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Best way to do Easter Island

Dallas, Texas
posts: 13
Best way to do Easter Island

I am planning a trip to Easter Island for March of 2011 for 3 people (adult and 2 teenagers) - what is the BEST way to do and see it all. Where to stay, guides to use, etc. How long should I plan to stay there?

I am also thinking about staying in Santiago on the way home for a few days. What is there to see that is a MUST?

Corning, New York
posts: 20
reviews: 13
11. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

My 16 yr old daughter and I have been back from our trip to Easter Island and Santiago for 2 weeks. We were very happy with our experience and time on the island. We were there 8 days not incl. the day we arrived and went and could have spent more time there. I would advise anyone to stay that many days or more depending on your budget and time available. It is a long way to go for staying a few days. Easter Island is a very unique place, I don't know if there is any place in the word quite like it, and althought small, there are many activites to do. It will take 3 days to see most of the Moai statues. There is a quarry where the Moai were carved, 2 volcano craters, you can go hosreback riding, hiking, diving and there is a small but very nice beach that looks like Hawaii. You can easily spend a day on each of these activities if you like them. You should allow for at least one rain day also, depending on the time of year there. Where you stay and who you use for quides can vary depending on your needs. There are no fancy hotels, fancy restaurants or big tour companies there. There are places that are clean and simple. Most of the people I talked to were happy with thier quide if they were native Rapa Nui. I happened to stay and use for guides a young couple who have a couple cabins to rent. They have a simple website http://www.rapanuiexpeditions.com if you want to contact them. Sabrina is an excellent guide, fluent in english and spanish and will go out of her way to make your time there special. If you contact them, tell them Mike from the eclipse week referrred you. I think you will be happy with their service. It is good to take at least one or two tours with a native Rapa Nui guide to get the feel of the island and the pride the Rapa Nui have in there island. You can then do a bit on your own if you like, but it may be difficult to find your way to things if you have not done a lot of reading on the island or don't at least ask your guide for advise on what is there to see on your own.

Santiago was a different story. Some may not like my opinion and I must admit that it may be bad because I don't speak any spanish, it was very cold weather when we were there and I did not plan or read ahead on it as I was mostly interested in EI. The air polution was the worst of any city in the world I have been. Then you can not walk down the street without cigarettte smoke blowing into your face. None of the buildings there had good heat and we froze most of the time.(yes we brought warm clothes) The museums were small and unimpressive. Some of the architecure downtown was nice but nothing to brag about.I would not consider Santiago a very tourist friendly place. I wanted my daughter to see the Mountains so we took a tour as there was no way to do it on your own. We ended up on a bus that went up the mountain bumber to bumper traffic at 5MPH or stopped for many minures, got dumped off at a ski resort that had so many people there already you could not do any activites or get in to eat a lunch. 2 hrs wasted. Then back down at bumber to bumper with no stops for photos. I only took about 25 pictures that day. A bit of a dissapoinment for someone who likes taking many photos. If one does stay there and can't speak spanish it would probably be good to hire a reasonably priced guide to see the city. I did not do to well on my own and I am very used to traveling on my own. You should be able to see most things worth seeing in a couple days.

Canada
posts: 127
12. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

HI,

If you are going in February, it will be great!!!! Try to book for the Tapeti festival (Feb.4-12??). It is time to book!!! The flight for this gets sold fast.

fozziegirl@excite.com

Canada
posts: 127
13. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

I TOTALLY agree with logman99... we rented a bungalow and it was inexpensive and amazing. We stayed 19 days, and did not see everything. Hard to imagine. I also do not understand how 3-5 days can cut it. If you can stay for AT LEAST a week, great.

We rented a bungalow, and go back each time to the same one. The host has a native husband who does tours, although we rented a taxi (english speaking driver who was native). We have learned so much with a one on one guide and we chose to see one site in the morning, come back for lunch, go to another site in the afternoon, come back for supper and new film, rest, etc. and go to the festival at night under the stars. This way were were not tired out, and got to see each site at a nice pace, and had time to take as many photos of whatever angle we wanted (unobstructed), and not pushed to get on a bus. The guide would take photos of us too. Very nice.

