Where to Stay on Easter Island: Options for All Budgets

If you are trying to figure out where to stay on Easter island, I have good news for you: it’s not very hard to narrow down your options and find a place because the island and main town are so compact.

Still, you want to have some insight into the hotel situation before booking.

I recently spent over a week on Easter Island and we hopped around to different hotels in different areas of the island, so that we could report back on the best places to stay on Easter Island based on real experiences and not just summarizing reviews.

So below, I’ve broken down our experiences and also included some of the properties we were considering staying at so you can look into those as well.

Where you’ll likely be staying: Hanga Roa

Almost all of the hotels on Easter Island are located in the town of Hanga Roa or its nearby outskirts.

This makes planning a lot easier because you’re not having to choose from several cities like you would in most of their destinations.

You’ll just need to think about things like if you want to be close to the coast, near restaurants, farther from the city, etc.

In reality, as you’ll see below, everything is so close, that even if you are “farther away from it all,” you are still pretty close via a short car ride.

Things to look for


One thing to inquire about is the air conditioning or fan situation in your hotel room. Some lodges may not have these and they may not have the power to support them throughout the night if they rely on solar.

If you’re visiting during the peak of summer, it can get pretty hot and if you don’t have access to a fan or to air conditioning, it can be really difficult to get comfortable if you’re not used to the warmer temps.

If you have the room in your luggage, it might be helpful to bring a battery-powered portable fan with you just in case you end up getting too hot. Luckily, some of the hotels have really good air conditioning units and it’s possible to cool down your room.


The other thing you want to think about is the internet situation.

Luckily, Easter Island recently added Starlink so some places have very fast internet connections. If you don’t have enhanced Internet, you could be dealing with extraordinarily slow connections. For people planning to get off the grid that could be a very good thing.

But if you’re like me and need to remain reasonably connected, some of the hotels can make that borderline impossible! Hopefully, as Starlink continues to roll out on the island more hotels will pick it up.

Hotel locations and getting around

Getting to and from the airport

Lots of the hotels will offer a transfer service from the airport to the hotel, often included in your price.

If you’re staying in town, the airport is literally just a few minutes away, so it’s a very short journey.

Even if you are staying in one of the rural areas, it’s still probably only about 15 to 20 minutes away. I wouldn’t necessarily prioritize getting a hotel close to the airport but there are some hotels that are extremely close like Hotel Puku Vai.

There’s also a little pocket of hotels near Ana Kai Tanata at the west end of the airport, which is a really beautiful area to explore. If you stay near here, you’ll also be close to Mirador Rano Kau and the hiking trail that goes up and down into the crater.

Getting to the city

The town of Hanga Roa is very small and basically has one main road. Here you will find a lot of different mini-markets, shops, restaurants, etc. Think of it as downtown Hanga Roa.

Unless you are staying on the outskirts of the city then you should be able to get to that main area within about a 10 to 20 minute walk.

A lot of the restaurants will be on this main road but you can also find a lot of them near Playa Poko Poko which is along the coast.

Easter Island hotels near beaches

You might be drawn to the idea of staying at a hotel right by the beach but you don’t really have that option on Easter Island.

There are some places with nice ocean views like the Iorana Hotel, Kona Koa, etc. and some hotels are very close to some swimming and snorkeling spots like Hotel Boutique La Perouse but you’re not going to find high-rise hotels overlooking beaches like you would in some place like Hawaii.

Instead, to access the best beaches you’ll have to drive out from the city which brings me to the next point.

Playa Poko Poko

Getting to main attractions

To get to the most of the main attractions on the island you are going to have to venture “far” out of the town.

For example, if you want to get to the main beach of the island, Anakena Beach, it’s about a 20 to 25 minute drive. This is also the case if you want to get to Rano Raraku, Ahu Tongariki, etc.

For this reason, when you visit Easter Island you need a vehicle to get around or you need someone to take you around. Uber is not an option.

Some of the hotels may allow you to rent a vehicle through them. Other times, they will work with a tour provider who can pick you up and take you around. So this is something to be thinking about when choosing your lodging.

We chose to just rent a vehicle for the entire duration of our stay. That gave us the ultimate freedom to explore the island whenever we wanted and I thought it was a great decision looking back, although the company we went through left some to be desired.

We rented through Insular rental car company and while the car was mostly fine, the service was a bit iffy.

They “accidentally” canceled our booking after the refund cut-off date (but would not respond to any of our emails even though we had pre-paid), they told us at booking they would deliver the car and then said they couldn’t, and then when we were able to get over to the rental car building they told us it would be only five minutes and it ended up being like 45 minutes. It just felt very disorganized.

Some people do get around via bicycle or some other type of motorized vehicle such as ATV so those are also options.

Ahu Tongariki
Ahu Tongariki

Related Easter Island content:

Luxury hotels on Easter Island

If you want to have a bonafide luxury hotel experience while on Easter Island there are basically only two established hotels in that category I’m aware of.

First, there is the Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa, which we stayed a couple of nights at. The service at this hotel was great and it has a beautiful and unique design inspired by Orongo, the ancient village found at Rano Kau. It’s also pretty equipped with multiple restaurants, a bar, pool, gym, and spa.

They had only been re-opened for a few months when we visited so they were still finding their stride, but I’m sure as time goes by the experience will be smoother.

Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa.

Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa can go for $500+/night and it even has an all-inclusive option that includes food along with excursions, so it can actually be a pretty good deal depending on how you find the price. You can read our full review of that hotel here.

There is also the Explora Rapa Nui, which is located farther from the city and has some pretty nice ocean views (from a distance). We tried to check out this hotel during our stay but it was tucked away on the hillside — it definitely has a very secluded feel from what I could tell. This hotel is even more pricey at around $1,800 per night.

I saw a couple of other hotels with high price tags but they did not have the established reviews for me to feel good about booking with them or recommending them.

Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa.

Mid-tier hotels

If you’re thinking about spending somewhere in the middle tier range between $200 and $400 per night, here are some options:

  • Kona Koa
  • Taha Tai Hotel
  • Hotel Hare Uta
  • Iorana Hotel
  • Hotel Puku Vai
  • Hare Nua Hotel Boutique

We stayed at the Kona Koa Lodge which is one of the more remote hotels. It’s located farther away from the city than almost all of the hotels on the island but you’re still relatively close as you can get to the “city” in about 10 minutes while driving.

This distance gives it a very peaceful vibe. Moreover, the bungalows, which are fully equipped with mini-kitchens and private bathrooms, face west so you can enjoy those awesome Polynesian sunsets right from your patio.

There are only a few bungalows and the owners give each guest special attention to help them get acquainted with the island. Moreover, they are only steps away or are reachable by phone in case you need them for anything.

I really enjoyed the four nights we stayed with them and if you want something a bit removed from the city life, Kona Koa Lodge is an exceptional choice. You can read the full review here. Rates are around $250/night.

View from Kona Koa Lodge.

We also stayed at the Taha Tai Hotel. This hotel is located right in the city very close to Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa and only about a five minute walk to the main street area.

The owner was very friendly and we enjoyed the property. Rooms were very spacious and cool with good AC. They even had TVs!

Taha Tai Hotel.

They also have a really nice pool area. In addition to hotel rooms, I believe they also have villa-type lodging.

Taha Tai Hotel.

Budget hotels

You can find quite a few hotels and hostels for under $100.

We did not experiment with any budget properties but I did see quite a few like: Camping y Hostal Tipanie Moana, La casa del Kori, Cabañas Henua Iti, and Hostal Marari.

The only thing I did not like about some of the budget options is that they did not have many photos or reviews so in some cases it could be hard to know what you are getting into.

Final word

Choosing a place to stay in Easter Island is not that difficult because your options are fairly limited.

Once you decide on a budget, chances are there will only be a few hotels that stick out based on your preferences, photos, and reviews.

I really enjoyed Kona Koa Lodge and for the luxury experience, I also would recommend Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa.

Is Easter Island a Wonder of the World?

If there’s one place in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that seems like it would qualify as a wonder of the world, it’s probably Easter Island.

But is Easter Island and its stone statues (called moai) actually a wonder of the world?

Below, we will explore this question and dive into some of the details to better understand what counts as a wonder of the world.

Is Easter Island a wonder of the world?

Easter Island is not considered one of the 7 wonders of the world by the leading authorities on natural wonder designation. With that said, Easter Island’s moai have still been recognized as one of the top wonders of the world and it could be argued that they are the 8th wonder of the world.

Keep reading to find out more!

What are the wonders of the world?

The original Seven Ancient Wonders of the World were seemingly designated by a few different people but one of these could’ve been Philo of Byzantium’s work in 225 B.C. called On The Seven Wonders.

These sites were:

  • Temple of Zeus at Olympia
  • Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  • Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  • Colossus of Rhodes
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • Pharos of Alexandria
  • Pyramids of Giza

If somebody tells you that they have visited the seven ancient wonders of the world, ask them if you can borrow their time machine because the only one of these seven wonders that still exists is the pyramids of Giza.

In fact, there is even debate if some of these ever existed at all!

But more recently, a new global initiative took place to allow the public to vote on the seven wonders of the world but also appeared to use an expert panel selection system.

This platform considered over 100 million votes and they arrived at the following new 7 wonders of the world:

  • Great Wall of China
  • Colosseum
  • Taj Mahal
  • Chichen Itza
  • Petra
  • Machu Picchu
  • Christ the Redeemer

All of these still exist today but you’ll see no Easter Island on that list.

(It’s worth noting that there are several other types of “greatest wonder” lists, including some that focus on natural wonders or specific types of engineering achievements.)

Even though Easter Island didn’t make it as one of the new 7 wonders, it still made it in as one of the top 21 finalists.

Initially, there was a list of 176 sites and that was reduced to 77. That figure was was further reduced to 21 in 2006 and Easter Island moais were one of the items on that list.

It’s also reported that the Easter Island moais finished 8th, which I guess technically would qualify them as an “eighth wonder of the world.”

So there are a few things to say about Easter Island’s designation.

First, the designation for Easter Island is a little bit “looser” than other sites.

That’s because it is specifically the Easter Island moai that was on the list — not the entire island.

That’s interesting because there are roughly 1,000 of these moai statues found all around the island in various shapes and sizes.

Some have been preserved very well, others have been partially restored, and then there are many that are basically just ruins.

Some other candidates on the list are somewhat similar to the Easter Island moai like the Great Wall of China that has several different parts (in various stages of preservation) but a lot of the names on the list are specific sites with clearly defined borders and boundaries.

That could be one reason why Easter Island did not end up on the final 7 list. The designation is not quite as “clean” as it is for other places.

But still, the fact that it landed in the top 21 (and likely the top 8) of all places located around the world is still extremely impressive.

It is right up there with other sites like Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower, and Sydney Opera House, in terms of being universally recognized.

Even if people don’t know the name “Easter Island” or “Rapa Nui” they recognize the statues and probably associate them with “somewhere” in Polynesia.

