Hanga Roa Travel Guide

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Hanga Roa is Easter Island's (or Isla de Pascua as it's called in Spanish, or Rapa Nui as it's called locally) only town, and has fewer than 4,000 inhabitants. Connections to Easter Island are made from Santiago or Tahiti, and it is far from both. The closest inhabited landmass "close" to Easter Island is Pitcairn Island, more than 2000 km away, and the coast of Chile itself is more than 3,000 km from here.

Easter island is roughly triangular, with the widest part measuring just 23 km from surf-pounded coast to surf-pounded coast. The main attraction on the island is visits to the various moai, sturdy giant statues that dot the coast, and in some spots, the interior of the island. It is possible to visit some of the quarries where the giant statues where honed, yet questions about their purpose and how they were hauled from one place to another on the island are still unanswered. Many people find Easter Island to be a mystery, in that this very important feature lies relatively unexplained.

Two-thirds of the people who live on the island are Pascuense, that is to say, from there, and of polynesian descent. The other third are from continental Chile or from other countries. The first airstrip was built just 50 years ago, in 1968, and before then contact was made just once a year. Now LAN flies to the island daily during high season.

Where to Go in Hanga Roa

TOP PICKS BY OUR LOCAL EXPERTS

Explora's Casas Rapa Nui

expert pick

One of three ultra luxurious hotels undeer the Explora name, this one located on a small hill on Easter Island.

Rano Kau

expert pick

One of the top three most visited sites on Easter Island, a giant collapsed volcanic cone with a freshwater lake in the center, close to Orongo, an abandoned ceremonial site.

El Jardin de Mau/Haka Kanu

expert pick

Policarpo Toro
Ave. Policarpo Toro s/n

Toroko

expert pick

One of two discos on la isla, with different styles of music and people of all ages joining in.

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