After waking up on a bench in the airport of Santiago, it was time to check in! After getting some dunking donuts, we entered our 6:00 AM flight for a 5 hours trip to Easter Island!
After landing around 12:00 PM, we straight away got our tickets for the national park. These price for the ticket is 54,000 pesos per person, which is quite expensive (so be aware of that). You usually can pay by card, but the machines were out of order so we had to pay cash (make sure you bring enough cash!). You need the ticket to enter all the sights valid for a period of 10 days, with the sights of Orongo and Rano Raraku only allowed to enter once.
Our hostel picked us up from the Airport, greeting us with a flower necklace and gave a small tour of the area we were at. Our hostel was located next to a Moai, more about that later!
After that Tina and Martina picked us up, we had lunch at a restaurant called Pea, food was OK and not as expensive as we thought, still expensive for the food quality we received in comparison to other places in Chile.
First stop Ana Kai Tangata, a cave with ancient rock paintings and nice view over the cliffs. The cave played an important role in the history of the Island, because of its connection to the Tangata Manu ceremony, the Bird Man cult that established in the 18th century. There are some campings of the Manutara, the birds that used to nest here.
After that we went up the inactive Volcano, the Rano Kau. This volcano is one of my favorite spots on the Island. Being inactive, you see the crater the lava created and a whole eco system developed in it, seeing swamp like lands below.
All the way on top is Orongo, (a place you can only visit once with your ticket!) this place is an old settlement next to the crater and on 300 meters high cliff. Its the place of the first built house and the Islands first king spent his last days here. The village was for ceremonial usage, dating back to the 15th century. A lot of rock art was found on the sight by early visitors, who sadly took all of it back to Europe. The place is also known as the birth ground of the Bird Man ritual, where the locals swam to the Island (Motu Nui) off the shore where the birds used to nest their eggs. Whoever got the first egg became the winner. The houses here are made with flagstones, and are the first ones built of this kind. The view on the crater from here is also astonishing.
We drove to the other side of the Island, going to the only two Sandy beaches. Ovahe is a short walk to a cliff side with a small sandy beach, which looks quite nice but tiny. Anakena is more impressive, with wild horses, palm trees and Moai’s greeting us from the entrance. Here we enjoyed the wild horses running (and pooping) everywhere while we enjoyed a nice cold drink at one of the bars. At night we relaxed, cooked dinner at our hostel and went to bed for a full day Easter Island!
After we woke up the next morning we picked up our own car (the one we booked the day before) and went on a road trip exploring the rest of the island. Our first short stop was Akahanja, a large area which showcased the prehistoric structures showing the characteristics of building. It was not so interesting to be honest, so we quickly drove on towards the Rano Raruku trail.
Once arrived we saw the dozens of Moai’s on the side of the mountain in different shapes from far. This looked promising! Visiting the Rano Raruku trail, basically the Moai statue quarry, you see dozens of different styles and shapes of Moai’s, a good view on the volcano and other historical sights from far, quarries carved out in the volcano’s bedrock and most impressive statues in various status of carving. From being still carved in the rock to finished pieces who never made it to their destination. Highlight is the Piro Piro Moai, a giant head which is the eye catcher on sight and functions as a warm welcome to visitors. Be sure that with your ticket, you are only allowed entrance once to this sight!
After a short break buying souvenirs we arrived at Tongariki where you can find 15 Moai’s lined up next to each other, a great spot for a sunrise or sunset! This is a great place if you love taking photography!
We quickly browsed Papa Vaka, a rock carving sight with several petroglyphs. Not very interesting, but if cool to see if you have the time. After a nice sunset we enjoyed some drinks we awaited for our next day with our good friend, Alfonso!
Day 28 & 29
We started visiting the volcano sight again, showing Alfonso the great view and Orongo. We revisited most of the sights, enjoyed a nice sunset and day 29 morning sunrise at Tongariki which was totally worth it!