The locals are very hospitable and welcome tourists. The culture can be seen in the indigenous songs and dances, thousand year old altars, statues and petroglyphs.
One of the most interesting and unique attractions on Easter Island is the ancient stone carvings that can be found around the island.
These stone figures were carved over the centuries from local quarries. There are many archeological sites and caves that are fun to visit on the island. These stone carvings are collectively referred to as the “Moai”.
One of the most fun times to plan Easter Island vacations is during the annual 10 day long festival called Tapati Rapa Nui Festival. This occurs around the end of January and the whole island participates in the fun.
Various sporting and dancing competitions are a big part of the festivities. The sports are indicative of the basic Polynesian culture and include swimming, rowing and foot racing. There’s a carnival-like atmosphere with parades, dancing, costumes, fireworks and lots of music.
There are several different ways to get around the island to see the sights. Given the undeveloped natural landscape, horseback and hiking are two great ways to explore. The island is small enough that you can hike the length of it in a day.
Hiring a guide is always a good idea to make the best of your experience. For the less adventurous, you can hire an off-road vehicle. Check with the tourist office in Hanga Roa for companies that offer tours.
For horseback riding tours, consider staying in one of the cabins at the Pikera Uri Cabanas. These nicely appointed cabins are located close to the main town of Hanga Roa as well as some of the popular archaeological sites. The Pikera Uri Cabanas offers several horseback riding tours to explore the area.
Another cabin rental facility is Tea Nui. At Tea Nui they can help you with many aspects of your Easter Island vacations. Their comfortable cabins are in down town Hanga Roa. The staff here can help you with both Jeep rentals and also bicycle rentals. They offer full and half-day excursions to various archaeological and ceremonial sites.
Besides the popular stone carvings, there are other activities available for Easter Island vacations. You can hire a boat to take you on a tour of the island coastline and many islets that surround the main island.
Easter Island has a beautiful coastline that is quite dramatic when viewed from the sea. Many of the archaeological sites are also visible from the boat.
There are a several spots where you can enjoy snorkeling and diving. The islets Motu Nui and Motu Iti are the most popular dive locations. The Orca Diving center in Hanga Roa can arrange diving expeditions as well as boat rides.
As for beaches, there’s Anakena Beach in the north and Ovahe in the south. While swimming and surfing are part of the beach fun, these are not the touristy beaches you find at other vacation spots.
Keep in mind that this is a small undeveloped island, so a beach outing more about enjoying the natural beauty of the island than it is about lying in the sand with a Pina Colada.
One of the best companies for planning Easter Island vacations is Rapa Nui Tours. They can help you choose accommodations at several hotels and guest house. They can arrange for tours of the popular spots either privately or in a group setting.
Rapa Nui Tours can also arrange adventure tours that include diving & snorkeling, hiking and biking and also horseback riding tours.