In the end, while I fully appreciate what New 7 Wonders has done (they’ve done a lot more than create lists) a list of seven wonders is a completely arbitrary (and outdated) cut off in my opinion.

While we have pretty much all grown up with the familiar idea of “seven wonders of the world,” it’s a pretty wild assumption that there would only be seven sites in the world in a league of their own and deserving of such a classification.

This is especially true when you think about the fact that the ancients initially picked out their seven wonders from such a tiny region of the world since they had not discovered other parts of the globe yet.

Our world in the 21st century is so vastly different from what it was 2,000 years ago that it’s kind of crazy we even still try to reduce all of our most amazing places to seven like the ancients did.

I highly doubt that if the ancient Greeks or Romans had access to today’s sites, they would have ever thought about stopping at a “top 7” list.

Consider that when putting these travel lists together the ancient Greeks spoke of “theamata” (θεάματα), which simply means “sights” or “things to be seen.”

To me, it’s more about thinking about what places make up the most fascinating sites in the known world, regardless of how long that list gets.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s value in making special lists for the most fascinating places. And I get it, it’s fun to debate and think about the “7 wonders,” check them off a bucket list, etc.

My argument is just that there are probably dozens of places that will fascinate the masses at an optimal level, so why leave so many out? Just for the sake of tradition? Because 7 is catchy or easy to remember?

I don’t know how many places would be on a modern equivalent of the Greeks’ “things to be seen” list but I have to believe it would be more than seven.

And without a doubt, I believe Easter Island would be on this list.

Why is that?

Let’s take a look.

Why Easter Island should be a natural wonder

First, I just think the fact that Easter Island existed as an inhabited island for centuries is very notable from a human achievement standpoint.

That Polynesians even located this tiny island in the vast Pacific is monumentally impressive enough to begin with.

But it’s the moai culture that stands out above all else, especially when you understand what it entailed.

These statues were designed to represent the ancestors of the inhabitants of Easter Island.

Not just in a way that remembered them but in a way that captured supernatural power that could be used to protect their clans or community. This power was called “mana.”

These statues were huge and heavy. The average height was roughly 13 feet but some were much larger.

The biggest one to make it to a platform at Te Pito Kura stood 10 meters tall and probably weighed 80 tons or more, so perhaps around half the weight of a 747.

In the quarry, there was one moai being built that would’ve stood close to 70 feet tall!

The largest moai statue to make it to a platform (now broken in two).

Now think about how the moai were moved several miles through hilly terrain all around the island, possibly being “walked.”

For large moai, this could have involved hundreds of people utilizing a sophisticated system of ropes and coordinated balancing — a truly underrated feat that probably took untold hours of trial and error.

This is evident by all the road moai that never made it to their final destination.

About 300 made it to their final destinations (ahus) but about 100 are found en route to ahus. That’s a very high failure rate which further shows the difficulty of their work.

Imagine having to wait a year for a sculpture to be finished only for it to fall over during transport and then being forced to abandon it and start over.

It had to have been an absolutely grueling process sometimes, especially considering the spiritual significance of the statues.

At the end of their journey, the moai would eventually be placed on a raised ahu platform and then have a huge and heavy hat (pukao) placed on top of them to finish off the job, all of which sounds massively complicated and risky to execute.

This entire system and all the requisite skills of the moai culture were developed in isolation and persisted for a few hundred years — longer than the existence of the US. (There is some debate as to when exactly these were created but they were generally thought to be created between 1,100 and 1,650 AD.)

There may have been some limited contact with South America or other cultures but based on the research I’ve seen, the evidence suggests that the Rapa Nui existed largely without much outside influence.

That’s one of the crucial factors I think about.

Consider that in 100 AD Rome had a population of over 1,000,000 and even ancient Egypt had millions of people.

That’s a very different type of environment for fostering ideas, developing engineering, and of course accessing trade and resources (slavery is obviously a major consideration, too).

So when you consider the level of construction and engineering that went on in Easter Island — with such an isolated and small population — it’s even more impressive what they were able to accomplish and it says that much more about human achievement and creativity.

I think the biggest case against Easter Island landing on the list is just the damage that was done to the moai.

Initially, these statues represented ancestors who had supernatural power to protect their people. But overtime, the people in the island faced tough times including things like starvation and battles over resources.

This ultimately led to them rejecting their stone ancestors and it’s probably the main reason why so many statues were toppled over.

Other events like earthquakes and tsunamis also contributed to damage to these so lots of the moai had to undergo restoration efforts.

They lost the coral eyes that once fit into their face, many lost their hats, and several were broken. A lot of the restoration efforts that begin around the 1950s have been very successful. Lots of the statues are beautifully preserved or “put back in place.”

However, even the Great Pyramids are missing much of the original look and it’s not hard to notice the significant sections missing from other sites like the Colosseum in Rome. So I don’t think the damage is much of a factor for not including Easter Island.

Final word

Easter Island is not considered one of the seven wonders of the world by the leading authorities on this subject. However, the moai did make it into the top 21 finalists for the new wonders of the world and likely landed at the #8 spot.

Ultimately, I question the arbitrary cut off at seven when designating modern “wonders of the world” and fully believe that Easter Island should qualify as one of the most fascinating places to visit on the globe a.k.a. a wonder of the world.

Where Is Easter Island Located? Interesting Facts About Rapa Nui’s Geography

Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui locally) is one of the most interesting locations in the world because of its mysterious history and remoteness.

But its unique position as a boundary for major geographic areas like Polynesia and Oceania also make it an interesting location to study.

Below, I’ll give you some insight on where is the island is located and talk about some of the cool facts related to its unique position on the globe!

Where is Easter Island?

Easter Island is located about 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile and 2,500 miles east of Tahiti. At only 64 square miles (about ten times smaller than Oahu), it’s very easy to miss, which is yet another reason why it remains one of the most remote islands in the world.

In fact, the area is so remote and located so close to Point Nemo (the farthest point from land), that NASA actually set up an emergency space shuttle landing strip on the island!

Red pin showing location of Easter Island. Map via Google Maps.

The Easter Island GPS coordinates are: 27.1127° S, 109.3497° W, which means that Easter Island is directly south of Chiricahua National Monument near Tucson, Arizona.

Its latitude also means that the island is just under the “tropic zone” and falls under a subtropical climate. So compared to a place like Hawaii, the temperatures actually get much cooler with lows dropping into the lower 60s in winter.

If you want to visit Easter Island by air, chances are you will be flying through Santiago, Chile. Since Easter Island is considered a special territory of Chile, this means that it’s treated as a domestic flight.

Before arriving at the island you have to comply with some specific requirements and present special documents and you can read more about those here.

Related Easter Island content:

Interesting things about the location of Easter island

It makes up a corner of Polynesia

The geographic region of Polynesia is typically represented in a large triangle that spans across the vast Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Hawaii to Easter island. It covers a huge chunk of the ocean and over 1,000 islands.

Map via Wikipedia (creative commons).

Easter Island (also called Rapa Nui) marks the easternmost corner of the Polynesian triangle (which is fitting considering that the island also takes on a triangular shape).

Map via Wikipedia (creative commons).

Some believe that Easter Island was the final corner of Polynesia that was settled by humans although there is debate about when exactly that happened.

This means that if you were to follow the commonly believed path of human migration out of Africa and through Asia, Easter Island would have been possibly one of the last and/or most remote destinations reached in mankind’s spread across the globe over the last 200,000 years.

Image via Nat Geo.

Easternmost point of Oceania

Another interesting thing about the location of Easter Island is that it’s found at the easternmost point of Oceania.

It’s worth noting that not everyone agrees on exactly what makes up Oceania.

In fact, people don’t even agree on whether or not Oceania is a continent!

At the very least, Oceania is a region that makes up a large portion of the South and North Pacific Ocean. This would include: Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

You need to head to the east side of the island on Poike, near an area called Cape Cumming to see this point.

This is a pretty remote area of the island and it’s not clear to me that it’s accessible although if you go with a local guide who is knowledgeable, they can probably help you get there (or very close).

Since that point represents the easternmost point of Oceania, it also would be the easternmost point of Polynesia.

Map via Wikipedia (creative commons).

Westernmost point in Chile and entire South America

Because Easter Island is way out in the middle of nowhere and is a part of Chile, it represents the westernmost point of Chile and of all of South America.

Specifically, this point is found at Motu Nui, which was an important site for the Tangata manu (“Bird Man”) cult. It looks like such a small chunk of rock but it actually is part of the 6,000+ foot mountain that is covered by the sea.

You can get a great view of Motu Nui when you visit ancient village Orongo situated on top of the dormant volcano, Rano Kau. Or, if you want to get more close to this point you can take a boat tour or potentially even do a dive or snorkel trip.

Final word

Easter Island has some pretty fascinating history and its geography is also pretty interesting.

Once you realize where the island sits geographically, you realize just how remote this place truly is.

It’s also really cool to think about its position as a boundary marker for huge geographic areas, despite it being such a small place.

Do the Easter Island Heads Have Bodies?

You’ve probably seen any number of YouTube thumbnails or header images with a huge Easter Island statue, known as a “moai,” being excavated with a huge and (likely photoshopped) stone body being revealed.

I know I have seen my fair share of these images and this has led to a lot of people asking questions like do the Easter Island heads have bodies?

In this article, I want to clarify the answer to that question but also clarify what I think is a common misconception about our knowledge related to Easter Island.

Do the Easter Island heads have bodies?

Yes, the Easter Island heads have bodies.

However, this question is often accompanied by a narrative suggesting that this knowledge was gained by some type of major (recent) discovery when in fact it would have always been known to anyone familiar with the island or even just someone casually visiting.

Let me explain below.

The weird and nonsensical narrative that started this question

There is this narrative that exists that goes something like this.

Some team of excavators arrive on Easter Island one day (in recent memory) and decide to dig up the ground surrounding a moai statue.

Upon excavating, they discover that the moai statue does not just consist of a head but has an entire “full body” connected to it! Unbelievable!

This was apparently some type of major archaeological revelation that changed our understanding of the moai and Easter Island as a whole.

But this narrative does not make sense when you look at the facts.

Why this revelation never took place

First, consider that these moai were first built over the span of a few hundred years. There is some debate as to when exactly these were created but they were generally thought to be created between 1,100 and 1,650 AD.

(So the statues are likely not thousands of years old as some also believe.)

These statues were designed to represent the ancestors of the inhabitants of Easter Island.

Not just in a way that remembered them but in a way that captured supernatural power that could be used to protect their clans or community. This power was called “mana.”

Indeed, this is probably why the vast majority of the moai don’t face out towards the ocean – they needed to keep a watchful eye on their descendants.

Anyway, when these statues were created they were created with “full bodies.”

Yes, the heads were way oversized but the bodies had arms, hands, and were often decorated with art and tattoos and symbols. There were even these cool hats called pukao that were placed on top of them along with white corals eyes.

