Famous for its moai statues, Easter Island is a remote island in the Pacific Ocean between Tahiti and South America. Given its location, getting to Easter Island can be a challenge. Only LATAM Airlines flies there, with services only available from Santiago or Papeete once per week. But AFF member akmacca was lucky enough to visit recently, and they’ve taken the time to write a delightful trip report.
akmacca travelled from Santiago to Easter Island as part of a Qantas Oneworld Award booking. This award can be used to fly around the world on Oneworld airlines and comes with up to five stopovers. At the time of booking LATAM Airlines happened to have award availability from Santiago to Easter Island, and our member was able to add this onto the South American leg of their trip! Given the normal price of airfares to Easter Island, that’s a great use of Qantas points.
Easter Island/Rapa Nui – mythical, magical and mysterious. Those colossal stone heads poking out of a sparse terrain had intrigued me for years ever since I saw a National Geographic documentary. As I travelled and explored other parts of the world Easter Island was always there in the back of my mind calling me. I would think about the distant island for a while and then file it away as too hard, too far, too expensive.
All of that changed as I flew into Santiago with Iberia on the second last leg of a Qantas One World 140,00k award flight. All of my previous travels had allowed me to gather enough points to at least get to the start point for my Rapa Nui adventure.
Accommodation on the island is sparse, but our member found a lovely Airbnb host. As well as providing accommodation, this host also hired out a four-wheel drive. While Easter Island is small, it’s not quite small enough to get around easily on foot.
Island life must be rather peaceful! The only traffic jams are caused by horses crossing the road, and none of the buildings on the main street are more than two stories high. The food is also fantastic, especially the fresh seafood.
But of course, the main attraction on Easter Island are the moai statues.
The Moai stand a majestic four metres in height and weigh around 14 tons. The Moai consist of more than just a head they also have a torso though that is usually buried underground which has led many people to believe the stone statues are heads alone. No one knows precisely why the Rapa Nui people undertook such a monumental task of building the Moai. Most scholars suspect that the moai were created to honour ancestors, chiefs, or other distinguished personages, however, no written and little oral history exists on the island, so it’s impossible to be sure.
What amazed me was that I was the only person in the area and this would stay pretty much the same for the duration of my visit. Regularly I was the only person or amongst just a few at these incredible sites.
What else does Easter Island have to offer? Find out in akmacca‘s wonderful trip report: Four Days on Easter Island (Part one)