Getting around Easter Island
The first thing to say is that in general everything is very simple, because of the size and shape of the island, it is very difficult to get lost and if someone gets a little off, there will always be a friendly villager willing to help you and even upload you to his car to take you to your destination. Here we explain the different alternatives.
Walking around Easter Island is undoubtedly the best way to appreciate and feel this distant territory. Hanga Roa is a small town and all the interesting places are relatively close and divided between Atamu Tekena, the main street, Te Pito o Te Henua street, where is the church, and the road of the coast that leads from Hanga Piko to Ahu Tahai.
You can also walk to some caves, viewpoints and nearby archaeological sites, taking some of the existing trekking routes. These include climbing to the Rano Kau volcano and the village of Orongo, the route of the caves, the road to the Terevaka from Ahu Akivi or the ascent to the Poike volcano. In these cases, it is advisable to be prepared and wear light clothing, a raincoat, a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun, some food and enough water for the whole trip.
To visit the rest of the points further away from Hanga Roa, it is necessary to use some means of transport such as those described below.
Riding a horse
A more relaxed and different way of mobilizing is to do it on horseback. After encountering these beautiful animals in almost every corner of the island, you feel like climbing on one of them. To do this, it is necessary to hire some of the horseback riding available.
There are several tours on the island, and horseback riding can last from a couple of hours to two days, including accommodation, fishing and traditional food in the longest. Most of the tours take place in the inner part of the island, and usually include the top of Maunga Terevaka.
Other alternatives include Anakena and a tour of the central coast, where there are no roads, so a cavalcade is the ideal way to get to know this less accessible part. In addition, the guides are, in most cases, the only ones who can identify archaeological sites that are hidden between the cliffs and have no signage, such as “the cave of the virgins” in Poike.
Another alternative to travel not only Hanga Roa but the whole island, is to rent a bicycle in one of the several businesses located on the main street. It is important to try them for a while before deciding and make sure that in addition to the bike give you the necessary kit for if we suffer a puncture. Although a padlock is included, the truth is that security problems are almost non-existent.
The two roads of the island, one which runs from Hanga Roa to Anakena and the other one of the south coast, are perfectly paved and roads that are not, are passable although you have to be careful especially if it has rained.
Cars, motorcycles and quads
It is also possible to rent motorbikes or quads, although the most commonly used alternative for visitors is car rental. Most are off-road and well-prepared for unpaved roads. They are a convenient and quick way to travel around the island, but do not forget that there are no insurance companies, so if there is any damage in the vehicle, the client must cover the repairs.
For those who do not want to rent any type of vehicle, there is a good taxi service with which you can agree routes, prices and make round trips. A trip to Anakena beach, for example, can cost around US $ 25 and the taxi driver will pick up the customer at the time indicated. It is important to coordinate the collection time previously, since the coverage of mobile phones is almost non-existent in most areas of the island.
Te Ao Tour
A new service has been created recently very convenient to move to Anakena beach. It is the Te Ao Tour bus, which departs at certain times from the main street of Hanga Roa, Atamu Tekena, and has stops at the Handicraft Market, Hanga Vare Vare and Camping Mihinoa before heading to Anakena. The round trip price per person is 7,000 pesos or 13 USD which is cheaper than a taxi although it has the slight disadvantage that you have to adjust to the pre-set times.