I should clarify that when I say “body” I mostly mean a trunk with flat arms and hands. Think body like a bowling pin.

Most of them always seem to have taken on a universal male shape although there were some feminine moai. Also, a few select moai do have feet and even “junk in the trunk” although that was rare to see.

Some of these statues were transported miles away from the quarry that they were carved out from.

Many believe that they were basically “walked” by using a system of ropes and a lot of muscle which is one of the most impressive human feats in all of history if you ask me.

The statues would be transported to platforms called ahu and that is where you could find a row of statues overlooking a local village.

Eventually, the inhabitants sadly seemed to have turned against the statues.

Perhaps it was famine, disease, or something else but it seems that the inhabitants rebelled against these ancestral statues and eventually toppled them over.

Other natural events like earthquakes or tsunamis could’ve also played a role in the toppling of many of these. But I think it’s pretty clear that the reverence for the moai was largely lost at some point and that resulted in many of these coming down.

As Europeans started to arrive on the island in the 18th century, they found some statues standing but lots of them toppled over.

At no point during this time would the original inhabitants or European explorers have thought the statues were commonly just heads.

Instead, they would have seen the moai’s entire body like the moai that was taken to the British Museum in 1868 and put on display for everyone to see the body.

Easter Island Statue British Museum
Easter Island Statue

Now, as you get close to the quarry, known as Rano Raraku, where the vast majority of statues were carved you will find a lot of statues covered up to their chest or chin.

If you were blindfolded and then just dropped on Rano Raraku’s slopes in front of one of these, you may not have thought that the statues have a full body.

But anyone who arrived on Easter Island within the last 1,000 years would have seen the statues toppled over or standing and would have instantly recognized that the statues typically have full bodies.

In addition, any scientist (or team of explorers) arriving on the island would surely have also known this by the time they saw a buried moai.

There have been many excavations on the island and they have dug up statues that were completely buried or partially submerged.

This, I’m sure, has led to a better understanding of the shapes and designs of the moai and probably the Rapa Nui culture but it doesn’t make sense that any explorer would have been shocked to find a body below one of the Easter Island heads as is commonly portrayed.

That’s because there were dozens and dozens of full body moai that could be found scattered all around the island. Moreover, the quarry where the statues are carved is full of incomplete moai (with bodies) that were essentially frozen in time.

So one would be able to easily deduce that the statues were always created with the intention of them having a full body.

Perhaps the excavated moai bodies could’ve been bigger, wider, or better preserved than originally thought but I don’t see how anyone could have ever seriously questioned whether or not there was a body under the ground or not.

Indeed, the surprise would have been if there was only a head!

Where did this idea come from?

So where did this idea come from that society was all of a sudden shocked by the existence of a full body moai?

That’s a really good question.

My guess is just that images at some point surfaced of the excavations at Easter Island.

Since so few people have actually visited the island or seen the standing moai on ahus (which were not restored until the 1960s and even more recently), all it would take is one publication to post some type of clickbait type of image and headline that made it look like as if some grand discovery had recently been made.

Easter Island heads, like the emoji 🗿, also became a thing in pop culture and so this “revelation” narrative easily found some footing and millions were introduced to it.

So there you have it.

Yes, the statues on Easter Island are more than just heads and have bodies.

And no, there should never have been any serious doubts that the “head statues” had bodies.

That was just some narrative that caught traction and that still has traction today, largely because of its clickbait potential.

Personally, I certainly understand why lots of people would be surprised to find out that there are full body moai (because of the fake narratives out there).

But when I see some platforms trying to promote some type of recent major discovery that never actually happened it’s just annoying and often just contributes to a false understanding about this place’s history.

I think the real story about these moai, which hits on their unbelievable human engineering, mysterious demise, and tireless restoration efforts, is much more fascinating than some fictitious discovery.

If you have interest in visiting the island and learning more about this history, be sure to check out these resources:

The Best Places to See on Easter Island

Despite Easter Island being so small, there are a lot of places worth exploring here.

With so many different moai, ahus, and caves, you can easily get overwhelmed with options and lost in the rich history and fascinating stories.

So below, I have highlighted some of the best places to see on Easter Island.

I’ve also provided some historical insight into some of these spots so that you’ll better understand the significance of these sites before you visit. Trust me, it really pays to have some insight when visiting a place like this!

Overview of the Best Places to See on Easter Island

Below you will find over 30 places to see on Easter Island (or in some cases like scuba diving just “things to do”). I believe these are the most “worth it” sites to see and furthermore that these will give you a very well-rounded set of experiences.

We experienced virtually all of these places and things and some of them are places we found that were not even listed on any maps or recommended by local tour guides!

To visit some of the places below, you will need a guide and not all of these places are open 24 hours.

This means that you want to do some planning and put together an itinerary that works within the amount of time you have to visit Easter Island.

Easter Island related content

You may already be aware but Easter Island is not the easiest place on the planet to visit for a few reasons.

Here are some additional articles you may find helpful when preparing for your visit:

With all of that out-of-the-way, let’s jump into the different places you’ll want to visit!

Rano Raraku

When the average persons thinks of Easter Island, chances are they are conjuring up images of Rano Raraku.

This is the birthplace of virtually all of the moai. It was here at this quarry known as Rano Raraku where the vast majority of the moai were carved out of tuff (volcanic ash) and then began their downhill journey, usually to an area along the coast.

The smooth hillsides of this volcanic crater are covered with moai of various sizes and there is just something majestic about strolling through this area — I only spent 45 minutes here but I could’ve easily hung around for a couple of hours.

It’s estimated that there are about 400 statues located around Rano Raraku, so this place has by the far the highest concentration of moai.

To fully explore Rano Raraku it’s somewhat of a miniature hike so be prepared for some steps but nothing too strenuous.

I particularly liked seeing some of the huge moai still unfinished, including the largest one which would have stood an unimaginable 60 to 70 feet tall! You really get the feeling of history being frozen in time at this place like no other.

Something extra fascinating about Rano Raraku is that there is a lake on top of it that recently went dry. In fact, that is where a moai was discovered while we were visiting the island!

This is one of the destinations that you only can visit one time per park entry pass so make sure that you give yourself plenty of time and that you visit when you have all your energy.

If you only have a short amount of time on Easter Island then you have got to see Rano Raraku — there’s simply is no way around it!

Ahu Tongariki

Ahu Tongariki, which can be viewed from the hill sides of nearby Rano Raraku, is one of the most popular sites on Easter Island.

The largest ahu on the island, you’ll find a row of 15 stone giants towering along the horizon including the largest one erected on the island which weighs a whopping 86 tons! Like some other ahus, this one is oriented to the sunrise on the summer solstice.

Ahu Tongariki

Not only can you appreciate Ahu Tongariki from the front but take a loop path around the back which gives you an entirely different perspective.

Ahu Tongariki required decades of restoration work after a powerful tsunami in the 1960s caused a great deal of damage to the ahu. What you’re seeing today is a relatively recent product!

Ahu Tongariki

Ahu Tongariki is THE spot where people convene for the sunrise.

There’s a small mound in front of the ahu and if you get there early enough you can lock down that spot. But there is plenty of space to get a great view of the sunrise here.

Before the sun emerges, look for a bright “star” that is probably actually the planet mercury as seen in the photo below.

Ahu Tongariki

I would recommend that you get here 30 minutes to an hour before astronomical twilight ends so that you can stargaze under some of the darkest skies you’ve ever seen: Bortle 1 skies!

We were fortunate enough to watch the Milky Way rise behind these beautiful moai statues and it was a sight I’ll surely never forget.

Ahu Tongariki milky way
Ahu Tongariki

If you are interested in stargazing there is a stargazing tour where you can actually use a telescope to admire the night sky. Unfortunately, availability did not line up for us so we just did our own stargazing which was still very impressive to see.

Easter Island is in the Southern Hemisphere so for people coming from the Northern Hemisphere (US, Europe, etc.), you can observe a much different night sky.

If you don’t know much about stargazing, here’s what to look for:

  • Southern half of Milky Way Galaxy
  • Carina Nebula
  • Southern Cross
  • Magellanic Clouds (two cloud-like things pictured below)

Ahu Tahai

There are quite a few places worth catching the sunset on Easter Island and Ahu Tahai is probably the most popular.

We checked out the site on a couple of different evenings and one of those nights blessed us with a sensational sunset. You likely will run into some crowds here but every night that we visited, the crowds were never that bad.

Ahu Tahai

This is also one of the few places where you will see a standing moai with restored eyes. These were typically one of the last things added to a moai after it arrived at its ahu.

There’s something about those white eyes that make the moai take on a completely different appearance, especially with a magnificent sunset in the background!

Ahu Tahai

Ahu Tahai

The other great thing about Ahu Tahai is that you don’t need to have a guide with you and it is open all night so it’s also a great place for stargazing (although there is some nearby light pollution).

Mirador Hanga Kioe

If you want a more low-key sunset spot then head to Mirador Hanga Kioe.

It’s just a little bit up the road from Ahu Tahai and it’s another spot that does not require a guide. I like this spot because it primarily features a single moai and it’s also very easy to access.

We watched the sunset here the first night of our trip and there were only a couple of other people in this wide-open area. It was a very still and spiritual type of feeling compared to the more festive oriented Ahu Tahai.

The light pollution over here is also less of an issue so this could be a better place for stargazing or astrophotography.

The blowhole

Just a little up the way from Mirador Hanga Kioe is a cool little blowhole that you can get up close to.

We randomly stumbled upon this so you probably won’t find this on a map or local guide books. It’s found right about -27.128737090229826, -109.424727846241. It seemed to be firing away around low tide but I’m not sure if it also puts on a performance around high tide. Perhaps it’s even more impressive then!

This is also just a cool spot to go tide pooling and to admire the rocky coastline. We found lots of sea urchins, crabs, and some really cool coral fragments. (Of course, you can’t take these with you.)

Go to a dance show

Another thing that I would consider a must to do is to attend an evening dance show. Music and dancing is big here and the shows are a sight to behold.

Personally, I enjoy luaus in Hawaii but these Polynesian shows are a little bit different.

They are smaller and more intimate than your typical luau, so it’s easier to get up close and personal with the performers which I really liked. The shows also had more of a “primitive” feel to them with less reliance on the spectacles.

The show that we saw was Te Ra’ai, which might be the most popular.

They offer a full package or you can participate in a traditional dinner. We opted just for the show. Make sure you don’t turn down your opportunity for some face painting and a traditional head dress!

Te Ra’ai dance show.

Other shows to look at to attending include Kari-Kari, Te Moana, and Vai Te Mihi. We actually were able to enjoy a surprise outdoor show by Kari-Kari at our hotel which I really enjoyed. They literally stopped traffic which was pretty funny!

Kari-Kari dance show.

You can talk to your tour guides and locals about which show is best but chances are you’ll end up getting recommendations for all of them!

Note: Sometimes they may not have enough audience members to put on the show for the night so you may have to get confirmation just before the show starts in some cases.


