Best of Easter Island

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Easter Island
One of the world’s most isolated places, Easter Island lies some 2300 miles (3700km) off the coast of South America, and its Polynesian residents have completely different cultural traditions from other parts of Chile. Known locally as Rapa Nui, the island is famed for its mysterious monolithic human statues known as moai. You’ll also find beautiful beaches and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, including hiking, horseback riding and diving. 

You can learn about island history on a visit to Rano Raraku, a quarry containing hundreds of stone statues, some of which lie within the crater of the extinct volcano. In the ceremonial village of Orongo, you can see petroglyphs linked to Make Make, the main divinity for the Rapa Nui people, and enjoy spectacular views over the shoreline. You can’t leave the island without a visit to Ahu Tongariki, a collection of 15 impressive statues on the southern coast.
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Discover Easter Island
Ultimate Guide to Easter Island: Moai & More off the Chilean Coast

Adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this tiny volcanic island is one of the most remote inhabited places on earth, home to the distinct Rapa Nui culture and—of course—an incredible collection of Neolithic statues called moai, found nowhere else on earth. This guide will help you plan your trip and find the best that Easter Island has to offer.

Moai statues on Easter Island
Map of Easter Island Exploration - 5 Days
Easter Island Exploration - 5 Days

Explore the incredible natural and cultural heritage of Easter Island on a 5-day tour. This Chilean territory, also known as Rapa Nui, was formed of volcanic rock 2.5 million years ago and offers an array of unique flora, fauna, and landscapes. However, the island is most famous for its iconic Moái statues, the huge humanoid stone sculptures found nowhere else on earth. During your visit, you'll explore ancient Polynesian archaeological sites and learn all about the culture and history of the people who created these mysterious statues.

Take the family exploring on Easter Island
Map of Family Holiday in Santiago & Easter Island - 7 Days
Family Holiday in Santiago & Easter Island - 7 Days

A place of mystery, monuments, volcanoes, and beaches, Easter Island makes an exciting and off-the-beaten-path destination for a family holiday. You'll access the island by flight from mainland Chile, bookending your week with city fun in bustling Santiago. See the famous moai statues, head out snorkeling, go horse trekking on the slopes of a volcano, and learn about the island's fascinating past on this family trip like no other.

Valparaíso, Chile
Map of Easter Island & Santiago - 7 Days
Easter Island & Santiago - 7 Days

On this adventure, you'll explore remote Rapa Nui—the Chilean territory also known as the legendary Easter Island. Fly into Santiago to experience the culture of the capital city and seaside Valparaíso. After a wine tour and an excursion into the Chilean mountains, you'll finally hop on a flight to Easter Island, where you'll hang out with the famous stone moai statues that are found nowhere else on Earth.

Moai statues on Easter Island
Map of Santiago, Valparaíso & Easter Island - 8 Days
Santiago, Valparaíso & Easter Island - 8 Days

This eight-day Chilean adventure begins in the capital, Santiago. Explore the city and surrounding region, including the neighboring cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. Next, hop on a flight to Easter Island. This Chilean territory, formed of volcanic rock, is 2.5 million years old. As you tour this ancient Polynesian destination, explore the many moai figures, beaches, volcanoes, and significant archaeological sites.

Easter Island
Map of Easter Island & Santiago - 6 Days
Easter Island & Santiago - 6 Days

Discover Easter Island on this weeklong itinerary that includes two nights in Santiago. Formed of volcanic rock 2.5 million years ago, you'll get to explore Easter Island's major archaeological sites. First, fly into Santiago and experience the culture of the capital city and the seaside city of Valparaíso. Next, you'll then hop on a flight to Easter Island, where you'll stay for four days, immersing yourself in its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Easter Island
Map of Cultural Chile & Easter Island Exploration - 9 Days
Cultural Chile & Easter Island Exploration - 9 Days

Enjoy a cultural adventure through Chile on this nine-day vacation. Start in Santiago to tour the landmarks and markets and take advantage of the burgeoning restaurant scene. Then, venture to Easter Island to explore the history and moai of the ancient Polynesian destination. Next, return to Santiago and venture out on day trips to Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, and the Casablanca Valley for a grand finale of wine tasting.

