This week on the Easter Island was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. We thought we would have lots of time to rest and do nothing spending a whole week on this island, but were very busy visiting the various events of the festival and the more famous sites of standing Moai. Besides, from midday to late afternoon, the sun is simply too strong for any major undertaking!
Of course, the highlights of the island are the Moai, their history and the many mysteries around them. What really surprised us was that even in the high season, you can enjoy the different sites in total quietness. The Rapa Nui Museum is a must stop before you set out to see the Moai, because there you find many explanations or at least theories as well as many pieces of information about this culture.
The other highlight definitely was the Tapati Rapa Nui Festival, which was in many ways an outstanding experience. It is one of the most genuine festivals we have experienced so far! The day before we left the whole village only talked about how many points each group had gathered and that Lucy, the queen candidate of the “Blue group”, was the sure winner. Our hosts considered our departure as a true loss, because we participating in the festival would have added 8 points to the blue team. Nobody was more sorry than us for missing the carnival parade!
Even though Easter Island is definitely no budget destination, it is absolutely possible to keep the budget at a bearable level. In one week, we spent 410 Euros or slightly above 58 Euros per day per person. With “only” 30 Euros per night, we chose one of the cheapest places, but the rooms were very airy and we had kitchen-use. This was the most important aspect: since we never ate at a restaurant, we saved a lot of money! Shopping for food in Hanga Roa is very expensive, but prices in restaurants are simply outrageous! So we had great meals with good wines for about 16 Euros per person and day, the price of one main course in many restaurants.
Even during the time of the Tapati Festival in February, there is no need to book ahead: we could choose from several possibilities for every category of accommodation, from the cheapest to the most expensive. The only thing that can be hard to get during these two festival weeks is transportation, but you can always go by cab, which is not much more expensive than renting a car.