Orongo is a ceremonial village found on the rim of the Rano Kau volcano and is one of the most significant sites on Easter Island.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it served as the hub for the Tangata Manu or “Birdman” cult. After the moai culture declined sometime in the 16th century, the “Birdman” ceremonies took place here.

Clan members climbed down the treacherous cliff side and made a swim to the islet of Motu Nui, where they would attempt to recover the first sooty tern egg of the season. Then they’d swim back and climb back up the cliff.

The first person to return with an intact egg was declared the Tangata Manu or “Birdman” and earned the right to rule the island for the following year.

As you wander atop the cliff sides, you’ll get up close views of the stone houses (hare paenga). These were used by the competitors during the ceremony, which I was told lasted up to a month.

Your tour guide should also help point out some of the petroglyphs or rock carvings depicting the Tangata Manu and then eventually show you an amazing view of the crater.

Note: You can only visit Orongo one time per park pass.

Mirador Rano Kau

Mirador Rano Kau is the lookout point for the Rano Kau crater that has the added bonus of a beautiful ocean view in the background.

You definitely want to stop by after a visit to Orongo but the great thing about the spot is that unlike Orongo, you don’t need a guide.

This is also where the trail drops down into the crater so if you are feeling adventurous you can give that trail a shot.

Mirador Rano Kau
Mirador Rano Kau

Ana Kakenga

Ana Kakenga was one of the major highlights of the trip for me. It’s probably the most iconic lava tube on Easter Island. If you just want to see this cave, it’s about a 2.25 mile round-trip hike with just a small amount of elevation gain.

Hopefully, your guide will take you along the coast so that you can admire the impressive cliff views but be careful about getting too close. Also, make sure you don’t roll your ankles on the uneven terrain.

There is no official trail along the coast — you just sort of find your own route. But on your way back, you can walk along the road which is a much easier path with less risk for rolling an ankle.

During the winter months you might be able to spot whales off the coast but if the whales are not there, you’ll probably see some people practicing for canoeing competitions.

There were some seriously skilled canoers slicing through the swells during our visit!

As for the cave itself, it has a pretty small opening that you enter through.

I’m personally pretty claustrophobic but I was able to power through the cave because it is only confined for a short amount of time. Then it opens up to two separate windows that look out to the ocean.

Taking in the views from those lovely two windows was extraordinary.

I don’t know of many other places where you can do this so.

To make life easy for yourself wear a headlamp, especially if you want to do any kind of recording while you are going into the cave. You can also leave your backpack at the entrance of the cave to make it easier to get through the tight spots.

Ana Kakenga

Ana Te Pahu

Another very famous cave is Ana Te Pahu. We did not visit Ana Te Pahu proper but instead went into a “secret” cave that I believe is next to it or at least is very close to it.

The opening to the cave was wide and had a pretty large tree coming out of it which we had to use to help us climb down a pretty steep little path.

Once inside, this cave had a pretty confining crawl that we had to do to get to this little under water pond which was pretty interesting to see.

In retrospect, I wish our guide would have offered us to also see the main cave known as Ana Te Pahu, because it would’ve been cool to see both of them.

You can talk to your guide about seeing all of the caves in one trip which would also include Ana Te Pora and Ahu Tepeu — just make sure you have the time for them.

Anakena Beach

You won’t find many beaches on Easter island but the premier beach without a doubt is Anakena. It’s home to a pretty wide beach area (for small island standards) and it’s quite a beautiful beach.

It’s also the place where the original settlers came to shore according to legend.

Some people consider Easter Island to be the “final place” that mankind settled after spreading out from Africa, through Asia, and throughout Polynesia. So in a sense, it could be argued that this beach is where the first major wave of human exploration reached its furthest point.

Anakena Beach
Anakena Beach

There’s a small trail that takes you to the end of the beach where you can admire the views or even check out a shaded area where campers can take advantage of one of the most idyllic campsites.

Anakena Beach
Anakena Beach

If you visit in the afternoon, you’ll find a few different restaurants (all next to each other) serving up scrumptious ceviche and hearty fried potato dishes. Just make sure you have plenty of time because each time we ate at these restaurants, it took about 45 minutes to an hour to get our food even when the crowds were nonexistent.

A few other things to know about the beach:

  • Beautiful palm trees provide shade where you can rest and relax on picnic tables.
  • When the cruise ship was in town, Anakena became significantly more crowded!
  • They have bathrooms at the beach which makes it easy for you to spend more time here.

Ahu Nau Nau

Just next to Anakena is Ahu Nau Nau, one of the most picturesque ahus on the island with well-preserved moai.

If you like seeing moai with pukao (the red headdresses) this is the best place to catch them since most moai are not adorned with pukao.

It’s believed that construction of this ahu involved three stages spanning from 1100 AD to 1400 AD and that the site is connected to the earliest history known to the island.

Although Ahu Nau Nau is located just next to the beach, you are still required to be accompanied with a guide to visit it.

There is a hill that you’ll see in this area and if you want a higher vantage point, you can make the trek up the hill.

Ahu Nau Nau

You can also check out Ahu Ature Huki, which is another moai located right next to Ahu Nau Nau. I thought this one was interesting because it had a very “stretched out” appearance.

Ahu Ature Huki


The other main beach to visit is Ovahe, located just a couple of minutes away from Ahu Nau Nau.

Ovahe doesn’t have all of the restaurants and tourist facilities so it also has fewer crowds. You’ll need to walk along the trail to get down to the beach area but it’s pretty easy to do.

There actually are two different beaches here but you need to climb some rocks to get to the second one. You will surely be tempted by some of the caves in the cliffs but those are off-limits so be sure to respect the signs keeping you away.

The manmade bath

There’s a cool little spot located directly across from Pu o Hiro (near GPS coordinates -27.0933464396, -109.2803474044).

I didn’t see a name for it on any maps but it’s a cool spot with beautiful turquoise water and a little man-made bath placed right on the coast. You’ll take a short little dirt road to get to the edge of the coast and then you can simply walk down to check out the bath.

Playa poko poko

While its name may indicate a beach, this is more of a natural swimming pool sheltered from the waves.

The shallow waters makes it a fantastic spot for families and others who don’t want to venture too far from the coast. You can swim, snorkel, and just soak in the clear waters here.

Since Playa poko poko is located so close to the city, it’s one of the easiest spots to get to.

Playa poko poko
Playa poko poko

Pea swimming pool

About 1,000 feet away from Playa poko poko is the Pea swimming pool. This is another nice protected area to get into the water and go for a nice little swim.

There are two sides to this area with one being larger and more protected than the other.

Pea swimming pool
Pea swimming pool

One of the main reasons you come to this swimming area is for an encounter with beautiful sea turtles and we saw several!

Pea swimming pool

Petroglifos Papa Vaka

There are various places where you can find petroglyphs on Easter island but one popular place to find them is Papa Vaka — the largest petroglyph that has been found on Easter Island.

You’ll see recognizable shapes like fish hooks, a squid, shark and a large tuna etched into the rock. But the biggest design you’ll discover is a huge double cano.

Papa Vaka is located right off the road so it’s extremely easy to access. Consider planning a stop when you visit the beaches on the north side of the island since it is right on the way.

Petroglifos Papa Vaka

Pu o Hiro

Pu o Hiro is another one of the quick stops along the road — it’s found just across the road from the beautiful man-made bath mentioned above.

At first glance, this just looks like a strangely shaped rock. However, it’s said that this stone was actually used as a musical instrument.

Supposedly, you can blow through one of the holes and it will produce a loud sound similar to a trumpet that was used to summon the god of rain. Apparently making the sound is not easy and there are only a few locals who know how to do it.

If you look very closely you may be able to see some petroglyphs on the rock. Just keep in mind that you have to remain behind the barrier so you can’t come into contact with the rock or give it a blow.

Pu o Hiro

Ahu Akivi

Ahu Akivi has the special designation of being the one ahu that faces out to the ocean (and one of the few that exist inland). It’s believed the construction of Ahu Akivi initially began towards the end of the 15th century, with the moai being added about 150 years before Europeans arrived in 1722.

According to the local legend, King Hotu Matu’a initially sent scouts across the sea to locate Easter Island and to settle there. Seven of these scouts stayed on the island waiting for the king and the seven stone moai here represent those brave scouts.

This is hotly debated based on the late dates of construction though.

Still, this ahu is also significant for being the first to be restored which created the momentum needed to make widespread restorations throughout the island.

The modern day standing moai found on Easter island all started with this ahu!

Ahu Akivi

This site also has celestial significance. The moai, which are all of roughly equal size, face sunset during the Spring Equinox but have their backs to the sunrise during the Autumn Equinox.

It’s just a short walk to get to the moai from the entrance, so you can visit Ahu Akivi with relative quickness.

Note: if you want to visit during the special time of the sunrise during the spring equinox, you’ll probably have to get special permission since the kiosks do not open that early.

Something to think about is that the trailhead to the top of Mount Terevaka, the highest point on Easter island, is also found at this site.

Ahu Akivi

Rapa Nui Museum

Another absolute must visit is the Rapa Nui Museum.

We were extremely fortunate because the museum had just opened up a couple of days before we visited. It’s a pretty compact museum but it is full of fascinating information about the history of Rapa Nui.

A couple of the exhibits that you cannot miss include the coral eyes of a moai which I understand to be the only original coral eyes found. You can see exactly how they fit into the moai up close!

Rapa Nui Museum

And then there are the scripts of Rongo Rongo, the ancient language that has yet to be decoded. There’s a lot of debate on whether or not this was actually a written language but it’s still really cool to see an ancient, undeciphered script. It looks like something straight out of a movie.

Rapa Nui Museum rongo rongo

Best of all, this museum is free to visit, so make sure you make time for this because it’s absolutely worth it. (They also have English interpretations for the exhibit panels.) The days of operation and hours can be a little bit weird for this museum so be sure to do some research ahead of time.

Ana Kai Tangata

Ana Kai Tangata is a cave area with historic pictographs that have been preserved inside of the walls of a large cave.

The name “Ana Kai Tangata” is subject to a number of different interpretations including “cave where men are eaten.” Lots of artifacts have been found in the cave including stone tools, pottery, and even human bones.

Some suggest that this site is evidence of the ancient practice of cannibalism but the evidence is still very much debated from what I can tell.

Ana Kai Tangata

You can still see the historic pictographs on the inside of the cave’s walls but it seems that a lot of the art has fallen off the walls so you may not have much longer to check out these visuals.

Ana Kai Tangata rick art

You can venture inside the cave but you have to do so at your own risk. Not because of cannibals but because it’s pretty obvious while you are in there that rock slabs constantly fall from the ceiling so be careful if you choose to go in.

Ana Kai Tangata cave

Hanga Roa Beach

Just beyond Ana Kai Tangata, is Hanga Roa Beach. Although that’s the name you’ll find on Google Maps, it’s not much of a beach. Instead, it’s more of a dramatic cliffside with stunning lava rocks.