Take in a performance of Polynesian Dancers on Easter Island
Map of Santiago & Easter Island: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago & Easter Island: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most people visiting both Santiago and Easter Island spend about 12 to 15 days in Chile, which usually includes some time in the Atacama Desert and Torres del Paine as well. For travelers wanting to visit Santiago and Easter Island exclusively, plan six to nine days for a well-paced trip. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as five days. Read on for the best itineraries, including Santiago and Easter Island and beyond.

Polynesian moai statues at a beach on Easter Island
Map of Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 13 Days
Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 13 Days

This 13-day trip combines two bucket-list items in Chile, rarely visited by tourists. Kick-off with a day in Santiago before you're jetting off again—this time to the South Pacific. Halfway between Tahiti and Chile, Easter Island is graced with white sand beaches and 600+ mysterious statues carved from volcanic rock. The second half of the trip takes place in a high-altitude desert on the mainland with sand dunes, geysers, hot springs, and starry skies—perfect for sipping Chilean wine.

Los Torres in Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Santiago, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 11 Days
Santiago, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 11 Days

This 11-day cultural tour of Chile begins in the metropolitan capital of Santiago. Discover the best the city has to offer on a tour that highlights markets, historic centers, and urban views. Next, travel to the coastal towns of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso to take in their colorful streets and vibrant arts scene. Then, head south to Patagonia to hike through Torres del Paine National Park. Top off the adventure with a visit to Easter Island to delve into the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Moai statues
Map of Easter Island & Torres del Paine Adventure - 8 Days
Easter Island & Torres del Paine Adventure - 8 Days

To the Chileans, it's Isla de Pascua, and Indigenous residents call it Rapa Nui—but the rest of the world knows it by its most famous nickname: Easter Island. This Chilean territory, formed of volcanic rock, is 2.5 million years old, and on this adventure, you'll get to explore its major archaeological sites. Next, venture to Patagonia to experience the rugged beauty of Torres del Paine National Park.

A volcanic crater on Easter Island
Wonders of Chile : Santiago, Easter Island & Atacama Desert - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary takes you from Chile's capital to two of its most dramatic and secluded destinations. After touring the modern metropolis of Santiago and visiting the colorful seaside towns of Valparaíso & Viña del Mar, change gears and set out toward one of the most remote islands on earth. Spend three days discovering the iconic monoliths and windswept beaches of Easter Island, then return to the mainland to end your trip among the breathtaking landscapes of the Atacama Desert.

Discover the volcanic craters and ancient rock statues of Easter Island
Map of Luxury Chile Adventure: Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 7 Days
Luxury Chile Adventure: Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 7 Days

Experience two different sides of Chile on a quick but luxurious adventure around its northern deserts and South Pacific islands. After a quick taster of Santiago, you'll dive into the altiplano salt flats and geological wonders of the Atacama Desert—complete with a morning hot-air balloon ride—before jetting off to the remote beauty of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Along the way, you'll stay in some of the country's finest 5-star hotels and embark on a series of customized private experiences.

Horses graze alongside the legendary moai statues of Rapa Nui
Map of Luxury Chile Adventure: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 10 Days
Luxury Chile Adventure: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 10 Days

See another side of South America on a 10-day tour of Chile that will take you from the northern altiplano deserts to the South Pacific—in luxurious, 5-star style. It starts with the highlights in Santiago and a trip to the colorful coastal enclaves of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Then, fly north to explore the lunar valleys of the Atacama before jetting off to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) for active adventures amid the legendary moai.

Castillo Hidalgo sits on Santa Lucía Hill, Santiago de Chile
Map of Santiago, Easter Island & Atacama Desert: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, Easter Island & Atacama Desert: Best Itinerary Ideas

Travelers to Chile typically plan a trip for 12 to 15 days when combining Santiago, Easter Island, and the Atacama Desert with Torres del Paine. If you're not interested in Torres del Paine, 10 to 13 days is enough for your Santiago, Easter Island, and Atacama Desert trip. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as a week to nine days. For the best itineraries, including Santiago, Easter Island, and the Atacama Desert, keep reading below.

