When to go to Easter Island
Traveling to Easter Island is a dream for many people and may only be realized once in a lifetime, due to the remoteness and price to reach this remote and fascinating place. So many people will wonder what is the best time to go and enjoy the island.
Actually there is no perfect moment for everyone, but it will depend on the interests, the available days and the budget of each traveler. The island will always give unforgettable moments.
Length of stay
Many restless tourists only spend three days for their visit to Rapa Nui, and if they are lucky with the weather, it is possible to “see” the main attractions of the island at that time. Five days would be a more appropriate period, since there are always margin days in case rain does not allow access or contemplate in its splendor the archaeological sites and the landscapes.
From a week on, there is enough time to explore the lesser known places, take leisurely walks, enjoy the wide range of activities and feel the “mana” or spiritual power that makes this small triangle of earth invite you to return.
Southern summer begins in December and runs through the end of March. Temperature rises and in combination with the high percentage of humidity, the sensation of heat can become a little suffocating, especially if you make long routes on foot or by bicycle. But at the same time, that temperature is ideal for sunbathing and enjoying a refreshing swim in Anakena beach.
January and February are the traditional months of vacations in the southern hemisphere, and therefore during this time prices are quite expensive. Accommodations can increase their rates by around 30% and plane tickets from Santiago de Chile, the only point of connection along with Papeete in Tahiti, can be tripled.
In February travelers also arrive that disembark of the great cruisers, that come from different ports, make a brief stop in the island to continue their navigation.
Despite the high prices and a considerable increase in the number of tourists that travel to the island, there are two major events taking place at this time of year that make the visit almost obligatory.
The first of these events is the celebration of the Tapati Rapa Nui during the first two weeks of February. This is one of the most important cultural festivals in all of Polynesia, where the population of the island is divided into two clans to support by means of different tests and competitions to its representatives who will be chosen queen and king of the island in case of winning.
If you want to attend this unique event in the world, it is advisable to reserve the accommodation and the air ticket several months in advance, to get reservations at reasonable prices.
The second event is the possibility to contemplate the sunrise in Ahu Tongariki. Between December 21 and March 21, the sun rises behind the fifteen moai of the largest ceremonial platform on Easter Island. The silhouettes of the statues are cut back against a background of changing colors, offering a mystical and impressive spectacle to the visitors.
In addition to the summer months, we must bear in mind that prices can increase on holidays and during the celebration of the National feasts (September 18th) in which many Chileans from the continent take advantage to visit their small polynesian paradise.
The low season starts after Easter, in the month of April and extends until the end of November. The rainiest months are usually those of April and May, where it can rain several days in a row. In this time there will be many moments in which weather allows to enjoy a swim in the beach and others in which the continuous breeze will discourage the less brave.
During the austral winter, from June to September, temperatures are more “cold”, with an average of 18 ° C and on wet and windy days it can get cool, especially at high points such as the Rano Kau volcano crater or the top of the Terevaka.
In low season prices are more convenient, and you can find very good offers of plane tickets reserving with a little advance. The influx of tourists decreases considerably so there will be no problems finding accommodation, but it is likely that some tourist services are less frequent or unavailable.
In any case, it is an ideal time for those who do not like crowds, for low budget backpackers, for hiking lovers and for solitary travelers who escape to this place in search of peace and harmony. On many occasions you will be completely alone in front of the moai statues, feeling the sea breeze and living an almost mystical experience in this mysterious and magical place.
During these months there are a series of very interesting events that although they do not have the resonance of the Tapati, perhaps they are more interesting to know and to feel the Rapanui daily life with more authenticity.
At the end of April, the Arts and Culture Week, organized by the Tongariki Cultural Center, is held where there are exhibitions of local products, handicraft workshops and musical performances among other activities.
Every June 29th is celebrated on Easter Island the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. The day begins with a solemn mass in the Holy Cross church, once finished they are directed in procession towards the harbour where the images of St. Peter of Hanga Roa Otai and Hanga Piko are shipped in a fishing boat. After the prayers and blessings in the sea, they return to earth to finish the acts with a curanto (traditional food) for the whole community.
Since 2013, the Rapa Nui Pro Surf Championship has been held in October, an integrated competition in the Chilean national surf circuit. It is an excellent opportunity to see the maneuvers of the best surfers in the country on the waves of Hanga Roa.
November is a month full of activities where you can try typical dishes, see samples of takona (traditional body painting), get excited about ancestral sports or revel in the songs in Rapanui language. At the beginning of the month, Rapa Nui Language Day takes place, followed by Ancestral Sports Day, Koro Nui Tupuna, and Music Day.
The year ends with the celebration of Christmas with activities for the little ones and the arrival of the New Year with shows of local music, good atmosphere and fireworks in Hanga Vare Vare.