I’d recommend making some time to just wandering around these cliffs and check out the magnificent views.

Hanga Roa Beach
Hanga Roa Beach

Scuba diving

I was super fortunate to get one dive in at Easter Island considering that I arrived with a pretty bad cold (and diving with a cold is not recommended).

Luckily, it cleared up for me towards the end of the trip but the drawback was that I wasn’t able to go on the famous moai dive.

The reason is that some of the dive shops will require you to go on a refresher dive if you have not recently been diving. My last dive was about 12 months prior in Hawaii so that was not “fresh” enough to avoid the refresher course.

I believe the underwater moai is somewhere around 60 to 70 feet deep and your dive shop may want you to show that you are comfortable before letting you go down that deep.

I was bummed but I could live without it because the moai down there is not an actual moai created by the original inhabitants of the island hundreds of years ago. It’s a recent creation that was used on a movie and TV show so I didn’t quite feel like I was missing out on a piece of history.

With my moai dreams dashed, I felt like it would still be worth it to dive just to see what the terrain was like down there, especially because I had heard so many amazing things about the visibility.

I found the visibility to be great although it wasn’t exactly pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming clear down there and I would compare it to some of my prior dives.

From what I heard, the conditions were pretty great so I wouldn’t say I was disappointed but just not quite blown away like I thought I might be. We also did not encounter a ton of wildlife down there as the fish, while beautiful, were still not very abundant.

Also, something you should know about the refresher course.

Unlike some other places that allow you to refresh your skills in a pool or shallow water and then go on a dive, Mike Rapu gets you to perform the refresher skills during your dive. Had I known that, I would have really tried to get a second dive in because that eats up such a large chunk of your dive.

(A slight language barrier made it a little difficult to know exactly how things were going to happen.)

I would say to try to plan things out as best you can before you arrive but the dive shop failed to get back to me when I tried reaching out prior to arriving so it really made things difficult to plan anything out.

In the end, due to the cold I was dealing with, I doubt I was going to get a lot of diving action in on this trip so just getting one dive in was honestly a win for me.

Ahu Vinapu

When it comes to the ahu, Ahu Vinapu is probably the most interesting one on the island.

Located on the south coast of the island near the airport, the main ahu here is called Ahu Tahira and it faces the winter solstice at sunrise.

But the real reason it stands out is the ahu showcases a style of stonework found nowhere else on the island.

It’s a style that many believe is transplanted from the Inca and is evidence of the early contact between the continent of South America and inhabitants of Easter Island.

Ahu Vinapu

Specifically, the precisely cut basalt slabs resemble the techniques found at Saysachuaman and at the chullpas of Sillustani (near Lake Titicaca).

Some historians speculate that Inca Tupac Yupanqui may have arrived at Easter Island during an expedition to the Pacific around 1480, though there’s still a lot of mystery around these claims.

Another point of interest is the red column that stands alone, which represents a rare feminine moai. According to some, this may have possessed two heads.

Ahu Vinapu

The secret beach (27°10’09.5″S 109°23’52.9″W)

Nearby Ahu Vinapu, there’s a beautiful stretch of coastline worth checking out. At the very least, you can just pull over and check out the view for a few minutes. Find it near 27°10’09.5″S 109°23’52.9″W.

You can descend a few hundred feet and check out the little beach cove if you have the time and energy. It’s sort of like having your own private beach which is pretty cool but you may want to be careful during high tide. I’m not sure how powerful the waves get.

Puna Pau

Puna Pau is the red scoria quarry found on a small extinct volcano. It includes a reddish color due to the iron oxide it contains and was used to carve the hats or (hair) that went on top of the moai, known as pukao.

Puna Pau

This is a pretty small site so you don’t need to plan a lot of time but just be ready for a short but relatively steep walk. It’s beautiful to take in during the morning.

Puna Pau

I was surprised to find that some of them had designs in them along with notches presumably made them fit on the heads better.

Puna Pau

Ahu Huri A Urenga

Ahu Huri A Urenga is another spot that you can visit without a guide and it’s generally going to be a very quick visit, as it’s located right off the road.

This is yet another ahu found inland and consists of one lone moai standing tall on a platform 13 meters long by 4 meters wide.

The moai here is particularly interesting because it has two pairs of hands and nobody really knows why.

Ahu Huri A Urenga

Likely used for funeral rituals, this ahu and moai also has celestial importance.

Both the statue and platform line up with where the sun rises during the winter solstice. Also, at the entrance, you can find a water well and stone holes that were used to accumulate rainwater and these reportedly aligned with the stars during certain times. Pretty fascinating stuff.

Ahu Huri A Urenga

Ahu Akahanga

Ahu Akahanga is home to the remains of an ancient village where it is believed that the first king was buried.

You’ll find lots of ruins here including the old foundations of houses and stone ovens.

The main ahu here, spanning 18 meters in length, has several toppled moai. Interestingly, the face both down and up which is in contrast to most of the moai that were toppled face down.

Where exactly the body of the original king could be is anybody’s guess, as modern excavations haven’t been able to confirm if those remains were actually buried here.

Ahu Akahanga

One moai that lies on its back behind the ahu is thought to be one of the oldest carved moai. The older moai did not have as much detail and were shorter than the larger ones that later came out in a more uniform condition.

Ahu Akahanga

Another site worth checking out before leaving is the small cave which would have provided shelter to fisherman working along the coast.

Ahu Akahanga

Te Pito Kura

Te Pito Kura is one of the most visited moai spots, as it is home to two pretty remarkable things.

First, you’ll find Paro Moai, which represents the largest moai ever successfully raised at an ahu. The moai is astonishingly 10 meters in height with its ears alone measuring 2 m. They estimate that this thing must weigh 80 tons or more.

Te Pito Kura

Just beyond that oversized moai is a large ovoid shaped stone called the “navel of light” and some people call it the “navel of the world.” It’s a special stone because according to legend it was brought over by Hotu Matu’a, the founding king of the Rapanui people because of its special energy, or mana.

The stone has a high percentage of iron content which is activated by heat and will throw off a compass if it’s put too close.

Te Pito Kura rock

Hanga Te’e / Vaihu

Hanga Te’e/Vaihu is the very first place that we visited and could be the first spot your tour guide decides to take you to.

It’s home to a large ahu, 86 meters long and 12 meters wide, which made up the base for eight statues. The statues now lie on their face and give a good indication of what the sites looked like during the 18th century.

Something else cool about this spot are the models found at the Centro de Interpretacion that depict what the homes looked like along with other things like chicken coops, ovens, and orchards.

Other sites

As you explore the island you’ll find countless number of ahus and moais located all around the coast line.

Some of the sites that are less prominently featured on maps are okay to visit without a guide so you can explore these places when (and if) you decide to ditch the guide.

I’ll list some of the places below that I would try to check out but you are bound to stumble upon at least a couple of places.

Try to take some time to investigate these because sometimes you may only see a pile of unremarkable blocks from a distance but upon close examination you may discover a beautifully preserved moai.

Just make sure you are aware of what’s off-limits because at some of these lesser visited sites, it’s kind of difficult to know where are you permitted and where you’re not.

Ahu One Makihi

Ahu One Makihi

Ahu Riata

Ahu Riata

Random fallen moai (27°08’13.4″S 109°18’38.7″W)

Sunday morning mass

One thing that some travelers like to do is attend Sunday morning mass at the local church.

That really did not appeal to me but I had a dive scheduled for Sunday morning anyway which was the last available spot for me so this was not really an option. Still, for something different it might be worth checking out.

Horseback riding

You’ll find horses everywhere on Easter Island.

And if you enjoy riding horses or if you want to give it a try, this is probably one of the best places. Specifically, you can look into tours that will take you to places that you can’t access with a vehicle due to a lack of roads. So you can really explore more of the island and get away from crowds.

I kind of regret not looking into horseback riding more but our schedule was so full during the week we were there that I don’t think we would’ve had time anyway!

Visit the Sernatur

Back when we originally had a trip to Easter Island planned in 2016, I was stoked about getting my passport stamped. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the trip but the tradition still lives on today just in a different form.

You can head to the visitor information center, also known as the Sernatur, which is where you can ask for a passport stamp. It’s 100% free and you don’t even need to tip.

Just keep in mind that this is considered a “souvenir stamp” and there is always the small risk that it could cause problems down the line in some countries.

easter island passport stamp

This is also a great place to get a quality map because some of the maps that the rental car agencies hand out are not super helpful. They had two people in the office who spoke great English and were able to explain a lot of things. So if you have questions that is absolutely the best place to go.

Additional reading: To get more context around a lot of the sites mentioned in this article, check out this website that goes into great detail for a lot of the sites.

Final word

There’s obviously a ton of things to see and do on Easter island. Hopefully, this article has helped you to round up some ideas for things to do and given you some insight on what to expect!

Is Easter Island Open to the Public? [2023]

For over two years, Easter Island remained closed off to tourists due to the threats ongoing from the pandemic. But after a long wait, things changed and the island made some major modifications in order to re-open to the public.

Check out the article below for the latest on whether or not Easter Island is open to the public!

Is Easter Island open to the public?

Yes, Easter Island opened up to the public in August 2022. This opening came after the island had been shut off to the public for over two years since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the island is now open to tourists, there are certain things that you need to know before deciding to plan a trip there. I’ll break these important things down in detail below.

There are still a limited number of flights

Starting in the fall of 2023, the flights may be closer to full speed in terms of volume but right now there are still only about three flights a week to Easter Island aboard LATAM’s 787 Dreamliner.

So while the island is open, it is not as easy to plan and book a flight as it was before the pandemic shut things down due to more limited flight inventory. Booking in advance is pretty important.

Related: How to get to Easter Island: Everything You Need to Know

Filling out your paperwork

Your first priority when getting to Easter Island is to make sure that your paperwork is in order.

You’ll want to fill out your Rapa Nui Entry Form before you ever arrive at Santiago de Chile Airport (SCL). You can fill out the form online here. Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated.

Initially when the island reopened they required visitors to be fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR test taken no more than 24 hours before boarding a domestic flight to the island. Also, tourists aboard international flights to the island had to take an antigen test once they arrived.

However, they eventually relaxed the requirements so that if you had proof of vaccination you did not have to show a negative PCR test. (This was the policy when we visited.)

It’s possible that as more time goes by, the coronavirus requirements for vaccinations and testing may become more lax.

Unfortunately, it’s somewhat difficult to get real time information about these things from Easter Island because there is often little to no literature produced when a change is made.

Try to get into contact with a lodge owner or business owner and see if they can provide you with the latest details that you can later confirm (hopefully on a government website).

Related: Guide for getting through Santiago de Chile Airport (SCL) to Rapa Nui/Easter Island

Sites are only open if you have a guide

Whenever Easter Island opened back up, they changed the way that you explore the island.

Virtually every site on the island now requires you to have a guide or local host with you in order to get access. The price for a tour guide can very dramatically from $50-$200 a day depending on the guide and how long you will be exploring.

