Chile- Hiking on the Easter Islands
Easter Island belongs politically to Chile, but geographically to Polynesia. Now, one imagines Polynesia with lush green vegetation. In our dream visions we swim in the bathtub warm water, small waves break at the white coral beach which is surrounded by coconut trees and forms the perfect scenery for our holiday paradise.
Forget that!! Easter Island is mainly covered with grass, the forests are mostly eucalyptus, the coast is rocky and beaches are rather rare. Nevertheless, the island fascinates immensely and offers especially the nature lover a dream destination with hikes in unique landscapes. For all tours you can find exact descriptions on our tour portal and for to go also offline on our app. As a faithful companion you should not miss the trekkingchile hiking map of Rapa Nui.
Why to the Easter Island?????
One can say, we had a first and drastic experience on Easter Island about 20 years ago. We just visited a simple sandwich bar. We got into conversation with a US pilot who showed us his pilot’s license after the third beer, valid for UFO´s with up to 2.3 times the speed of light. Shortly thereafter, an islander rode into the restaurant on a white horse, stood in front of the bar and ordered a beer. Mind you on horseback. The sandwich shop hasn’t existed for a long time, but no matter where we go to eat in Rapa Nui, we wait for the rider and the white horse.
The mainland of Chile is 3500 km away, Tahiti even 4200 km. The only inhabited place is Hanga Roa, here about 7000 inhabitants make themselves comfortable. If one can speak of an isolated location, it is the Easter Islands. One also feels this intensively during one’s stay. This might also be the reason for people to ride into the bar on horseback. This probably attracts people with a different attitude, like American UFO pilots. There are also hundreds of stone heads known as Moais standing around the area. They look really bizarre, they don’t fit into the landscape at all. They always remind me of a comic book I read as a child and never forgot. There are many theories about the Moais but you really don’t know anything about them. How did you transport these heavy statues from the quarry? What did they mean ?
The only beautiful beach on Easter Island is Anakena, about 30 minutes by car from Hanga Roa. But those who have planned their bathing stay on Rapa Nui should get a better travel guide anyway. The real magic of the island can be seen on many hikes. The smell of the ripe guavas, the fantastic view to the crater Rano Kau with its countless lagoons that shine in the sunlight, the wild surf along the west coast trail or the view over the whole island from Maunga Terevaka, shows one, the Easter island as one cannot get to know it from the vehicle. In order to get an overview of the island, even outdoor enthusiasts should start with a guided day trip to the most important sights. Otherwise, one misses too much information and is able to plan further excursions better.
We’ve been to Easter Island before in winter and wouldn’t do it again. It was just too cold and with a thick winter coat even Polynesia loses its charm. I would recommend October to the end of April as travel time, of course it can also rain in these months but then it is at least not so cold.
Hikes and bike tours on Easter Island
By bike on Easter Island
We do not get the best overview of most of the island’s sights on foot, but on bicycle. A round trip around the island allows us to actively enjoy the beaches of Anakena, Tongariki and Rano Raraku. The route leads mostly on asphalt and with little gradient once on the ring road completely around the island.
With only about 2 hours much shorter, the “Akivi Bicycle Round” from Hanga Roa leads us along the coastal road to the cave Ana Te Pahu, the impressive Moai´s of Akivi and the quarry Puna Pau. If you want to take the time to visit the sights, you should plan at least half a day.
West Coast Trail
Among the hikes, the West Coast Trail stands out, connecting Hanga Roa with Anakena, the most beautiful beach on Easter Island. Who starts in the morning can enjoy the afternoon after the 5-6 h long tour the Pacific waves or chill in the shade of the coconut palms. The return trip can easily be arranged by taxi, but it is better to start from Hanga Roa.
The biggest natural spectacle we find by far at the crater Rano Kau. The 2-3 h long Orongo Trail leads there. It also starts in Hanga Roa and follows the Sendero de Chile up to the 1, 5km big crater. At the bottom of the steep crater rim countless small lakes shine in the sunlight. Like a condor nest, the ruins of Orongo stick to the crater rim west of it. Every year the rite of the bird cult took place here, which was filmed in a romantic way with Kevin Costner.
Poike Circular Hike
The east side of the Easter Island is even neglected, so the Poike Circular Hike is hardly ever done. The trail goes around the volcano of the same name, south of it there are wonderful views of the island Motu Marotiri and the Moais of Tongariki.
Summit happiness at Maunga Terevaka
A climber will certainly want to climb the 512 m high Maunga Terevaka, the highest peak of Rapa Nui. From Vaitea you can descend to Hanga Roa in about 5 hours. If you still haven’t had enough, take the Rohio hike to the restored ruins of Tahai. On the way we are guided by the scent of the guava fruits and enchanted by the red blossoms of the coral tree (Erytrina variegata).