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Easter Island Holiday

Search for the meaning of ancient stone sculptures on this small island off Chile’s coast. When you’re not exploring history, enjoy splendid beaches.

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.


Top Easter Island Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 103 properties in Easter Island
Inaki Uhi NZ$266
Reviewed on 31 Aug. 2019
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Inaki Uhi

Inaki Uhi

Atamu Tekena S/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
     
    4.3 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    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 ...

    Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa NZ$564
    Reviewed on 10 Oct. 2019
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    Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa

    Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa

    Av Pont S/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
       
      4.3 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Caring staff, excellent food and great location despite the protest signs.

      Taha Tai Hotel NZ$299
      Reviewed on 2 Oct. 2019
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      Taha Tai Hotel

      Taha Tai Hotel

      Apina Nui S/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
         
        4.3 of 5
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Recommended for a 3 night stay on Easter Island. Friendly and helpful staff, good location and good facilities.

        Tauraa Hotel NZ$279
        Reviewed on 22 Sep. 2019
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        Tauraa Hotel

        Tauraa Hotel

        Atamu Tekena s/n, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
           
          4.1 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Nice property, location is good. Overall, we had great time at Easter Island.

          Hotel Hare Noi Rapa Nui NZ$662
          Reviewed on 24 Sep. 2019
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          Hotel Hare Noi Rapa Nui

          Hotel Hare Noi Rapa Nui

          Av. Hotu Matua S/N, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
             
            4.4 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            A beautiful, magical place with a wonderful staff and delicious food.

            Lemu Lodge Vaihu NZ$407
            Reviewed on 1 Aug. 2019
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            Lemu Lodge Vaihu

            Lemu Lodge Vaihu

               
              5.0 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Very unique hotel, very private and a bit remote from town so very quiet and relaxing. The Tents were very well appointed and outdoor shower was lovely. No fans in the rooms so summer could be quite warm in the tents (we stayed in winter and it was cool but there were thick duvets on the beds). The ...

              Chez Steve Residence Kyle Mio NZ$94
              Reviewed on 16 Jul. 2019
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              Chez Steve Residence Kyle Mio

              Chez Steve Residence Kyle Mio

              Tahai, Hanga Roa
                 
                4.3 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Very clean, nice shower, hot water. Good breakfast every day. Overall good value for money. Rooms are a bit dark.

                Hotel Manavai NZ$244
                Reviewed on 3 Nov. 2018
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                Hotel Manavai

                Hotel Manavai

                Avenida Te Pito Ote Henua 1945, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
                   
                  3.8 of 5
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  The hotel way exceeded our expectation....was comfortable and inviting. Service good and we were happy to have WI-FI Very convenient location near great local restaurants and shopping. Free parking provided right at hotel. The la escaping on the property is wonderful! Took lots of photos of exotic ...

                  Easter Island Flight Deals

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                  Top 10 Things To Do In Easter Island

                  See all 5 activities in Easter Island