Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island, Chile

For everyone that has been bitten by the travel bug, there are dream destinations, top ‘must-see’ places that we yearn for…one of mine, has always been Easter Island.

One of the most spectacular (if any can be more spectacular than the last) is the Ahu (stone platform upon which some of the heads sit) located at Anakena Beach. Nothing could be help to make more prevalent in your mind your exact  location, as looking up when you swim ashore from the South Pacific Ocean and see this platform of massive carved statues looking out over the beach! Superb!

Anakena Moai, Chile

The beach at Anakena, Easter Island

I was fortunate enough to take the journey to Easter Island in 2013, as part of a 6-week sojourn through South America. Easter Island (Rapa Nui) will enchant anyone interested in its history. Walking amongst the Moai and ahus and motus, in such a rugged setting as this island in the middle of the South Pacific, the fact that Easter Island is “one of the world’s most isolated, yet inhabited islands,” is a great addition to your travel destination accomplishments.

Ahu Tongariki

Ahu Tongariki

As I flew from Lima to Easter Island, it wasn’t lost on me that I was heading for one of the more remote islands in the world. As a venture, explorer and traveller, I couldn’t wait to be that far removed from mainland civilization (as Easter Island has a history and group of inhabitants all to itself), and visit this renowned destination finally.

Heading to Easter Island, one of my happiest flight maps ever


Getting There:

Located in the South Pacific, it is about a 5 & 1/2 hour flight Lima or Santiago de Chile, at flight prices varying from $500-$1500/pp depending on dates of travel. Depending on how windy it is, arrivals and departures are well known to be VERY delayed on occasion, so factor that into your travel plans, as there are some occasions where it could take several days to actually arrive, or depart.

Getting Around:
I did find having a vehicle to drive made life very comfortable and one can easily drive all around the island. There are also bus tours that travellers can take as well as 4-5 day tours, for those who wish to have everything taken care of for them.

Places to Stay:
There are many choices, from camping to luxury. We stayed at Cabanas Christophe, a small guest home with different configurations of apartments with studio, 1-bedroom, 2 bedroom and so forth. A basic breakfast was offered daily, as well as free wifi. In each accommodation are a modern TV, a refrigerator, and a sofa.

Cabanas Christophe, Hanga Roa, Easter Island

The owner Christophe helped me arrange a 2-day car rental at a really reasonable rate, which came in very handy when driving around between all the Ahu’s (otherwise we would have had to take a bus tour or hitchhike, or perhaps mountain-bike – which is totally possible around the small island). There is also free public parking just around the corner from the property (a 2 min walk, if that).

In the evenings you can comfortably sit on the outside patios, walk around the area (some lovely seascapes next door to the Cabanas), or Christophe or his wife will run you into town if there are any nightly events happening, or if you want to dine out at one of the local restaurants – (they are very, very helpful and accommodating to all guests). There are lovely waterfront restaurants that are a short walk away from Cabanas Christophe, including Kotaro (1.0 km), Haka Honu Restaurant (1.8 km), and Makona Restaurant (2.0 km).

The island itself boasts almost 900 heads, some standing and some fallen, but each quarry and ahu more interesting and unique than the last.

Renting a car is a must to go around to see all the various archaeological sites at your own pace, and I do recommend this method. The drive is very easy, cars/traffic are not numerous (though tour buses are), and of course you can also rent a taxi cab to take you around to the different spots. Self-drive is always my choice if available.

This is a fantastic source of information on just about everything Easter Island: http://wikitravel.org/en/Easter_Island

If you would like our assistance planning your travels to this beautiful, exotic, and remote location, please feel free to contact us! We love what we do!

Ecuador to focus efforts on protecting Galapagos Islands

(04/25/2007)

By Johanna Jainchill

Ecuador will evaluate the implementation of measures aimed at protecting the Galapagos Islands from all activities deemed “non-sustainable”, including limiting tourism arrivals to the archipelago, according to a decision made by a meeting of various government agencies in Quito.

“We are fully committed to continuing to preserve the heritage of the Galapagos Archipelago for future generations to enjoy,” said Maria Isabel Salvador, Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism. “We will continue to protect the islands from all non-sustainable activities.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Tourism’s office said that “at present, all tourism activity in the Galapagos Islands is being carried out normally and in accordance with the current regulations that prioritize the conservation of the archipelago’s eco-system.”

The meeting was held with UNESCO representatives, conservation groups and Ecuador’s ministries of environment, tourism and foreign affairs, as well as the director of the National Park of the Galapagos.

Salvador said during the meeting that the Ecuadorian government, led by President Rafael Correa, is “well aware of the threats faced by the Galapagos Islands which led him to declare the archipelago ‘of national priority for the conservation and environmental management’ of its unique ecosystem.”

Tourism to the Galapagos is controlled to preserve its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The Ministry of Tourism said that the Galapagos National Park has the highest budget of any Ecuadorian public institution, and was increased by 31% in 2006 to $11.1 million, which is mostly focused on reinforcing conservation projects in the archipelago.