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- 22 Jan 2020, 3 nights
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Few places on earth are quite as isolated as Chile's Easter Island. A small speck in the vast Pacific Ocean, its far-flung location lends itself to a mystical atmosphere where enigmatic statues dominate the landscape. At its core you’ll come across Polynesian culture where many of the ancient traditions are still practised, including the Ula Ula, which is a couples' dance. Its shores comprise pink-sand beaches, volcanic peaks and snorkelling experiences – all awaiting travellers looking for excitement.
Many Easter Island hostels are in lush green settings. Discover places with outdoor terraces that look to the volcanic hills, or hostels featuring spacious gardens with hammocks and fruit trees. Depending on your travel style, you can find both private rooms with air con and en-suite bathrooms in an Easter Island hostel, as well as ones with shared dorms. Several options have free Wi-Fi and a free breakfast, while others have a communal kitchen and dining areas.
Hanga Roa is the main town of Easter Island, where the harbour, local markets and most of the restaurants are. A 15-minute drive to the western tip of the island takes you to Orongo, a ceremonial stone village and archaeological site. Much of the island is protected and holds National Park status. It’s largely covered in grasslands and its highest peak, Ma'unga Terevaka, is roughly a 5-hour climb to the top and back. A little further north are Poike's high cliffs and the coconut-palm beach of Anakena.
The Moai statues are the most iconic attraction on Easter Island. There are over 1,000 of them and they can be found all across the island. Hiking trails take you to the lower slopes of the Ma'unga Terevaka volcano where you'll see Rano Raraku, a sweeping crater backdropped by the ocean. Below the rugged landscapes there are some impressive caves to explore, such as Ana Te Pahu. Towards the main town, you’ll see water-sports centres that organise scuba diving and snorkelling trips.
You can fly into Mataveri International Airport in the Hanga Roa area of Easter Island from other parts of Chile including Santiago. The flight from Santiago is about 5 hours. There are taxis at the airport that can drop you to your hostel. Traverse the island’s rocky countryside by hiring a mountain bike from a company in the main town. There’s also the option of renting a car or motorbike.