I can see that we got quite a deal as compared to another persons email. We stayed at the bungalow, and cooked what we wanted, ate when we wanted, and if we wanted to eat out, we did so. Yes, you should keep your carry on fairly empty, you can bring food to the island when you stop over at Santiago. There are wonderful grocery stores. We brought cheese, milk, cold cuts, sliced bread, cereal, and frozen lasagne (this kept the rest of the food good for the flight to the island).

We would sit on our veranda and chat with out hosts, learn how the people live, survive, and view life in general. Very enlightening.

I am sure you will have a great trip. What a wonderful gift for your husband.

fozziegirl@excite.com

bracknell
posts: 170
reviews: 89
14. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

Hi fozziegirl,

I am flying to Easter Island on the 26th October (6 night stay) and specifically arranged a 20 hour stop-over in Santiago in order to food shop (and have dinner at Liguria).

I have been to Santiago only once before and spent almost all the time in bed with flu, so really didn't get a chance to see or do anything much.

Do you have any particular recommendations for shopping places in Santiago? Also do you think it worthwhile to pack any liquids (wine/spirits) in the hold luggage (have protection for bottles - so breakage is not a problem).

Many thanks

Vermont
posts: 79
15. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

I spent 2 weeks in Santiago and loved it. I don't think anybody can compare historical sites such as Easter Island with a city like Santiago. They are completely different and you are looking at 2 different things. As far a Santiago is concerned, it depends on what you like and are willing to experience and discover. If I go to NYC and I go straight to the Bronx I won't be very impressed either. It is a mistake to compare different places - just enjoy it. Santiago seemed to me safe, cosmopolitan, clean, and fun.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 6
reviews: 1
16. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

I strongly agree with dancingmolly and chengelh that Easter Island Foundation website provides a lot of useful information and their 5-day plan, which I followed, while on the Island last Jan 2010, was very practical and clever. In this context, I strongly recommend you to spend $25 USD and purchase online:

islandheritage.org/wordpress/?page_id=6

the excellent "The Complete Guide to EASTER ISLAND" by Shawn MsLaughlin. The guide provides a lot of very practical information for visitors, which you do not find even in the Lonely Planet books referring to EI. I found it was good idea to have this book in advance before going to EI. For some reason the book is not available on Easter bIsland.

NYC
posts: 126
reviews: 1
17. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

I am sitting in http://tekarera.com/ right now.. currently there is a 2 bedroom unit/house and a 3 bedroom 2 bath one as well at the main building plus by the time you get here there will be additional rooms etc.. I never really boast about places but the place is great, the owner is great and he provided AMAZING tours and accomdations.. If you haven't found a place to stay yet then I would email him.. Also he was great one days I went out on my own providing maps, tips on trails I wanted to hike and places I wanted to see.. His email is info@tekarera.com and his name is Paul.. you won't be disappointed no matter where you stay or what you do on this island but I definitely felt his accomodations and tours added to the experience in a big way

Canada
posts: 127
18. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

Hi,

Sorry I was not able to reply earlier.

Also sorry to hear you had a flu. This actually happened to me one year, and I cannot take medicine, so I had to spend almost all 7 days in the hotel bed sweating it out. Not fun. My husband went down to the pharmacy close to the hotel and when he saw my name, noticed I was from his country and gave me a wonderful prescription. I was white like a ghost but I was able to get up and see a bit of the city towards the end of the week.

We did go to Easter Island & Santiago two times, so we made up for it on the next trip. There was the telefuniculars, and lots of museums and historical things to see. We also had a car rented, which we drove to Vina del mar one day and Valapraiso another day. We decided to shop for some groceries at Jumbo the night before leaving so we could bring it to Easter Island. We had rented a bungalow and cooked for ourselves. You can buy food there too, but it is much more expensive.

Let me know how your trip went, sorry I was not able to help you.

fozziegirl@excite.com

19. Re: Best way to do Easter Island

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