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Easter Island Extension
A Polynesian cultural adventure to one of the planet's most intriguing World Heritage Sites
A local representative meets you on arrival at the airport and accompanies you to Hotel Posada de Mike Rapu, a few miles from the small township of Hanga Roa that is home to Easter Island’s 2,500 residents. The island itself is compact, covering just 45 square miles. After checking in, your guide gives a briefing on the adventures ahead, an immersion in an ancient Polynesian culture that remains one of the most entrancing on earth, despite the European and Chilean influences that have also colored Rapa Nui culture.
Our journey into Rapa Nui mystery and legend includes a focus on the carved monoliths for which Easter Island is renowned. These stone statues, which resemble humans with oversized heads, were created between 1250 and 1500. Called moai, they are believed to represent the living faces of deified ancestors. The ceremonial shrines with rectangular stone platforms on which the moai sit are known as ahu, meaning “sacred place.” Most of the sites are found around the perimeter of the island, with the statues typically gazing inland. Many of our activities include visits to these sacred sites.
This Easter Island Extension is designed to allow guests to custom-craft their itinerary, choosing among a variety of daily activities according to your interests and physical abilities. A broad selection of hikes, bicycle rides, and explorations in the ocean (snorkeling, fishing using traditional methods, and boat trips) enable guests to gain an in-depth understanding of the culture and geography of Rapa Nui, its ancient megalithic stone figures, and the unique aspects of this remote island’s natural and human history. Each evening, your guide will meet with you in the hotel lounge to go over all the options for the next day. The maximum group size for each exploration is 8 travelers, accompanied by a bilingual guide.
The following menu includes descriptions of our main explorations; the itineraries can experience modifications at any time and without prior notice. Your guide will go over the exact details of each offering on a daily basis.
Te Miro O One (Coastal Platforms Walk)
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours, walking 2 to 2.5 hours. Distance: 5 km (3.1 mi). Level: Easy.
Walk from Hotel Posada de Mike Rapu through pretty fields and farmland surrounding the hotel. Descend toward the southern coast, with views of various archaeological sites. Once at the coast there are numerous moai. Arrive at the platform Hanga Te Tenga. Return to the hotel by van.
Ahu Te Peu – Tahai – Hanga Roa (The Caves And The Cliffs Route)
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours, walking 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Distance: 6.5 km (4 mi). Level: Easy to moderate (trail is rocky & uneven in places).
Travel to the Ahu Akivi platform. After visiting the site, we continue by van to the Te Peu platform. We walk along a trail that borders steep cliffs and offers spectacular views of the Pacific. We view important archaeological and cultural sites such as Ahu Tepeu and Ahu Tahai. Next, we view the Motu Tautara and visit the Dos Ventanas cave. Finally, we pass by the Tahai platform before arriving to Hanga Roa. Return by van to hotel.
Ara O Te Moai (The Moai Quarry)
Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours, walking 2.5 to 3 hours. Distance: 4.5 km (2.8 mi). Level: Easy to moderate (trail can be rocky and uneven in some areas, or with long grass). Optional 65 m/ 200 ft ascent into the crater.
Travel to Hanga Te Tenga by van. Walk along Ara O Te Moai—the trail once used to transport the moai sculptures. View numerous overturned moai along the way. Climb up (65 m/ 200 ft) to Rano Raraku, the moai stone quarry, with views of the interior of the crater and its fresh water lake. Explore the crater and view the various moai in different stages of creation. Return by van to the hotel.
Mahatua Ovahe (Tongariki - 15 Moai Platform)
Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours, walking 3 to 3.5 hours. Distance: 6 km (3.7 mi). Level: Easy to moderate.
Travel to Tongariki—the 15 moai platform. Visit the site and continue by van to Mahatua. Walk along trail that borders the northern coast of the island. Along the way view Maunga Parehe, the “La Perousse” fishing cove, local villagers and various archaeological sites. Arrive at Ovahe Beach. Return by van to the hotel.
Avaranga Uka Akivi (The Hibiscus Ravine)
Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours, walking 2.5 to 3 hours. Distance: 7 km (4.4 mi). Level: Moderate.
Travel to the base of the Volcano Terevaka by van. Walk uphill alongside a small ravine, passing archaeological sites. After walking by the crater of Volcano Rano Aroi, arrive to the highest point to enjoy views of the eastern side of the island. Walk down with views of the west and Hanga Roa, ending at the Akivi Platform. Return by van to the hotel.
Pui Rano Raraku (Volcanic Cones)
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours, walking 1.5 to 2 hours. Distance: 6 km (3.7 mi). Level: Easy to moderate (trail can be rocky and uneven in some areas).
Travel to Pui Hill by van. Walk along the base of the hill, which is known for the Haka Pei competition, where local men slide down on banana tree trunks. The trail continues through the countryside, passing several archaeological sites before arriving at the Ranu Raraku site (the Moai Quarry). Return by van to the hotel.
Papa Vaka (East Coast Petroglyphs)
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours, walking 1.5 to 2 hours. Distance: 5 km (3.1 mi). Level: Easy to moderate (long grass and no defined trail).
Travel northeast to the archaeological site of Papa Vaka. Large exposed boulders hold many preserved petroglyphs. Walk through the countryside passing by excellent examples of traditional agriculture, before finishing in Tongariki. Return by van to the hotel.
