Easter Island Airport

Arrival of travellers to Easter Island Airport

The Easter Island airport located in Mataveri is the main access point to the distant Rapa Nui. We tell you all the practical information that travelers may need during the trip.

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Mataveri, the most remote airport in the world

A plane arriving to the most remote airport in the world Easter Island Airport Mataveri Rapa Nui

A plane arriving to the most remote airport in the world

Mataveri Airport is the main entry point for the more than 100,000 tourists who travel to Easter Island each year to admire its archaeological sites and other attractions.

The Rapa Nui aiport is considered the most remote airport in the world, since the closest airport to Easter Island is Mangareva in the Gambier Islands (French Polynesia), which is located 2603 kilometers although it has no direct connection with it.

At the moment there are only two direct connections flights. The first is with the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport of Santiago de Chile (SCL), which is located at a distance of 3759 km and the second with the Faa’a International Airport of Papeete in Tahiti (French Polynesia) located at 4254 km, which is the only international destination with which it connects.

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Airlines that fly to Easter Island

Latam Airlines is the only airline that flies to Easter Island

Latam Airlines is the only airline that flies to Easter Island

The only airline operating at the Rapa Nui airport is LATAM Airlines (formerly known as LAN). It could be said that it has a monopoly on the Santiago-Easter Island-Papeete route.

LATAM Airlines has at least one daily flight connecting Santiago with Easter Island every day of the week. Some days the frequency increases to two flights and in high season it can arrive up to three flights a day.

However, due to lower demand, for now there is only one weekly flight to Papeete in Tahiti. This detail should be taken into account, since tourists who arrive in French Polynesia from Easter Island and return by the same route, must stay there at least 6 days to be able to take their flight back. A “lovely obligation” for those lucky enough to enjoy Polynesian paradise.

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Other flights and airlines

Many passengers ask if Sky Airline, the new low cost Chilean airline, flies to Easter Island but for the moment does not make this journey.

Sometimes the Air Tahiti Nui plane comes from Papeete as well as some charter flights operated by agencies and private planes from different destinations around the world.

In 2011, LATAM opened a new route with a direct flight from Lima (Peru) to Easter Island but after a few months of operation, it stopped working and for now it has not been reactivated. A pity, because for travelers from Peru and Europe, this route was shorter than flying through Santiago.

Note: Sometimes, in the information of the arrivals and departures of Easter Island that can be consulted online, other names of airlines (Iberia, American Airlines, etc.) may appear with their flight number at the same time as the flight of LATAM Airlines. This, which may confuse a bit, means that although other airlines appear on the panel, all flights are operated by LATAM.

Practical information of Mataveri airport

Passengers descending from LATAM Airlines plane at Mataveri airport, the Easter Island Airport Rapa Nui

Passengers descending from LATAM Airlines plane at Mataveri airport

Below we explain the basic details and useful tips for travelers to know what they have to do the day they land at the Easter Island airport and the day they return to their place of origin.

Arrival at the Easter Island airport

After a flight of more than five and a half hours if they come from Santiago or five hours if they embarked in Tahiti, the plane lands on the long runway of Mataveri airport in Rapa Nui. After descending the airplane ladder, tourists head to the small terminal where a series of sculptures carved in volcanic rock and inspired by Rapa Nui mythology welcome them.

Tickets for the Rapa Nui National Park

Box office of the Rapa Nui National Park at Mataveri Easter Island airport Rapa Nui

Box office of the Rapa Nui National Park at Mataveri airport

At the entrance to the terminal, on the left, there is a small ticket office belonging to the Mau Henu’a corporation where tickets can be purchased to access the Rapa Nui National Park. It only opens the hours the flights arrive.

At this point a long line is always created up to the box office because many passengers think that it is mandatory to buy the tickets at that moment. This is not exact, since they can also be purchased at the office that Mau Henu’a has on Atamu Tekena street in the center of Hanga Roa.

Read more information about Rapa Nui National Park

So if you do not want to wait you can continue to the luggage collection room. In any case, you can take advantage of the time and buy the ticket here as you will have to wait again until the suitcases appear on the conveyor belt.

It is worth saying that a few steps from the ticket office of the National Park, in front of the sculpture of a whale made of wood, there are the toilets.

Welcome with flower necklaces

Welcome with flower necklaces at the Easter Island Airport

Welcome with flower necklaces at the Easter Island Airport

After collecting the luggage from the single conveyor belt, in an operation that may take longer than the weary travelers would like, we must go to the exit door. After crossing the threshold, passengers are greeted kindly by the people of the accommodations in which they made the reservation. These, who carry signs with their names to facilitate the meeting, will give the tourists beautiful necklaces of typical flowers to welcome them to Rapa Nui.

