joaquin torres

Travelled to 8 countries / regions

Written 26 briefs
I'm Chilean have visited Easter Island before



Americas > Chile > Easter Island > Useful Info
Updated on Aug 20, 2020 Useful Info

Best way to get around Easter Island, Chile

  • Easter Island isn't very large. It's has a triangular shape that's about 16km long on each side. The main town on the island is called Hanga Roa, located at the southern tip of the island. The one and only airport is located right next to Hanga Roa

  • How to get around the town of Hanga Roa: the town of Hanga Roa is a tiny town with 3300 residents. This town is where most hotels are located and chances are you'll be staying in this town when you visit Easter Island. Because of the small size of the town, it's quite easy to get around, mainly by walking, but also possible by flat rate taxi
  • Walking: the town of Hanga Roa is only 2km long and 1.5km wide. Most places in central Hanga Roa are accessible on foot in 5-10 minutes. Even walking from one far end of the town to the other takes no more than 30 minutes. Most people locals and tourists like get around by walking
  • Taxi: it's unnecessary to use taxis in Hanga Roa most of the time because it's so small, but if you have lots of luggage it might be useful. Taxis going to anywhere within the town of Hanga Roa cost a flat rate of CLP$2000 (=USD$2.5) most of the day, rising to CLP$3000 (=USD$3.8) between midnight and sunrise. It's best to have your accommodation call a taxi for you
  • Getting in from Mataveri International Airport (IPC): the only airport on Easter Island is located at the southern end of the town of Hanga Roa. Taxis from the airport to anywhere in town costs a flat CLP$3000 (=USD$3.8). It's also possible to walk into the town from the airport, takes only about 10 minutes to get to the town center. You can also book pre-arranged shared transfers from the airport for about USD$15 per person

  • Getting around the island outside of Hanga Roa:
  • Option 1) Cycling: biking on the island is a common way to get around on the cheap while sightseeing along the way. There are many bicycle rental shops on the island that you can get a bike from for. Some shops also offer ebikes too which are battery-powered bicycles that should last an entire day.
  • However, biking is not for everyone. To be able to bike to everywhere on the island you need to be quite physically fit. The road in Hanga Roa and around it are flat and paved and easy to bike on, but they become unpaved gravel roads towards the north of the island that become harder to bike on. Also, many ruins and moais are accessible only by dirt roads that become very hard to bike on after rain. Finally, a lot of places you want to visit are not bike friendly, like if you want to go up to one of the volcanoes, it's quite difficult to access by bike (much better by hike) due to the incline and ground condition.
  • Cost of bike rental: depends on the type of bike but a basic mountain bike will cost CLP$15,000 per day (=USD$20) but can go up to CLP$23,000 (=$30USD) per day for better bikes. If you rent for more than 3 days you can get discounts from most shops, I got a 20% discount this way.
  • Where to rent bikes: lots of rental agencies in Hanga Roa, just walk around the town center and you'll find them. Many of these are actually car rental agencies but they rent everything. Most of them don't have websites but the one I found with website is: Insular
  • Option 2) Taxi: this is not a very popular way to get around the island outside of Hanga Roa. The reason is mainly because of the high cost, but also because all the tourist sites are spread very far apart so it's quite inefficient to use taxis to get around.
  • Costs: as a reference for how expensive it can be, round trip taxi from Hanga Roa to Anakena Beach (the main beach on the island) is about CLP$19000 (=$24USD), and if you want to go to the Rano Raraku volcano that's located on the opposite end of the island the round trip taxi will cost you CLP$36,000 (=USD$45). If you want to visit Ahu Tongariki for sunrise, the round trip taxi will cost about CLP$45,000-50,000 (=$60-65USD). Also, taxis will also charge you CLP$12000 per hour (=$15USD) in waiting time.
  • If you do want to get a taxi, the best way to get it is to have your accommodation arrange it for you, also make sure you pay only after you're dropped off back in Hanga Roa after the completion of the round trip
  • Option 3) Tours: this is a very popular way for people to get around the island and a cost-effective way to see multiple sites together, but objectively speaking it's not exactly a cheap way to explore.
  • Tour prices vary by length and type of tour, with half-day tours costing a minimum of USD$40-$60 per person and full-day tours costing USD$90-$100 per person. Beyond the basic sightseeing tours that take you to the various spots around the island to see the Moais and the volcanoes, some tours are quite unique, like horseback riding tour of the island and stargazing tour at night. I personally highly recommend the stargazing tours because Easter Island is one of the best places in the world for this because it's far away from everything so there's very little light pollution.
  • How to book tours: you can book tours from the usual websites (like Viator), but to get the cheapest tours it's best to book at one of the travel agencies in Hanga Roa. There are many tour agencies in town, especially along the main road
  • Option 4) Hiking: while you won't be able to hike everywhere on the island because of the distance, you can definitely hike to the attractions close to Hanga Roa, and there are several. For example, the Rano Kau is one of the three extinct volcanoes on the island, Orongo is a village on top of Rano Kau with stunning views of the volcano and the coast, Ahu Tahai is one of the best places on the island to watch sunset. You can hike to these places in a handful of hours from Hanga Roa
  • Option 5) Car and ATV rental: this is another popular way for people to get around, and if you have a small group of buddies this is actually a pretty cheap way to get around. You will need a license to rent a car in Chile but you don't need international driving permit unless the license is not written in alphabet. You don't need a license to rent an ATV
  • Rental costs: rental costs by vary by type of vehicle.
  • A standard SUV costs CLP$55,000 per day (=$USD70) that can seat 4 people.
  • Larger vehicle types can cost CLP$100,000-120,000 (=USD$125-$150) per day that can seat 5 people
  • You can get a full-sized SUV that can seat 8 people for CLP$130,000-160,000 (=USD$165-200) per day
  • You can rent an ATV/quad for CLP$55,000-$77,000 per day (=$USD70-100)
  • Motorcycles usually cost about CLP$35,000-CLP$55,000 (=USD$45-70)
  • Where to rent: there are a number of car rental agencies on the island. You can ask locals to point you to the right place. You can also ask your accommodation to recommend you a place. The two popular one with websites are Oceanic Rapa Nui, and Insular