Biking on Easter Island is one of the most rewarding alternatives (though it requires some effort) to get around it. This option allows you to enjoy the island with ease, feeling, in most of the routes, the sea breeze on your face and watching the waves crash on the cliffs. In addition, there are few who dare to cross it on two wheels so the feeling of having the island all to yourself is almost permanent.
Most of the roads are paved, but there are also some dirt and stone paths. We must be careful, especially when it’s rained, because the clay soil of the island can be slippery. In any case, this is a highly recommended experience.
You can rent bikes at various locations along the main street, most of them are of good quality, but it’s worth it to try them out before starting a long tour. Make Make is a good choice, because their bikes are of very good quality and very good prices. Plus, they deliver all of the necessary elements to journey safely and a map of the recommended routes. The daily rental price can range between $15 USD and $20 USD, but a much better rate can be arranged if you rent the bike for several days.
Another option, of course, is to bring your own bike on the plane, but in this case you must be very careful with their packaging as they may be hit or damaged during the journey.
Rent a bike companies
Main biking routes
Hanga Roa – Orongo
This route leads out of Hanga Roa on the coastal path heading south and follows the same route on which the cars go up. It’s a journey of only 6 kilometers, but it can be hard because it’s a steady climb to the Rano Kau crater. If it has rained, it’s better to be careful or avoid this route, as the road is not paved and can return into a very slippery slope. The climb may take approximately 50 minutes and just 10 on the way down.
Puna Pau – Ahu Akivi – Ana Kakenga – Tahai
This circular route starts out from Hanga Roa on the road that crosses the airport and leads to Anakena. You take the left detour towards Puna Pau. From this point on, the road becomes all dirt and stone. After visiting the pukao quarry, go back the same way but take the left fork for 3.2 kilometers up to Ahu Akivi, the platform with 7 moai. Then, about 1 km away is Ana Te Pahu , also known as “the plantain cave”, and continue for one more kilometer will lead us to the coast to the Ana Te Pora cave. Following the coastal route towards the south, heading back towards Hanga Roa, Ana Kakenga is found, or “the cave of the two windows”. The tour ends by going down the coast to Tahai, which is the best place to watch the sunset.
Hanga Roa – Anakena
The road that crosses the island and joins Hanga Roa to Anakena is paved in its entirety and is in perfect condition. You have to leave town towards the airport and soon you’ll see the signs that indicate Anakena. Do not take any additional detours. The first part of the route has some slopes, but in general it’s quite comfortable and ends with a spectacular downward slope with views of the sea. The route is just over 16 kilometers long and takes between one and one and a half hours, but the effort will be amply compensated by the possibility of enjoying the wonderful beach of white sands and a turquoise sea. One kilometer before reaching Anakena you can take the road that leads to the Ovahe beach.
To return to Hanga Roa there are two options. The road that crosses the island is one of them, but what was before a downward slope now becomes a pretty tough climb, so many cyclists walk that part or even ask a driver to take them up. It all depends on the physical condition of each visitor. The other alternative is to go back on the southern coastal path. In this case, the journey takes between two and a half to three hours. The section linking Anakena and Ahu Tongariki is in poor condition and you’ll have to cross quite rocky areas. From Tongariki on, everything is paved, though there are some rough stretches, but the route offers superb views.
Hanga Roa – Rano Raraku – Ahu Tongariki
Always taking the same exit out of the village, on the main road after about 2 km, you’ll see a turn to the right that says “coastal path”. Following this paved road, you’ll arrive after about 12 kilometers at the detour that leads to Rano Raraku, the moai quarry. Along the way there are many of the most important archaeological sites of the island, such as Ahu Hanga Te’e, Ahu Akahanga or Papa Vaka. After seeing the quarry, go back to the main road and continue for another 3 kilometers to Ahu Tongariki, one of the most spectacular platforms on Easter Island.
Note: For the enthusiastic athletes who want to measure their strength on two wheels, you can participate in the Rapa Nui Mountain Bike, which is held every year in the month of June.