Puakatiki (Headlands Of Poike)
Duration: 4 to 4.5 hours, walking 3 to 4 hours. Distance: 8.5 km (5.3 mi). Level: Challenging.
Travel to Piko Mahore by van. Walk along an upward sloping trail that borders a steep cliff and pass by Maunga Parehe and Maunga Tea-Tea. View the Vai Aheva fountain. Climb to PuaKatiki and then walk down to the platform Tongariki to view the 15 moai. Return by van to the hotel.
Tereveka Anakena (The Highest Point)
Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours, walking 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Distance: 10 km (6.2 mi). Level: Challenging (rocky trail).
Travel to Vaitea by van. The walk begins at Fundo Vaitea then climbs to Maunga Kuma and to Maunga Terevaka crater to appreciate spectacular views of the island from its highest point. The trail continues northeast toward Anakena along high coastal ridges. Gradually descend and cross several archaeological sites. Finally arrive at Anakena Beach for an optional swim in the ocean. Return to the hotel by van.
Ara O Te Tangata Manu (The Birdman Crater)
Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours, walking 2 to 3 hours. Distance: 7 km (4.4 mi). Level: Moderate to challenging.
Travel to Vinapu by van. View the Ahu Tahira. Walk up an ascending trail that borders steep cliffs (250 m/ 820 ft) to arrive at the edge of Rano Kau Crater. Spectacular views of the ocean and interior of the volcano. Walk along the crater to Orongo. Visit the significant ceremonial site of Tangata Manu (Bird Man). Return by van to the hotel.
Hanga O Teo (North Coast Hike)
Duration: 4.5 to 5.5 hours, walking 4.5 to 5.5 hours. Distance: 13.5 km (8.4 mi). Level: Moderate to challenging (trail is rocky, uneven, and exposed to weather elements; sturdy hiking shoes recommended; ideally with ankle support).
Travel to Te Peu by van. Walk along a trail that borders steep cliffs and offers spectacular views. Visit natural bathing pools, cross locally owned fields, and view numerous archaeological sites. Arrival at Anakena Beach. Picnic along the trail. Return by van to the hotel.
Orito (South Coast Ride)
Duration: 1.5 to 2.5 hours.Distance: 17 km (10.6 mi). Level: Easy.
Bike toward Hanga Roa. Travel through small farms owned by locals and observe varied vegetation, including eucalyptus and cockspur coral tree (ceibo). The paved road turns into a dirt road. Begin a gradual ascent along the edge of Orito Hill with striking views of the coast. Discover various ceremonial platforms—like Hanga Poukura—and the fishing cove of Hanga Tee. Return to the hotel along the paved coastal road.
Te Miro O One (Coastal Platforms Ride)
Duration: 2 to 3 hours. Distance: 18 km (11.2 mi). Level: Moderate.
Bike through scenic agricultural areas, following a double-track dirt trail. Descend toward the southern coast with views of various motu and archaeological sites, following the coastal route to reach the Tahira platform. Continue along paved and dirt roads until reaching the Posada.
Tongariki (15 Moai Ride)
Duration: 2 to 3 hours. Distance: 22 km (13.7 mi). Level: Moderate.
Bike from the hotel on a dirt road connecting with the south coast paved road. During the first part of the ride there are fine examples of local agriculture. Head toward the 15 moai platform, Ahu Tongariki. After admiring the site of Tongariki, we return along the same road. Along the way, we can stop at a natural pool for a swim.
Akivi Tahai (7 Moai Ride)
Duration: 3 to 4 hours.Distance: 30 km (18.6 mi). Level: Challenging.
Bike toward Hanga Roa. Take a small dirt road toward the Seven Moai platform, Ahu Akivi. Observe fine examples of local cultivation of pineapples, taro, and sweet potatoes. Continue west following the coast. Ride past the Te Peu Platform and keep going along the coast to Ahu Tahai and Hanga Roa Village. Return to the hotel on the paved road.
Hi Ika (Traditional Deep Sea Fishing)
Duration: 3 hours. Level: Easy to moderate. Previous deep-sea fishing experience recommended.
Travel by van to Hanga Piko. Board a traditional local fishing boat and head to deeper waters, where a local fisherman will teach you the ways of fishing in the open seas. Typical catch includes tuna, red snapper, or glass-eye snapper.
Motus (Islet Boat Ride)
Duration: 3 hours. Distance: approx. 8 km (5 mi) round trip. Level: Easy.
Travel by van to Hanga Roa Otai or Hanga Piko. Depart by traditional Rapa Nui fishing boats. Ride out to view formations of coastal caves and the cliffs of Rano Kau, as well as the south side motus—known for the Birdman Competition.
Duration: 2 hours, approximately 45 to 60 minutes in the water. Level: Easy to moderate. Note: Snorkeling takes place in open waters and directly from the boat. Previous experience snorkeling recommended. The waters off the coast of the island are some of the most transparent in the world. Travel by traditional local fishing boat to one of the designated areas best for snorkeling. Accompanied by your guide, discover the beautiful underwater world where one can see a variety of endemic aquatic fauna including corals, mollusks, crustaceans, and tropical fish. Water temperature ranges from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Snorkeling equipment is provided.
*Availability of sea explorations is dependent upon daily weather and sea conditions. The traditional local boats do not provide cover from the sun.