See moai on the Rano Raraku volcanao of Easter Island
Map of Santiago, Easter Island & Torres del Paine: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, Easter Island & Torres del Paine: Best Itinerary Ideas

Twelve to 15 days is the most popular trip length for Chile travelers interested in visiting Santiago, Easter Island, and Torres del Paine, especially when also including the Atacama Desert. For travelers wanting to visit Santiago, Easter Island, and Torres del Paine exclusively, plan 10 to 11 days for a well-paced trip. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as eight or nine days. Check out kimkim's favorite Santiago, Easter Island, and Torres del Paine trips below.

Easter Island's mysterious moai
Map of Chilean Culture & Nature: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 11 Days
Chilean Culture & Nature: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 11 Days

Monumental archaeological mysteries, natural phenomena, and urban life are all part of this 11-day Chilean itinerary. From sprawling Santiago to the awe-inspiring Atacama Desert and Easter Island, each moment of your trip will offer opportunities for memorable experiences. Travel by air, car, hot-air balloon, bike, and horseback for a dynamic adventure through South America and across the South Pacific.

TBD
Map of Chile Highlights Adventure - 12 Days
Chile Highlights Adventure - 12 Days

This 12-day itinerary combines ancient culture and ancient landscapes with the profound natural beauty of Chilean Patagonia. From the northern deserts of the Atacama region to Torres del Paine National Park, you'll experience the full spectrum of Chile's natural beauty. This also includes a jaunt to Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island. Here, you'll walk in the footsteps of ancient cultures and marvel at the great stone idols—the moaia—that were built to honor ancient tribal chieftains and still stand today.

Easter Island
Map of Outdoor Culture Adventure in Chile: Lake District & Rapa Nui - 16 Days
Outdoor Culture Adventure in Chile: Lake District & Rapa Nui - 16 Days

Justifiably famous for its natural beauty, there's much more to Chile beneath its handsome surface. On this 16-day journey, you'll visit regions whose history and mythology match its natural wonders, beginning at the ancient forests and volcanoes of the Lake District. After enjoying nature hikes and visits to almost mythical islands (plus a craft beer tour), you'll jet off to Rapa Nui (a.k.a. Easter Island), whose iconic moai statues are emblematic of a rich culture dating back over 2,000 years.

Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, & Easter Island - 13 Days
Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, & Easter Island - 13 Days

Experience the highlights of diverse and beautiful Chile in less than two weeks. Begin in the capital Santiago with some sightseeing, before flying off to the Atacama Desert. Discover the lagoons, geysers, salt flats, and more. Then, fly to Punta Arenas for your Patagonian adventure. Visit the native wildlife of the islands, and then head into Torres del Paine National Park for two days of private tours. The final leg takes you to Easter Island to explore the ancient moai figureheads, volcanoes, and stunning beaches.

Atacama Desert
Map of Northern Chile Highlights: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Easter Island & More - 12 Days
Northern Chile Highlights: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Easter Island & More - 12 Days

This 12-day trip to Chile takes you through several areas—the capital city, desert landscapes, coastal towns, and ancient islands. First, go sightseeing in Santiago, followed by a journey through the Atacama Desert region. Then, visit the coastal neighboring towns of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso and tour the stunning Maipo Valley. The finale leads you on an adventure through historical Easter Island, from moai stone figureheads to beautiful beaches.

Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour - 13 Days
Chile Grand Tour - 13 Days

Is it possible to experience the highlights of a famously diverse and beautiful country like Chile in just under two weeks? In this instance, yes. Over 13 days, you can visit all the wonderful sites that have graced the covers of travel magazines for years. You get it all: the northern Atacama Desert, Patagonia—even the far-flung mystical island of Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island to us foreigners. So pack a bag, get your hiking gear ready, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

Ovahe Beach, Easter Island's most famous
Map of Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert & Torres del Paine: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert & Torres del Paine: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most travelers will find that 12 to 15 days is perfect for a well-paced Chile trip with stops in Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some favorite itinerary extensions include Punta Arenas or Valparaíso. Get inspired with the below Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine trip ideas.

Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Atacama, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 14 Days
Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Atacama, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 14 Days

Discover the incredible diversity of Chile's landscapes on this action-packed two-week adventure. Get to know the vibrant capital of Santiago, then head into the arid and otherworldly environs of the Atacama Desert. Venture south to Patagonia to hike to the towering peaks of Torres del Paine National Park before flying across the South Pacific to explore the mysterious icons and windswept coastlines of Easter Island.

Moai statues on Easter Island
Map of Chile Highlights Adventure - 14 Days
Chile Highlights Adventure - 14 Days

The secret's out: Chile is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in Latin America, which places it high in the running for one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world. This two-week adventure covers three of its most incredible regions. The first major stop on the itinerary is the northern Atacama Desert, which is famous for its lunar landscapes, steaming geysers, and expansive salt flats. Then, it's off to Torres del Paine, the most-visited national park in Chilean Patagonia. Finally, you'll visit Rapa Nui, or Easter Island as it's commonly known, to discover the secrets of its great stone idols.

Stargazing in the Atacama Desert
Map of Relaxed Family Trip to Chile: Santiago, Easter Island, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 14 Days
Relaxed Family Trip to Chile: Santiago, Easter Island, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 14 Days

Immerse yourselves in Chile's natural beauty on this gently paced two-week family adventure that's perfect for families of all ages. Set out from Santiago for a day trip into the lush Maipo Valley, then fly to Easter Island to explore its remote beaches and mysterious statues. Jet south to the Patagonian Lake District for outdoor excursions in its national parks and thermal spas, and end in the country's far north, where the kids can dive into salt pools and spot constellations in the remote Atacama Desert.

Explore Patagonia's famous Torres del Paine National Park at a family pace
Map of Epic Family Trip to Chile: Atacama Desert, Easter Island & Patagonia - 14 Days
Epic Family Trip to Chile: Atacama Desert, Easter Island & Patagonia - 14 Days

Unveil Chile's diverse highlights from north to south with this far-reaching, two-week family trip. From Santiago, you'll fly to the otherworldly Atacama Desert for stargazing and gentle hikes through its lunar landscapes. Encounter enigmatic moái statues and play on the volcanic beaches of Easter Island, then fly south to Patagonia to finish your adventure amid the penguins of Isla Magdalena and the dazzling mountain landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park.

Lake Pehoé, Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 15 Days
Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 15 Days

Outdoor adventurers rejoice—this curated 15-day itinerary immerses you in the unparalleled natural beauty of Chile. First, you'll head to the far north of the country and tour the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama Desert. Then it's off to Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park, home to the most awe-inspiring mountains and unspoiled nature in Chile. You'll then finish the journey far west in the Pacific, amid the mysterious stone idols of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island.

Blue icebergs at Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine
Map of Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine & Punta Arenas: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine & Punta Arenas: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most travelers will find that 14 to 15 days is perfect for a well-paced Chile trip with stops in Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, and Punta Arenas. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in 11 to 13 days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include Puerto Varas or Valparaíso. See more ideas for Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, and Punta Arenas itineraries below.

Start your epic Chile tour in the deserts around San Pedro de Atacama
Map of The Best of Chile: Desert, Mountains, Cities & South Pacific - 16 Days
The Best of Chile: Desert, Mountains, Cities & South Pacific - 16 Days

"Best" is no hyperbole—this 16-day journey covers the most beautiful and culturally rich areas of Chile, from the mainland to the South Pacific. You'll arrive in the northern Atacama Desert to explore geysers, lunar valleys, vast salt flats, and more. Then, travel south to rugged Patagonia as you visit penguin colonies in Puerto Natales, marvel at massive glaciers, and hike around Torres del Paine National Park before flying to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to experience its legends and ancient ruins.