Easter Island Sights

An adventurous spirit is a prerequisite for visiting Easter Island. Certainly, package tours are available and common, but you only visit a handful of the sights. Tour buses often fly past fascinating, off-the-beaten-path destinations or simply don’t go to places that are harder to access with groups, like the west coast caves of Ana Kai Tangata (bring a flashlight or headlamp). To fully experience

the island, hire a private guide. Better yet, rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle, ATV, scooter, or mountain bike and head out on your own. Even in the height of the peak season you can find secluded spots if you time it well. A comprehensive guide to archaeological sites, including when to best find them empty is James Grant-Peterkin’s "A Companion to Easter Island," available on the island and in Santiago bookstores catering to tourists.

Almost all businesses close for a few hours in the afternoon. Most are open 9 to 1 and 4 to 8, but a few stay open late into the evening. Many are closed Sunday. Smaller restaurants and shops don’t usually accept credit cards. Be aware that outside of Hanga Roa, the only place to buy anything to eat or drink is at Anakena, or at one of the more remote luxury hotels, which are quite off the beaten path.

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Easter Island Sights

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Playa Anakena

  • Beach–Sight

Easter Island's earliest settlers are believed to have landed on idyllic Playa Anakena. Legend has it that the caves in the cliffs overlooking...

Playa Ovahe

  • Beach–Sight

A lovely strip of pink sand, Playa Ovahe isn't as crowded as neighboring Playa Anakena. The fact that most tourists pass it by is what...

Playa Ovahe

  • Beach–Sight

The beautiful cove of pinkish sand at often-overlooked Playa Ovahe is delightful, and the pile of volcanic rocks jutting out into the...

Playa Pea

  • Beach–Sight

Hanga Roa has only two tiny beaches: Playa Pea, a stretch of sand near the bay, and another small beach on the northern edge of the town,...

Puna Pau

  • Geological Site

Scoria, the reddish stone used to make the topknots for the moai, was once excavated at this quarry. About two dozen finished topknots...

Rano Kau

  • Volcano

This huge volcano on the southern tip of the island affords wonderful views of Hanga Roa. The crater, which measures a mile across, holds...

Rano Raraku

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

When it comes to moai, this is the motherlode. Some 400 have been counted at the quarry of this long-extinct volcano, both on the outer...

Rapa Nui Travel

  • Tour–Sight

This large tour company, which runs the usual half- and full-day tours, has been awarded a seal of tourism quality by the local tourism...


  • Public Art (Mural/Sculpture/Statue)

The ancient ceremonial center of Tahai, where much of the annual Tapati Rapa Nui festival takes place, was restored in 1968 by archaeologist...

Toki Tour Aventura

  • Tour–Sight

In addition to group and private tours by car, van, or foot, this company rus a tour that follows the route the moai traversed (with...


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