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.