Despite the 4.30am alarm, we woke up excited. It was Easter Monday and we were off to Easter Island! Easter Island is one of the most isolated inhabited places in the world. The closest inhabited island is Pitcairn (boasting a huge population of 50 people) almost 2,000kms away. Tahiti is 4,100kms away and it’s 3,700km to the Chilean coast. The island is small at just 24km in length and 12km across at its widest point.
In English we call the island, Easter Island. It’s Isla de Pascua in Spanish or Rapa Nui in the local language. We’ll refer to it from here as Rapa Nui, which seems more appropriate.
We were excited to see the giant statues Rapa Nui is famous for, but we were also looking forward to the tropical island break. Alighting the plane at the small airport, we were happy to be greeted by palm trees and balmy air.
We were staying at the Mihinoa hostel and camping site, which is just outside of town, in a fantastic location with perfect views of the ocean at the front of the property.
On our first afternoon on the island, we took a walk into town to get our bearings and plan our stay. We walked the main street of Hanga Roa (it’s tiny), we spotted our first Moai statue (so many more to come), we meet many of the stray dogs of the island (slightly scary), we watched huge waves crashing onto the rocks (also scary – there was a huge swell) and I even found time for a quick swim in an ocean pool before we headed back to the hostel (my first ocean swim in 5 months!).
That night we were treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets we’d ever seen. Being in such an isolated and open space, the horizon went on forever. The spectacular colours started before the sun went down, and continued long after it had set. We watched the skyline glowing red, pink and gold, which in turn reflected on the waves. It was something special and we were glad to be able to share together, and we took it as a good omen for our 7 days to come on the island.
Rapa Nui Information
When we visited: 7 nights end April 2014
How we got here: Flight from Santiago
Where we stayed: Mihinoa Hostel & Camping. We stayed in the superior double room, which was really nice, and we were lucky enough to have the room with views across the water. Also good kitchen next door.
Food & Drink recommendations: Being so isolated, Rapa Nui is expensive due to the cost of getting most items to the island, so both self-catering and eating out is expensive. We mostly self-catered but when eating out we kept it simple and just had tuna empanadas. We treated ourselves once or twice to some grilled fish and cerviche at the local restaurants, but nowhere fantastic enough to recommend.