While the new rules will help keep unruly tourists under control, it makes it much more difficult and expensive to visit Easter Island now.

It is not possible to visit (and appreciate) all of the sites in one day.

This means that you will need a guide for at least two days and some people may even need three days to see it all. (When I say “see it all” I mean all of the spots that require guides and some spots inbetween — not the entire island which would take much more time.)

So you have to factor in the additional expense of hiring a guide which is on top of the $80 you will spend for your 10 day park pass (per person). As you can see, you may end up spending several hundred dollars just to get access to the basic archaeological sites.

Also, most of the Easter Island sites are not open 24 hours a day, so you’ll want to plan out an itinerary that allows you to see the sites within open hours.

Related: Complete Guide to Exploring Easter Island’s Rapa Nui National Park

Get familiar with the island

Easter Island is a special place but there are some things that will stand out that you want to know about.

Be sure to read our guide 21 Things You Need to Know About Easter Island Before Visiting. It will help you anticipate a lot of the big and small things that may catch you by surprise when you visit.

Final word

Easter Island is officially open to tourists after a very long wait.

While that is exciting news, it’s important to remember that some things have changed since the reopening and those changes don’t necessarily make your life easier as a tourist.

So stay up-to-date and be ready to take the extra steps for your planning and you should be able to enjoy your time on Easter Island if you choose to visit.

Buc-ee’s Ultimate Guide (Locations & Facts) [2023]

If you’ve ever been on a road trip in Texas chances are you or someone in your car has wanted to stop at Buc-ee’s. Over the years, Buc-ee’s has established itself as a distinctly Texan establishment.

But what exactly does Buc-ee’s have to offer that makes it so special?

In this article, I’ll give you the ultimate guide to Buc-ee’s.

You’ll see what exactly is so special about this oversized convenient store and what you can expect when you visit different locations.

What is Buc-ee’s?

Buc-ee’s is a chain of travel centers (convenience stores) that can be found throughout Texas and the South.

The stores are known for their enormous gas station facilities, wide range of food and snack offerings, and most of all: ultra-clean bathrooms.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Things to know about Buc-ee’s

The store that never sleeps (open 24 hours)

All Buc-ee’s locations are open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. So even on major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas you can still experience a good ole Buc-ee’s visit.

What’s more, the stores are often well lit and with all of the security cameras (see below), they generally feel like pretty safe places to stop at.

Related: How Long Does It Take to Drive Across Texas?

Crowds can be an issue

Even though some Buc-ee’s locations are absolutely huge and can cater to throngs of customers, crowds and traffic can still be an issue.

If traveling on a weekend, especially around the holidays, you might have to wait or get aggressive to find an open gas pump.

And when venturing inside, you could run into a madhouse as soon as you pass that little buck-tooth beaver statue outside.

These stores are designed to cater to massive amounts of people so big crowds are not always a problem. Hordes of people seem to move in and out without a lot of issues.

But if you’re expecting a quiet and peaceful visit to a gas station bathroom, you won’t always get that at Buc-ee’s.

For some, the chaos just isn’t worth it.

40+ locations (not only in TX)

To the dismay of many Texans, Buc-ee’s is no longer an exclusively Texan establishment.

In 2019, Buc-ee’s opened their first convenience store/gas station outside of Texas in Alabama.

And now you can now find 40+ locations in states all over the south including Georgia.

More states are being added to the Buc-ee’s roster and you’ll soon be able to find locations in states like Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

Related: How Many Miles Do You Cover When Driving Across the US?

The eyes of Buc-ee’s are upon you

Some Buc-ee’s locations are known to have high levels of surveillance. For example, the Bastrop location has about 200 high-tech cameras.

These are those movie-like cameras that can zoom in and reveal fine details like the type of bill you used to pay for your purchase.

You could be tracked from the time you enter the parking lot to the time that you leave so you don’t want to test the beaver.

Hopefully you don’t ever have to worry about this but if something ever goes down you will need to file a police report and then request for the police to request the surveillance footage from the store.

There’s a Buc-ee’s credit card

The Buc-ee’s credit card, issued by TDECU (Texas Dow Employees Credit Union), will get you $.10 off every gallon and comes with no annual fee.

In terms of rewards, this is not the most rewarding travel credit card but for a true Buc-ee’s fan, it might be worth picking up. You can find out more details about the credit card here.

Not every one wants Buc-ee’s

Believe it or not, not every place on the globe is eager to add a Buc-ee’s.

 Efland, North Carolina did not want one.

Why not?

They worried it would “would worsen traffic congestion, pollute a protected watershed, and offend aesthetic sensitivities.” 

Those seem like some pretty legit concerns so you can’t knock the town but it all probably just comes down to the fact that not everyone outside of Texas will “get” Buc-ee’s.

Where the name came from

Buc-ee’s was founded in 1982 which means that it will turn 40 years old in 2022.

The owner and co-founder, a Texas A&M graduate (whoop!), went by the name of Arch “Beaver” Aplin III and he apparently always had a liking for the Ipana toothpaste mascot known as “Bucky the Beaver.”

One look at that logo and you can see where the inspiration came from for Buc-ee’s.

Not every Buc-ee’s is bigger in Texas

To give you a sense of how big the Buc-ee’s stores can be, consider that the New Braunfels, TX, location boasts:

  • 120 fueling positions
  • 1,000 parking spots
  • 64 ice freezers
  • 83 toilets
  • 31 cash registers
  • four Icee machines
  • and 80 fountain dispensers

The entire New Braunfels store is 66,335 square feet, which is more square feet than a football field.

Seriously, a gas station bigger than a football field.

Only in Texas.

But this may come as a surprise: not every Buc-ee’s location is the size of a small airport or shopping mall.

Several locations are actually quite compact and closer to the size of your regular convenience store.

Many of these smaller locations are in Texas so if you see an out-of-state Buc-ee’s, there’s a good chance that will be on the bigger side.

Bathrooms are NOT overrated

You’ve probably heard about the award-winning bathrooms at Buc-ee’s.

While some gas stations look like a scene from the movie Saw, Buc-ee’s stores are famous for being the cleanest bathrooms you’ll find on the road and in my experience it’s always true.

In fact, the pristine bathrooms found at Buc-ee’s are probably the number one reason why people stop at Buc-ee’s.

But they aren’t just spotless — the bathrooms also are usually huge and spacious.

I’ve never seen a wait for a urinal and only on a couple of occasions have I seen a real line for the stalls.

In the men’s room, you can find walls of urinals with deep floor to ceiling partitions that actually give you real privacy.

For people traveling with families, the consistently clean and private bathrooms are even more attractive.

Bottom line: if you ever need to go on the road, Buc-ee’s is definitely where you want to be.

And just in case you were wondering, you don’t actually have to buy anything to use the bathroom there.

Inside Buc-ee's

You’ll have plenty of food and drink options at Buc-ee’s

Buc-ee’s will have just about every type of snack item you could possibly be craving, including their famous “Beaver Nuggets” which are a sweet combination of caramel, sugar, and butter coated corn puffs.

Prices sometimes feel a little high but some popular items to pick up at the store include:

  • Jerky
  • Fudge
  • Kolaches
  • Dippin dots
  • Sandwiches
  • Tacos
  • Icees (lots of flavors)

If you’re looking for specific suggestions consider these:

  • Hill Country turkey jerky
  • Bohemian garlic jerky
  • Salted caramel covered pretzels
  • Rhino breakfast taco
  • Texas BLT
  • Mediterranean salad wrap

Some locations have a barbecue stand called the Texas Round Up where you can buy pre-made chopped brisket sandwiches, pulled pork, turkey, sausage, etc.

In my experience, the food is not always phenomenal but a solid notch or two above your standard gas station food.

It’s perfect when you’re looking for something quick and hearty on the road.

In terms of barbecue quality, you could certainly do better in Texas by hunting out a BBQ joint.

But the beauty of Buc-ee’s is that it’s highly convenient to pick up a hot BBQ sandwich while also filling up your tank and not having to gamble on the bathroom situation.

The shopping at Buc-ee’s goes well beyond food and drink, though.

You can find all kinds of apparel, souvenirs, and random items.

If your location is near a tourist hotspot with a particular type of attraction then you’ll find gear for your visit such as fishing rods, beach supplies, river tubes/shoes, hunting gear, etc.

Buc-ee's bbq

Buc-ee’s is NOT a truck stop

Buc-ee’s are not truck stops and so you are not going to find any showers or a lot of 18 wheelers hanging around.

In fact, you can often find “no 18 wheelers” signs posted at the entrances.

The reason for this is to keep Buc-ee’s like it is, a family friendly environment without some of the “hassles” that come with truckstops.

Many truckers are unhappy with being denied access to Buc-ee’s — after all, without massive shipments coming in from truckers how else could Buc-ee’s exist?

But one thing is clear, Buc-ee’s is serious about keeping out 18 wheelers and will even escort drivers out of the store who try to make their way in.

They pay great

Working at Buc-ee’s can be a lucrative job opportunity because their employees are well paid.

According to GlassDoor, “The average Bucee’s hourly pay ranges from approximately $16 per hour for a Cashier to $18 per hour for a Team Lead.”

That’s some really good money.

Meanwhile, the typical Circle K Cashier salary is earning $10 per hour and many convenient stores will be closer to $9 per hour.

These mega-convenience stores can get incredibly busy so it helps tremendously to have employees getting sufficiently compensated so that they can help keep things moving at a quick pace.

You may not have windshield cleaners

If there is one major weakness of some Buc-ee’s locations, it’s that they don’t have windshield cleaners or squeegees located at the pumps.

This means that your bug splattered windshield will have to remain dirty on your long journey to you next destination, unless you have some way to clean it yourself.

They have car washes

While you may not find windshield cleaners, some locations have car washes.

As you would expect some of these car washes are going to be quite large just like the one in Katy, Texas, which is the largest car wash in the world.

Gas may or may not be cheaper

I’ve seen gas at Bucee’s priced both a little bit lower and a little bit higher when compared to nearby gas stations.

