Trip time! Discover the island views, history, and beaches in Easter Island.

Easter Island brings to mind history and mystery. See its giant moai, statues of elongated human-like figures carved from volcanic rock. They rest on stone platforms called ahus and some wear stone headdresses. Learn about the ancient people who created these pieces as well as the explorers who pondered over them centuries later.

The island has about 900 moai, many in and around the Rano Raraku Quarry, with lava from the Rano Raraku volcano. They range in size from about 3 feet (1 meter) to 70 feet (21 meters) tall. Ahu Tongariki has one of the most prestigious displays. As you gaze at these amazing statues, marvel at the primitive engineering that transported the heavy carvings more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) across the island. Archaeologists have determined how the islanders used ropes, logs and human energy to complete this work, but don’t know why.

Explore distinct cultural developments over the last 1,200 years. The date is still debated but experts believe the Polynesians arrived in about A.D. 300 and developed moai starting about 700 A.D. but later destroyed many to build larger ones. After resource depletion and a fierce civil war, the local population dramatically declined. Europeans arrived on Easter Sunday 1722, giving the island its current name. Chile annexed the island, also known as Rapa Nui, in 1888 for sheep farming. Today tourism is the key industry.

Besides its historical significance, Easter Island offers very pleasant South Pacific beach vacation conditions. Travel to Anakena Beach on the northern shore to swim in azure waters the color of lapis lazuli gemstones, laze on the soft white sands under the shade of coconut palms or try bodysurfing. Gaze at the Ahu Nau Nau, with moai that are in exceptional condition after they were buried here in the sand for centuries.

Reach Easter Island by flying from Santiago, Chile, to Mataveri International Airport in the main city of Hanga Roa. Rent a four-wheel drive or use taxis to get around. Join a tour for best moai access and information.

Known for

Historical Buildings, Tours and Hiking

Top Hotels in Easter Island

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa
Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa
5 out of 5
Av Pont S/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
$302
per night
Sep 19 - Sep 20
4.3/5Excellent! (76 reviews)

Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hanga Roa National Park, Pea Beach, and Ana Kai Tangata. Mercado Artesanal Municipal and ...

4.3/5Excellent! (76 reviews)

"I loved the location of the hotel, so close to the ocean. In the morning I could hear the Pacific Ocean. The staff is incredible, very willing to help with anything. The food at all meals is fantastic. The rooms are nice but do need some revamping. Overall I feel that this the hotel to choose if ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 4, 2019

Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa
Image for Taha Tai Hotel
Taha Tai Hotel
3 out of 5
Apina Nui S/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
4.3/5Excellent! (142 reviews)

Situated in Hanga Roa, this hotel is steps from Hanga Roa National Park and Pea Beach. Mercado Artesanal Municipal and Ahu Vai Uri are also within 15 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (142 reviews)

"A pleasant hotel that’s a brisk 5-10 minute walk to the main road. Facilities are great and breakfast was wonderful. Special mention goes to Felipe who works in the restaurant. He is courteous, friendly and has amazing recommendations. A true professional."…"

Reviewed on Sep 8, 2019

Taha Tai Hotel
Image for Inaki Uhi
Inaki Uhi
3 out of 5
Atamu Tekena S/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
$128
per night
Oct 2 - Oct 3
4.3/5Excellent! (88 reviews)

Located in the heart of Hanga Roa, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hanga Roa National Park, Mercado Artesanal Municipal, and Pea Beach. Ana Kai Tangata ...

4.3/5Excellent! (88 reviews)

"This is a very cute local hotel, and the management is very friendly. Although I don't speak Spanish, Marianella used google translate to help us visit! The hotel is in the main street, and within walking distance from the shops, restaurants and boardwalk. I definitely recommend this for a unique ..."…"

Reviewed on Aug 31, 2019

Inaki Uhi

Popular things to do in Easter Island

Anakena Beach
Image for Anakena Beach

Anakena Beach

Relax on this sandy shoreline and learn about its history as the likely entry point for Easter Island’s first settlers many centuries ago.

Ahu Tongariki
Image for Ahu Tongariki

Ahu Tongariki

The largest of its type on Easter Island, this impressive ceremonial platform features 15 huge head-and-torso stone statues lined up in a row.

Rano Raraku
Image for Rano Raraku

Rano Raraku

See a carved stone figure that is almost twice the height of any other statue on Easter Island and hundreds more sculptures at this volcanic crater.

Ahu Akivi
Image for Ahu Akivi

Ahu Akivi

Venture inland to this sanctified site, home to a row of monumental carved stone heads created in the 16th century by the Rapa Nui people. 

Ranu Kau
Image for Ranu Kau

Ranu Kau

Climb to the top of this extinct volcano for spectacular views of the ocean and the rest of this picturesque island.

Ovahe Beach
Image for Ovahe Beach

Ovahe Beach

The pink sand and perfect blue water of this small cove are ideal for relaxing beneath the morning sun of Easter Island. 

Top activities in Easter Island

Ahu Akivi Half-Day Island Tour
Image for Ahu Akivi Half-Day Island Tour

Ahu Akivi Half-Day Island Tour

$63

Rapa Nui National Park, a wildlife sanctuary spread across most of Easter Island and a UNESCO World Heritage site, contains about 900 moai sculptures as well as 300 ahu, or ceremonial platforms, on which the carved figures stand.

Orongo & Rano Kau Half-Day Tour
Image for Orongo & Rano Kau Half-Day Tour

Orongo & Rano Kau Half-Day Tour

$63

After hotel pickup in Hanga Roa, you're driven to the Ahu Vinapu ceremonial complex. The ceremonial center of Vinapú includes one of the largest ahu in Rapa Nui.

Rapa Nui Full-Day Tour Anakena
Image for Rapa Nui Full-Day Tour Anakena

Rapa Nui Full-Day Tour Anakena

$136

On your sightseeing adventure, you'll come across moai, stone giants that on average stand 13 feet (4 meters) tall and weigh 14 tons (13 metric tons). Said to represent ancestral spirits or preeminent tribal figures, some moai are placed upon ahu, or ceremonial sites.

Rapa Nui Dinner & Show
Image for Rapa Nui Dinner & Show

Rapa Nui Dinner & Show

$117

Learn about the Rapa Nui people through their food, song, and dance. Native Polynesian inhabitants of Easter Island, the Rapa Nui make up around 60 percent of the island’s population. Their unique cuisine and vibrant culture is something that must be experienced to be believed.

Private Full-Day Easter Island Moai Monuments Tour
Image for Private Full-Day Easter Island Moai Monuments Tour

Private Full-Day Easter Island Moai Monuments Tour

$200

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Ahu Tahai, Rapa Nui, Easter Island Chile Start the journey by visiting the ahu platforms at Tahai, where the clear morning light brings alive the moai that look over this restored ancestral village of the Rapanui people.

Hanga Roa City Tour
Image for Hanga Roa City Tour

Hanga Roa City Tour

$63

Hugging the coast on the southwest side of Easter Island is the village of Hanga Roa, the capital and most inhabited part of the island. Explore this quaint harbor village and get a taste of local life.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Easter Island

Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere
Image for Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere

Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere

The Southern Hemisphere offers half a world’s worth of weird places to go and wild things to do all winter long.