More information about Easter Island Accommodation

However, there are some absentminded travelers who arrive to Rapa Nui without having a reservation in a hotel or a cabin. Fortunately for them, there is always a local person willing to offer their accommodation at a very good price. Although this helps resolve the issue, we discourage this practice.

First of all because depending on the season, the availability of accommodation can be very limited and it is a risk to wait at the last minute. And on the other hand, in some cases, tourists complain about the quality of the accommodation or the bad attention received from their host and end up moving. So, in order not to tarnish an idyllic vacation in Rapa Nui, we recommend that you always book in advance and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Transfer from the airport

Small artisan market and parking lot at Mataveri airport

Small artisan market and parking lot at Mataveri airport

Then they will go to the parking lot where the vehicles will take them to each accommodation. Occasionally, the hosts offer passengers a small “city tour” by Hanga Roa to explain the main points of interest before leaving them at their hotel or cabin to rest and start their visit to the island.

In the unlikely event that passengers have not notified or coordinated their transfer with the accommodation, there is the possibility of taking a taxi or hiring a transfer service.

It is also possible to reach Hanga Roa on your own by renting a vehicle. The large international companies such as Hertz, Avis, Sixt, etc. do not operate on Easter Island but this service is offered by a few local companies.

More information about car rental in Easter Island

Generally the reservation must be made in advance so that the company has prepared the car at the airport. Hiring a vehicle is usually one of the best ways to travel and know the island with total independence.

Farewell and departure from the Easter Island airport

Main access to Mataveri Easter Island aiport

Main access to Mataveri airport in Easter Island

The most common is that as happens upon arrival, the hosts of the accommodations organize the transfer to the airport of their guests. On this occasion, as a token of gratitude and good wishes on the return home, travelers are given a necklace of sea shells as a farewell gift.

But lately, due to the increase of tourists and flights, it is increasingly difficult for them to offer this transfer service. Therefore it is possible that it is necessary to take a taxi or hire a transfer to Mataveri.

Baggage inspection and check-in

Once at the airport, travelers have to queue to get their bags through the SAG (Chilean Agricultural and Livestock Service) scanner. It is not allowed to bring fruits, vegetables or food without declaration. Neither stones nor any other native material can be removed from the island without permission.

Then you have to check-in at the LATAM Airlines counters located at the back of the terminal, to the right of the entrance door. It is convenient to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the scheduled flight time. Passengers requiring special assistance or wheelchairs should coordinate services with the airline or travel agency.

Services of Mataveri airport

Main lounge of the Mataveri terminal Easter Island Aiport Rapa Nui

Main lounge of the Mataveri terminal of Easter Island airport

The Easter Island airport is very small, so there is no possibility of getting lost. Vehicles can access the parking lot for free. In front of the terminal, there is a small construction where there are several stalls offering souvenirs.

After passing through the main door, there is a large open hall where the check-in counters and baggage inspection are located as well as a luggage storage area and small shops that sell books, clothes, typical handicrafts and souvenirs of the island. Some time ago, there was an ATM but after an attempted robbery (something unusual on the island), it was not installed again.

Classic image of the Manuel Tuki moai with the plane of Latam behind it Easter Island airport

Classic image of the Manuel Tuki moai with the plane of Latam behind it

After check-in you have to pass a door that gives access to another space where the passport and baggage control is carried out by the PDI (Investigative Police). Once the last procedure is finished, you will arrive at the only boarding room, where in addition to several rows of seats, there is a souvenir shop and a bar-cafeteria serving light dishes and all kinds of drinks.

Now you only have to wait for the departure of the flight. Meanwhile you can admire the moai statue that the local sculptor Manuel Tuki donated to the airport in 1975 and that is currently in the departure lounge. Over time, it has become the most sought after photographic image by travelers from all over the world before leaving Mataveri Airport.

Latam office in Hanga Roa

Latam office in Hanga Roa

Latam office in Hanga Roa

Tourists who need to buy, modify or consult any flight or travel package offered by the company LATAM can approach the office of this company located in Hanga Roa at the corner of Atamu Tekena main street with Pont Avenue. Usually there are always too many people waiting to be served so the Rapa Nui Café, which is right next door, is ideal to spend time until it’s the turn.

Easter Island airport code

International codes

Easter Island IATA Code: IPC
Easter Island OACI Code: SCIP

Coordinates: Longitud 109°25′18″O Latitud 27°09′53″S
Altitude: 69 m above sea level
Landing track: 10/28. Asphalt 3318 m long and 44 m wide
Number os passengers (2018): 267.773
(256.351 from Santiago de Chile y 11.422 from Papeete)

Contact information

Mataveri International Airport
Address: Hotu Matu’a Avenue
Attention hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to the last flight
Phone: +56322100700 | +56322100237
Website: www.dgac.gob.cl

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