bus arrived to pick me up - interesting menu and I had planned to get there before the show to have dinner but I was caught up with getting more sunset shots just a bit further up the road at Ahu Tahai.

    Kari Kari are on other nights so you could go to both - there is one other company but Ive forgotten their name.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by cgf Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 7:03 AM

    Easter Island was in the list since a while, the decision to go there last Xmas come out because I found a good fare from Buenos Aires, where we were supposted to be last December/Juanuary. Usually is a very expensive route, what we paid 700 few days before going the same flights were 3200!!!
    Why from Lima and not Santiago? We don't care a couple of hours more of flight, and we have chosen going there from Lima not only because it was [slighly] cheaper at the moment of booking, but because from Santiago we should have arrived late afternoon and left early in the very early morning with less time for island, sure if we did four night but actually three days [instead of five] probably we had still something to be seen, we've been also lucky having just few rains during one night and, beside few drops taken by the wind one day, a couple of short showers the day we left so we had no boaring time, we were always around having planty of infos mainly 'stolen' from VT, also the hotel we've have gone is one of the 'reccomended' here.... yes.. good to sleep, clean, also three slices of fruit at breakfast.. let's say later because I would not reccomand it.. and we never had the need of having a guide.
    We stay in the island on our own with a car from second to last day, we also did some hours at the beach and few sites (ahu tongariki and a kivi[?]) during a clear full moon night.
    we DID NOT GO to see Kari Kari as we did not think is "one thing you absolutely have to check out while you're on Easter Is." like lonely guide says, well it would NOT be the first time the lonely fails, anyway we had seen something similar once a whole afternoon in French Polynesia, beside this in RapaNui is releative younger and this could tell you.... [cgf do no be polemic!!]
    Something we wanted to see but we missed, it has been the round stone known as the “navel of the world" next to Ahu Te Pito Kura because it was late while we were there.
    I have to say it has been not long but intense holiday, that why I could say that Sure, Rapa Nui is a place to be visited once in the life, but personally I'm not sure I would like to go back again and mainly for what I'm going to write later, maybe in a RWT for a couple of days and because there's Papeete next!!!!!

    regarding good breeding....
    At check-in time the [both] lady[ies] explained very well to us what to do there [and buy] and they did it in their own language [spanish] and we did understand very well, after check-in.... nothing - fortunatelly the man who pick up us at airports gave us quite a few of good tips.
    Btw, our flight back to Lima was on time, we checked with iPad (we had wi-fi) before asking for shuttle.
    we did not expected 'ia orana' all the times in many and many island of Polyneisa, but at least 'buenos dias' at breakfast! Anyway, having been both to Chile and French Polynesia, it's normal to see the differences, at Easter Island you're not in the middle...
    I can say that after I stayed there one whole month to French Polynesia, eight different islands, I had not enough, I'm still longing to go back to Polynesia not for places but mainly for people living there (and I don't like speak French)
    Regarding this island of Polynesia I have say... it was the opposite, I like speak Spanish but.. I found to look like dollars with legs in, not all, but many places, in the island, just have to say I'm sorry but Easter Island lost a lot of the people who lived there and this is not very charming from people who lives mainly of tourism.
    of course this is my thought from my own experience which has been good also in the way that everything went alright, I still say hello/please/thanks/.. everyday like I always I did to anyone also if they don't care or put the 'face on other side', I need something else to get an holiday ruined.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Equine4ever's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by Equine4ever Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Iorana!

    THANK YOU all so much! I really appreciate all of your information and guidance!

    RE: A COUPLE OF YOUR QUESTIONS -

    Why Lima and not Santiago? I live in Minneapolis Minnesota, USA. I would love to go to Santiago, and hope to one day. The flight was300 USD more along with several additional hours to Santiago. I opted for Lima so I would have more money for the trip and spend less time on a plane.

    Why 7 days? I know many people stay for 3-4. For me, I love history (especially archeology), art, horses, water, and meeting people from other cultures. I also used to dance profssionally - ballet and Brazilian dance. I'm hoping to experience Rapa Nui dance and music. Thank you for the tips on shows, groups, etc...! I decided not to go during Tapati because I don't want to see the island with thousands of other tourists. Okay, I know...they're just like me, but still...

    I actually started learning how to ride horses 2 years ago in preparation for Easter Island - I ride weekly. I don't have a lot of money, but want to spend my vacation and$ seeing this magical place (at least it is to me).

    The information on bringing food is very helpful. I don't plan to take any perishables or canned foods, just a couple of boxes of energy bars and coffee. Yes, I'm a coffee "addict." I do hear that Cafe Ra'a (sp?) has a good breakfast with good "real" coffee.

    As for the hotel, I'm staying at Cabanas Christophe. He's a little out of town but the reviews were great, the price wasn't CRAZY expensive, and he and Rosario seem like good folks, at least what I can tell from email.

    Thank you all again!

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by cgf Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    As you love history (especially archeology), I hope you'll make a stop in Peru and visit at least Machu Picchu.
    Next time it'll happen to make a stop in London have a walk at British Museum, you'll find a very tall mohai which has inscriptions on its back, this is coming from Orongo where you must have permit. I do recommend to go to Orongo and have a stop at the visitor center before you get inside the site, there's written the hystory of the location, it helps to understand better, we've been also lucky as we found a ranger who explained to us very well but he [of course] spoke spanish.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Equine4ever's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by Equine4ever Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Yes, London and Machu Pichu are on my must see list. I also would like to see Stonehenge, and many other places in that part of the world. They say they're developing the road to Machu Pichu in the next few years, so I definately need to go before they wreck the experience with development! Peru and London are much easier for me to get to with good prices on flights, and I have family in Europe.

    I will definately go to Orongo and Rano Raraku. Thanks.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Traveling to Easter Island next week

    by angiebabe Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    the road up to Macchu Picchu i cant imagine they can develop any further - it zig zags up the steep hill to the carpark below the site - or do they mean the road to Aguas Calientes instead of the train? most likely that I guess - but I cant imagine they will do away with the train which is a beautiful trip.

    The inca sites are amazing and certainly not just Macchu Picchu which seems to have most of the publicity - Im pretty sure its only cause of the other pretty much as amazing sites such as Olyantaytambo and Pisac that we went to firstly that I appreciated and undestood Macchu Picchu - also Binghams museum at the bottom of the road up to Macchu Picchu was instrumental in appreciate just what makes Macchu Picchu so amazing and that it is such a technically advanced build.

    totally recommend a visit to Peru!

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
Your Answer
Advanced Editor View Guidelines

Popular Easter Island Travel Answer Locations