Buc-ee’s locations



  • 2328 Lindsay Lane South, Athens, AL 35613


  • 6900 Buc-ee’s Blvd., Leeds, AL 35094


  • 20403 County Rd. 68, Robertsdale, AL 36567


Daytona Beach

  • 2330 Gateway North Drive, Daytona Beach, FL 32117

Saint Augustine

  • 200 World Commerce Pkwy, Saint Augustine, FL 32092



  • 601 Union Grove Rd. SE, Adairsville, GA 30103

Warner Robins

  • 7001 Russell Parkway, Fort Valley, GA 31030



  • 1013 Buc-ee’s Boulevard, Richmond, KY 40475

South Carolina


  • 3390 North Williston Road, Florence, SC 29506



  • 2045 Genesis Road, Crossville, TN 38555



  • 780 Hwy-35 N Byp, Alvin, TX 77511


  • 2299 E Mulberry St, Angleton, TX 77515
  • 931 Loop 274, Angleton, TX 77515
  • 2304 W Mulberry St, Angleton, TX 77515


  • 1700 Highway 71 East, Bastrop, TX 78602


  • 4080 East Freeway, Baytown, TX 77521


  • 801 N Brooks, Brazoria, TX 77422
  • 1101 S Brooks St, Brazoria, TX 77422 (Closed)


  • 27106 US-290, Cypress, TX 77433


  • 2800 S Interstate 35 E, Denton, TX 76210

Eagle Lake

  • 505 E Main St, Eagle Lake, TX 77434


  • 1402 South IH- 45, Ennis, TX 75119

Fort Worth

  • 15901 N Freeway, Fort Worth, TX 76177


  • 4231 E. Hwy 332, Freeport, TX 77541
  • 1002 N Brazosport Blvd., Freeport, TX 77541


  • 2375 E Austin St, Giddings, TX 78942


  • 27700 Katy Fwy, Katy, TX 77494

Lake Jackson

  • 899 Oyster Creek Drive, Lake Jackson, TX 77566
  • 101 N Hwy 2004, Lake Jackson, TX 77566
  • 598 Hwy 332, Lake Jackson, TX 77566

League City

  • 1702 League City Pkwy, League City, TX 77573


  • 10070 West IH 10, Luling, TX 78658


  • 205 IH-45 South, Madisonville, TX 77864


  • 1550 Central Texas Expressway, Melissa, TX 75454

New Braunfels

  • 2760 IH 35 North, New Braunfels, TX 78130


  • 2541 S Main St, Pearland, TX 77584
  • 11151 Shadow Creek Pky, Pearland, TX 77584

Port Lavaca

  • 2318 W Main, Port Lavaca, TX 77979


  • 1243 Crabb River Rd, Richmond, TX 77469

Royse City

  • 5005 E Interstate 30, Royse City, TX 75189


  • 4155 N General Bruce Dr., Temple, TX 76501


  • 506 W. IH 20, Terrell, TX 75160

Texas City

  • 6201 Gulf Fwy (IH 45), Texas City, TX 77591


  • 40900 US Hwy 290 Bypass, Waller, TX 77484


  • 10484 US 59 Road, Wharton, TX 77488

Find locations here.

Final word

Buc-ee’s is a must stop for millions of people every year when traveling through Texas and now through the South.

Beyond the broad food selection, spotless bathrooms, and absurd number of gas pumps, there’s just something special about the store that gets a lot of people excited.

Sky Costanera Review (Santiago, Chile): Worth It?

Sky Costanera, found atop the 62-story skyscraper known as Gran Torre Santiago, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city.

But is it really worth it to visit this observation deck?

In this article, I will break down the experience and tell you everything you need to know!

Sky Costanera background

Gran Torre Santiago is second tallest building in Latin America and the fifth tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere as of early 2023.

At 62 stories, this observation deck is high but still a pretty far cry from some of the tallest buildings in the world like the Burj Khalifa that has an observation deck at levels 124 and 125.

Still, ever since the observation deck opened up in 2015 it’s been a popular destination since it still is one of the highest decks in the Southern Hemisphere and Santiago is surrounded by beautiful mountains, which are perfect to admire from a building like this.

Getting there

The biggest thing to know about visiting Sky Costanera is that you don’t enter through the main lobby of the high-rise.

Instead, you need to find the entrance to Sky Costanera down in the mall area. It’s the largest shopping mall in Latin America, so the mall is impossible to miss!

The observation deck is open basically every day so you can pretty much always assume that it’s going to be open when you visit — don’t be turned off by the locked doors of the actual skyscraper if you encounter them.

Once you enter the mall, you may need to head down an escalator and you should see signs for Sky Costanera. If you don’t know where to go, just ask someone working at the mall and they will point you in the right direction.

You can purchase your tickets online or you can purchase them in person.

The tickets I saw online were associated with some type of additional tour and so I decided to just wait until we arrived in person to purchase our tickets.

Unfortunately, they did not have an option for entering twice in one day which would’ve been fantastic because I would’ve loved to have come back close to sunset.

But the tickets were only about US$15 per person which was a pretty reasonable price in my opinion.

Right next to the ticketing counter is security.

The agent “helping” us through security did not look like he cared too much for his job but we got through soon enough. They allowed me to bring my camera with a 300mm zoom lens which was nice because sometimes those big zoom lenses can be a problem.

Then it was just a matter of waiting for the elevator. One of the elevators was out of service so we had to wait for only one to be available.

I don’t think they send it down until they have enough people to fill it up so we had to wait about 12 minutes to enter the elevator which was the only drawback of the experience.

Once the elevator arrived and we loaded up, a staff member accompanied us up to the observation deck and he gave an intro in Spanish that I only partially understood.

Then, we had arrived to do observation deck!

It was a super clear morning which was perfect for checking out a place like this.

You’ll find binocular stations located throughout the observation deck so make sure you bring some change if you want to use them.

For me, the whole reason of coming up here was to check out the mountains and I did not leave disappointed.

I’ve never seen mountains this tall before and Sky Costanera was the perfect place to get a good view of them! If only I could’ve been hiking up there!

Sky Costanera mountain view

You’ll be relieved to know that there are bathrooms up there in case you need to go.

You can find informational panels all around the indoor observation deck which can help you get a sense of what you’re looking at. I’d recommend taking a look at a few of them because otherwise you might miss out on some details!

Once you check out the indoor observation deck then you should head up to the open sky area upstairs. Just look for the sign to the Open Sky escalator.

At the top of the escalator, you’ll notice a photo booth where you can get some cool souvenir photos. That’s not really our thing so we just made our way to the deck.

It felt a lot cooler with the ceiling open which was really nice.

I thought the buildings top façade was pretty interesting looking and I have not seen many skyscrapers quite like this one, although the exterior does somewhat resemble Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, California

Since you’re only going up one floor, the views are more or less the same but it’s still nice to take another circle around the deck.

If you’re visiting around a holiday, they may have special decorations set up. In our case, Valentine’s Day had just passed.

It is hard to get the glare out of a lot of the photos so you may be dealing with a lot of that depending on the time of day.

For that reason, photos farther away from the glass tend to come out better.

I believe that companies can pay for special events up here which I think would be an awesome venue.

After we made our round, it was time to head back down and check out some of the stuff that we missed like this awesome model skyscraper.

They also have a café known as Sky 300 Bar & Coffee that you can settle into if you work up an appetite or need a pick me up.

Sky 300 Bar & Coffee

They also had a couple of souvenir stands set up with one selling some pretty cool leather goods and wooden objects.

When you are ready to head back down, just find the exit line and wait around until the next elevator goes down which could be several minutes.

The elevator is going to spit you out on the upper floor of the mall so that in order for you to leave you’ll have to walk past as many shops as possible!

Final word

Sky Costanera in Santiago, Chile, is not even close to one of the tallest observation decks in the world. But as far as Latin America goes, it’s way up there.

For me, visiting the observation deck wasn’t so much about the height and it was more about just getting great views of the huge mountains that surround Santiago.

I wish that they allowed you to come back during a later time in the day but I did enjoy my visit and thought that it was worth the time and money at only about $15 USD per adult.

Tricks for Converting KM to Miles When Traveling

One thing that can drive you a little bit crazy when traveling internationally is trying to constantly convert measurements.

This is especially true if you are from the US and need to constantly convert kilometers to miles.

Knowing a few quick tricks to convert kilometers to miles can make your life a lot easier so keep reading below if you’d like to find out a few tricks to use when traveling.

Metric or imperial system?

When you’re going back-and-forth between kilometers and miles you are going between the metric and imperial system.

The metric system is what most of the world uses and it includes kilometers as a form of measurement for distance. Meanwhile, only a very small number of countries like the US use the imperial system which relies on miles as a unit for distance.

Occasionally, you will encounter a country that utilizes a mixture of both. Or, in some instances you might find that both miles and kilometers are posted near airports where lots of international travelers may be.

If you’re coming from the US, don’t count on other countries to cater to the imperial system, though. You’ll be much better off being proactive about converting kilometers to miles on your own.

Related: How Many Ounces Is 100ML? A Special Guide for TSA-Weary Travelers

1 km to miles

For your reference, one 1 kilometer = 0.62 miles.

Ways to convert kilometers to miles

I should acknowledge from the beginning that using an app would be the preferred way to convert from kilometers to miles and vice versa. There are many different FREE apps that can accomplish this for you.

The problem is sometimes you don’t have service or you just need to quickly do the conversion in your head. So as a traveler, it really helps to have a grasp on the way to estimate miles whenever you hear or see a number in kilometers.

Divide in half and add 10% of the kilometers number

This is my number one method for converting kilometers to miles.

For the first step, you simply divide the kilometers in half. The second step requires you to take 10% of the kilometers number and then add that on top.

So for example, if you see that the distance is 60 km you simply divided it in half and get 30 km. Then you take 10% of 60 km which is six and add that on top of 30. This means that your conversion comes out to 60 km = 36 miles.

In reality, 60 km equals 37.3 miles but if you’re just trying to get a close approximation, you pretty much nailed it.

If using 10% throws you off then you can simply add the first digit and get the same outcome when dealing with two digit numbers.

For example, going back to the example of 60 km.

Instead of trying to figure out 10% of 60, you would simply divide 60 in half and then add the first digit of 60 which is six. You would then come out with 36 miles, so it’s really just a preference of what what puts the least amount of strain on your brain.

Below are some measurements that this method can provide you with and the comparison to the real measurements so that you can see just how close this method will get you. As you can tell, it’s pretty accurate for the smaller amounts.

So let’s say that you were planning a 10 km hike. This method could get you a very close approximation of how far you will be trekking with a margin of error of only about .2 miles. Also, if for some reason you needed to know the speed limit in miles per hour you could convert 100 kmh to 60 mph and be pretty close.

KilometersActual MilesEstimated

Divide by 1.609

If you are really good at doing division in your head or you have quick access to a calculator then you can also just divide the number of kilometers by 1.609.

As you can tell from the examples below, this is a very accurate way to get a conversion, as the estimates are just slightly off in most cases. For maximum precision, this is the way to go.

(An alternative to this is to multiply the number of kilometers by .62).

KilometersActual MilesEstimated

The clock trick

I came across this on Reddit, and it’s pretty nifty. You reference a clock to help you convert miles and kms.

  • Kms = Percent of clock
  • Miles = Minutes on a clock

For example, a quarter (25%) of an hour is 15 minutes. So 25 kms = 15 miles. You can extend this to:

  • 50 km = 30 mi
  • 75 km = 45 mi
  • 100 km = 60 mi

Print out a chart

Another thing you can do is to print out a conversion chart when traveling. This could be a tiny chart that you print out and stick in your wallet, purse, or even passport. The chart could look just like what are shown above except it would only show the actual conversions like the chart below.

