Cheap Flights to Easter Island
Set in the midst of the deep-blue Pacific Ocean, Easter Island is a remote, intriguing island surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean in all directions. A once-thriving population of expert craftsmen left the island strewn with imposing carved stone masterpieces, each statue testifying to the rich culture and artistry of the former inhabitants. Today, the island beckons travelers to explore its mysteries, and Metaveri International Airport (IPC) provides the perfect introduction to this ancient culture with its decorations of artistic symbols found from all across the island.
Mataveri International Airport (IPC)
Located just 4 miles from the island's only city, Hanga Roa, Mataveri International Airport (IPC) is a small but efficient one-runway, one-terminal airport servicing flights from South America and Tahiti. The only carrier flying to Easter Island is LAN Airlines, which operates occasional flights from Santiago de Chile, Tahiti and Lima, Peru. Known affectionately as "the most remote airport in the world," Mataveri offers basic services to its passengers, including a souvenir shop and snack bar. There is no public transportation on the island, but taxis can carry visitors to Hanga Roa for around $4, and rental cars are also available.
Attractions in Easter Island
It's difficult to travel even a mile on the island without finding a wealth of archaeological remains to explore. Some of the finest examples of statuary are located at Rano Raraku, the extinct volcano that served as a workshop of sorts for the island's carvers. Numerous Moai statues in various stages of completion dot the grassy hillsides, offering excellent opportunities for photography and studying the figures up close.
The finished statues are placed on long plinths called "Ahu," dozens of which can be found all around the perimeter of the island. The most impressive is called Ahu Tongariki, located inside Rapa Nui National Park on the opposite side of the island from Hanga Roa. There are also petroglyphs, ruins of ancient villages and caves to explore although visitors are advised to only go with local guides when spelunking. For visitors feeling overwhelmed by archaeological finds, the beautiful, white sands of Anakena Beach offer a wonderful way to relax. There are also scuba diving tours that visitors to the island can book in town.
Hints and Tips for Visiting Easter Island
The climate on Easter Island holds steady throughout the year with warm days in the 70s and 80s and evenings dropping to the 50s and 60s. May is the island's rainiest month although showers can appear at any time of year.
An all-inclusive ticket to the island's two main archaeological sites can be purchased at the airport at the CONAF office in town. Other sites are free to visit.
Most of the island's food must be imported, aside from the incredible seafood on offer from the island's bountiful waters, so meals will be more expensive than those found in mainland Chile. Visitors should sample some of the local tuna, lobster and octopus expertly prepared by fine local chefs. Meals are around $50 per couple, excluding drinks.