Most famous for its mysterious moai statues, Easter Island is an isolated destination located in the South Pacific Ocean, some 2,300 miles off the coast of mainland Chile. Because of the massive stone figures, created by the Rapa Nui people between 1400-1600 AD, the Polynesian island heavily relies on tourism. Traveling with Kuoda, you will experience the best of Easter Island while supporting exquisite and sustainable businesses such as the top Easter Island hotel, Explora Rapa Nui.
Situated on a quiet mountain, just outside of the island’s main town, Explora Rapa Nui is Kuoda’s top recommended hotel on Easter Island. Read on to find out why!
Where is Explora Rapa Nui
Like all Explora resorts, the all-inclusive Explora Rapa Nui is situated in an exclusive and privileged territory. Guarded by trees and offering astonishing views of the blue Pacific Ocean, Explora Rapa Nui is a comfortable distance (4.6 miles) from the town of Hanga Roa. The resort is hands down the most luxurious hotel on volcanic Easter Island.
An eco-luxury resort
From the design of the building to the welcoming interior, Explora Rapa Nui offers an elegant display of its commitment to sustainability and preservation of local culture and nature. The resort was built using local wood and shows off oval motifs in reference to traditional Rapa Nui design.
Each of the 30 private rooms offers expansive views of the coastline and was designed to take full advantage of the natural and silent setting. The pool, jacuzzi and inviting massage terrace found on the grounds of Explore Rapa Nui are almost enough to convince guests to stay on the property for the length of their trip—though we know our Kuoda travelers won’t be able to resist the urge to explore the entire island!
Explora has been operating internationally for +25 years, focusing on sustainable, nature-based resorts. The company’s Easter Island location was built on an area that was free of historical artifacts and any agricultural value. A conscious creation, the Rapa Nui resort was the first in South America to obtain the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a recognition from the United States Green Building Council.
Perfect for those who…
Though Explora’s Easter Island hotel may be secluded from the nearest town, it provides guests with a bevy of immersive and active group experiences to choose from. The resort is ideal for travelers who prefer to select activities based on interest and activity level and who enjoy meeting like-minded travelers; globetrotters who value and support sustainable projects, and explorers who prefer a serene and elegant setting to lay their heads at night.
How to get there
Roundtrip transfers from the Mataveri International Airport—also referred to as the Isla de Pascua Airport (IPC)—in Hanga Roa to Explora Rapa Nui are available. This airport, considered the most remote airport in the world, connects to the Airport Arturo Merino Benítez in Santiago de Chile (SCL) with daily flights. The flight from Santiago to Easter Island is less than 6 hours. Once you land in Hanga Roa, Kuoda will arrange a pick-up service to bring you to the resort (a 10-minute drive).
What to do on Easter Island
So much cultural and historical excitement can be discovered just beyond the property of Explora Rapa Nui on Easter Island. Luckily, the very essence of Explora is its explorations and there are over 30 proposed experiences that take guests off the beaten path as well as to typical touristic sites on the tiny island.
Learn to scuba dive on Easter Island! The island’s remote location and the absence of plankton result in crystal clear waters ideal for scuba diving. A certified teacher will lead you through a controlled immersion until you are comfortable with the gear. Then, a sea exploration around the Polynesian island reveals the volcanic landscape marked by caves and lava platforms. You may even come across an underwater moai (a modern version of the traditional figures).
As an eco-friendly travel company, Kuoda highly recommends reducing our carbon footprint by seeking smart transportation options. At less than 65 square miles in area and a population of less than 8,000, much of the small island can be comfortably explored by mountain bike. Witness a view of the coastline few other tourists see and learn about life on the remote island as you commute on a fairly flat bike route to various archaeological sites and picturesque beaches.
Looking to slow down, take some photos and soak up all the information you can get from a local guide? Explora Rapa Nui offers overland explorations by vehicle, many of which include short hikes. Choose from routes that include the island’s largest crater, biodiverse wetlands, the Ahu Tongariki ancient ruins and much more.
When to visit
On a tailor-made journey to Easter Island with Kuoda, you can decide if you prefer to travel during the height of summer (and, thus, tourism) or during the off-season for an even more private experience.
Summer in the southern hemisphere begins in January and typically lasts until March. During this time of year there is less rainfall but more visitors. Aim for shoulder months like November-December or April-May if eager to avoid the busy season.
No matter what time of year you visit, be sure to pack a rain jacket as rain can be expected throughout the year.
FAQs about Easter Island
– Why is it called Easter Island? The Polynesian name for Easter Island is actually Rapa Nui. Also the name of the island’s original inhabitants, Rapa Nui would be dubbed Easter Island in 1772 when Dutch explorers landed on the island on what happened to be Easter Day.
– Why did the Rapa Nui people build the stone moai figures? Though the descendants of the Rapa Nui people continue to preserve the unique culture, language and traditions of their ancestors to this day, the purpose of the massive heads of Easter Island continues to puzzle researchers.
One persuasive and popular theory is that the carved bodies were created to commemorate the life of important community members and preserve their energy. Carved from volcanic rock, the mythical figures are referred to as Moai Aringa Ora, which translates to “the living face of our ancestors”.
Archaeologists have discovered nearly 900 moai on the island so far, dating them between AD 1200-1400.
– Where on Easter Island is the best place to see the moai? The most famous moai are those of Ahu Tongaraki. The postcard-ready lineup of 15 moai faces away from the ocean on the eastern end of Easter Island. Placed on a stone platform (ahu), the Tongaraki figures reach a height of 30 feet.
Meanwhile, just west of Tongaraki, is Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater. Rano Raraku was likely the most important quarry for the stone sculptures and is where the majority of the monolithic figures were carved before being transported. However, it is the nearly 400 moai in various stages of completion and scattered around Rano Raraku that make for a strikingly visual journey of the process.
– What country is Easter Island a part of? Unfortunately, after being discovered by outsiders in the 18th century, the Rapa Nui population would become nearly extinct due to diseases, slavery and raids. In 1888, Chile offered protection and annexed Isla de Pascua (the Spanish name for Easter Island) and, by 1965, the people of Rapa Nui were recognized as Chilean citizens.
Travel Carbon Neutral with Kuoda
The best way to be a more sustainable traveler is to visit natural protected areas with a tour operator that also offers carbon neutrality.
Kuoda is a carbon-neutral company that ensures that every detail of your travel promotes the best for the environments you’re traveling in.
If you’ve been thinking of planning a trip to Easter Island, there’s no better time than now.
Contact Us to start customizing your sustainable journey to Easter Island.