November 6, 2011
THE BEST WAY TO EASTER ISLAND
From LAX, American and LAN offer connecting service (change of plane) to Easter Island. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $1,069, excluding taxes and fees.
Just two degrees south of the Tropic of Capricorn, Easter Island enjoys a pleasant climate year-round, but take rain gear and expect occasional strong winds. Peak tourist season is from January to March, and prices rise accordingly.
WHAT TO DO
Many companies offer complete tour packages. I traveled with California-based A Classic Tours Collection ( 373-1001, http://www.aclassictour.com), which also arranged half-day and full-day ground tours on the island. There are car, motorcycle, scooter and bike rentals on the island, though I relied on minibus tours arranged by A Classic Tours.
WHERE TO STAY
All of Easter Island's hotels are in and around Hanga Roa and offer airport transfers. Budget options begin at around $100 for a double.
I stayed at the Hotel Vai Moana (http://www.vai-moana.cl), where doubles begin at $115, including breakfast and airport transfers. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, and reasonably dependable Wi-fi is available in the lobby. Hotel staff can arrange half-day and full-day island tours through local tour operators.
TO LEARN MORE
"The Complete Guide to Easter Island," by Shawn McLaughlin, Easter Island Foundation.
For general information, including tour packages and hotels: http://www.easterislandtourism.com
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