KilometersActual Miles

It’s really helpful to bring these things along when going on things like a guided tours where your tour guide might be referencing kilometers over and over again.

As you begin to verify the distances in miles, eventually the figures will probably start to stick with you and it will become second nature.

When I first moved to the UK back in 2014, I had a small conversion chart that was inside of my notebook. It also included a conversion of pounds to dollars.

I would regularly reference it until I got a good feel for kilometers and currency and it honestly did not take very long to catch onto the systems.

Converting miles to kilometers

Now let’s say you’re in a situation where you need to convert miles to kilometers.

As a traveler from the US going abroad, the situation does not come about very often but it could definitely happen. For example, if you are familiar with a distance and you need to convey that to foreigners, it will be helpful if you can come up with a quick conversion.

You can do this in a very similar way as the conversions above except backwards.

Basically you take a number in miles and then you add 50% and then add 10% and that will get you a very close approximate number for kilometers.

Let’s say that you need to convert 10 miles to kilometers. 50% of 10 is five and 10% of 10 is one. So you would take the original number of 10 and then add five, and then add one (10+5+1=16).

10 miles equals 16.1 kilometers so that’s a very close estimation.

You can also just multiply miles by 1.6 for a close estimate.

Final word

Converting between kilometers and miles is actually pretty easy and there are many ways to do it. I’d suggest finding the one that makes the most sense to you and then sticking with it.

For me, I like to divide kilometers by two and then add 10% to get to miles and simply multiply miles by 1.6 to get kilometers. But it all comes down to what works best for you!

21 Things You Need to Know About Easter Island Before Visiting

Anytime you head to a far-flung, bucket-list destination like Easter Island, you want to do your research to make sure that you have a smooth and enjoyable experience.

In the case of Easter Island, there are quite a few things you will want to know before you visit.

Below, I’ll highlight everything that you need to know about this amazing place so that you’ll be fully prepared on your first visit to make the most of your time!

For information on the documents needed and getting through the airport, check out this guide right here.

It feels very safe

One thing about this little island in the middle of the Pacific is that if you commit a crime, there’s nowhere for you to run. I mean, you could always live the rest of your life inside a lava tube I guess but that doesn’t necessarily sound ideal. 

As far as humans went, the island felt very safe. We didn’t feel the need to constantly watch our back or anything of the sort.

Obviously, you don’t want to let your guard completely down but the experience is very different from visiting some islands in other places of the world such as the Caribbean where you still have to remain vigilant.

Easter island lava tube

Seat belts are entirely optional

Wearing seatbelts is not really “a thing” in Easter Island. And we never even heard a seatbelt alarm/reminder during our entire time, so I’m not even sure the vehicles have those built-in.

Because it’s rare for anybody to drive with any real speed they’re probably not really needed in most cases. But this is something that takes getting used to.

You can always strap in if it makes you feel better, but I enjoyed going without a seatbelt just because it felt so different (and a little liberating).

Animals roam free

Animals, including dogs, cats, chickens, horses, and cattle have free reign on the island. You’ll find dogs hanging out at seemingly every corner and majestic horses trotting along the coast.

If you’re a dog lover (or just animal lover in general) you’ll really enjoy seeing so many of them. According to locals, most of these animals do have owners but they are just allowed to roam where they wish.

This means you need to be extra careful when you’re driving. Lots of the dogs like to sleep in the street and other times the animals just sort of come out of nowhere, especially at night.

On a couple of occasions we did encounter a couple of dogs that made us a little bit nervous but they were mostly just aggressive watch dogs being territorial.

I don’t think they would do non-intruders any harm but when a large dog jumps up on top of a fence post and lets you know that you are not welcome, it makes you a little uneasy.

Easter Island horse

You have to have a guide for most sites

To see the vast majority of the sites on Easter Island, you will have to accompanied by a guide or local host. This can get expensive over the spans of a few days and really limit your exploring abilities.

A private guide for two people for a full day will run you about $200 USD. If you want to see all of the sites, you will need at least two days so be prepared to spend some cash on guides.

Related: Complete Guide to Exploring Easter Island’s Rapa Nui National Park

Easter Island, tour guide

It’s expensive 

Related to the above point, Easter Island can be pretty expensive.

Just getting there can be pricey because of all of the connecting flights and the hotel prices aren’t exactly the cheapest.

But when you throw your park pass and guides on top of everything, you’ll quickly be spending a nice chunk of change.

Related: How to get to Easter Island: Everything You Need to Know

Easter Island cave

You can easily find markets

On Easter Island, it’s not very difficult to find markets and mini markets where you can buy produce, snacks, essentials, etc.

To help ease the cost mentioned above, we made our way to the markets quite often. For about half the time we spent there, we just ate sandwiches and soups which helped us get by.

If you need anything medical related, such as sunscreen, you can get that at the pharmacy.

Internet is iffy but can be quite good

Starlink recently made its way to Easter island and some lodging places and businesses now have high speed internet. It’s been a game changer according to many locals.

We tested out Starlink for a few days and it was awesome out there. I was even able to conduct video conference calls without any type of issues.

However, a lot of places still do NOT have Starlink. For those places that don’t, the internet connection is seriously lacking. It makes it very difficult to be productive. Don’t even think about streaming anything.

So my suggestion would be to be prepared to embrace being largely off the grid or if you need to get some work done doing your trip, find a place with Starlink.

Starlink sign

Cell phone service or data is really hard/impossible to get

Depending on your provider, you might be able to get cell phone service but if you’re hoping to use your data on your phone to help you get around just know that there’s a good chance you won’t have access to it. We have Verizon and were never able to access our data. 

To make it easier to navigate around the island just download the Google Maps offline version for Easter Island. You probably won’t be able to pull up directions but you can still pretty easily navigate by following your little blue dot on the map. 

Just be aware that Google Maps is not fully updated with the latest business locations on Easter Island. On a number of occasions, we ventured to a location shown on Google Maps that was no longer there!

As things kick back up after the closure from the pandemic, I imagine the maps will get cleaned up.

Power and AC limitations

If you are accustomed to keeping your house ice cold like us, you might want to start turning up the temperature in your house in the weeks leading up to your trip.

That’s because some hotels and lodges don’t have AC and some don’t even have the power capacity to run fans all the time. This means that you could be running very warm and humid during your stay.

The temperature will cool down in the evening and with a breeze, it can feel heavenly outside or an a patio but inside of your room, it can be a real challenge to remain comfortable.

Little tree cover

Although the island was once home to huge palm trees, it no longer boasts thick forest canopies. You’ll find some pockets of thick eucalyptus forest, but the vast majority of the island is barren.

It’s still a beautiful site with green volcanic slopes rising and falling along the horizon but you’ll be hard-pressed to find shade in most spots (unless you’re standing next to a giant moai!). 

Don’t be surprised by insects or other critters

Lots of the lodging and other buildings are very open to the environment on Easter Island.

This means that you can expect to find bugs and other little creatures making their way into your hotel. We saw lizards, roaches, and other little bugs in our hotels.

We never had an issue with mosquitoes although the flies did come out pretty hard on a couple of occasions when dinner was served.

So just adjust your expectations accordingly and try not to be shocked if you wake up to find a roach in your bathtub!

You’ll want to rent a car

I strongly recommend renting a vehicle while in an Easter Island.

For us, this was vital to getting to sunset and sunrise locations and enjoying our early morning stargazing sessions. While you are still limited in what you could see due to the guide restrictions, it’s still a fun place to drive around in.

Another option could be to rent an ATV or scooter but we went with a four-door vehicle because we knew we would be riding around with a tour guide and we wanted to be comfortable.

A lot of the vehicles are manual but you might be able to find an automatic which is what we were given (even though we ordered manual).  

Credit cards are widely excepted

Most of the places we went to accepted credit cards, including American Express. You’ll just need to let the place know that you are using a credit card and not a debit that requires a pin.

A couple of places did not accept cards but they made it clear that they only accepted cash from the beginning. If you need cash, there is an ATM machine in the middle of town.

The sun sets late

The sun sets really late in Easter Island. 

In December, sunset will be around 9 PM, while in the winter it is still around 7 PM.

This gives you a lot of time to explore and then relax around sunset time.

But if you are coming from North America, the shift in daylight can be more dramatic than what you may have expected. You might even need an eye mask if you plan on getting to sleep at your usual time.

They have cool souvenirs

I really love the souvenirs at Easter Island!

It’s going be almost impossible for you to leave that island without some type of moai-inspired souvenir.

You’ll find them in all different types of shapes and sizes. Take your time and check out several different shops to see what you like the most.

The skies are ridiculously dark

If you’ve never experienced truly dark skies, Easter Island is the place to do it. 

Even better, if you’re coming from the US or an equivalent latitude in the northern hemisphere, you’ll be able to see the Southern night sky!

My biggest regret was not doing a stargazing tour with a telescope but our plans just didn’t align with the open dates for that. But even if you don’t book a proper stargazing tour, you can just go out to any area on the island and appreciate the beautiful night sky.

Watching shooting stars blaze through the night sky over towering moai is a true bucket-list worthy experience.

Roads are not the best

The roads are not the best and mostly consist of what looked like set stone roads but they are still very doable and not as bad as I thought it would be.

Some of the dirt roads are pretty bumpy and quickly get filled with large puddles — the potholes can be a little treacherous so watch out for those!

But unless you are traveling around during or after heavy downpour, you won’t have issues getting around, even without having a 4×4.

There’s great seafood

If you like seafood, Easter Island will impress. We had some fantastic ceviche, tuna, lobster, and shrimp and there are plenty of other tasty food options out there.

Spanish is the way to go but you can get by with English

If you can speak Spanish, or just broken Spanish like me, that can get your pretty far on Easter island.

Some people do speak the “Chilean style” of Spanish which is pretty fast and that can be difficult to communicate with for people like myself.

But a lot of the locals also know a bit of broken English so you can generally work out transactions without much of a problem.

The only issue is that because you probably won’t have access to data on your phone, it can be hard to translate things whenever there is a problem.

Beaches are few but beautiful!

Easter Island does not have a lot of beaches.

It’s mostly jagged volcanic cliffs along the coastline, which are quite stunning. However, there are a couple of beaches that I thought were pretty beautiful and they are right next to each other. You want to check out: Ovahe and Anakena.

You might also find come across a couple of hidden cove with beautiful mini beaches, so be on the lookout for those!

The annual festival is in early February

Easter Island puts on an annual festival in early February called Tapati Rapa Nui that celebrates their history and culture.

It looks like an enjoyable time filled with nighttime festivities and daytime competitions, but it can be hard to find flights during this time so if you plan on visiting the island during the first couple of weeks of February you need to make operations well in advance!

Final word

As you would probably expect, Easter Island is a very different place. I’d suggest really thinking about all of the factors above and how you can best prepare for them.

If you do that, I can guarantee you that you will have a smoother stay as you’ll be much more prepared than the average tourist!

1 2 3 10