Almanac

- April 3, 2013

If you go ...

LAN is the only airline that flies to Easter Island, either from Santiago, Chile (daily), or Lima, Peru (on Sundays and Wednesdays), or Tahati (once a week). We found that flights from Lima were only one-third the price of flights from Santiago. The plane flight from Lima was 4-1/2 hours. (www.lan.com)

A good source of information about Easter Island is the website (easterisland.southpacific.org), which contains excerpts from "Moon Handbooks South Pacific" by David Stanley.

Lodging choices range from camping for $14 per night (mihinoa.com/es_english.php) to the upscale Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa (hangaroa.cl) with rooms starting at more than $1,000 per night. Our hostal (which is a Spanish word for guest house and not the same as a youth hostel), the Apina Tupuna, was $56 a night for a double room with basic amenities and breakfast (hostalapinatupuna.com). Food on the island is expensive, but our guesthouse allowed guests to use its kitchen to cook food purchased in town.

Recommended reading: "Easter Island" by Jennifer Vanderbes, a fictional account of two female scientists who visit Easter Island a century apart; and Jared Diamond's nonfiction "Collapse," which, in several chapters, examines possible reasons for the collapse of the society that built the moai on Easter Island.

Tour guides: Arrange as soon as you arrive on the island if your visit is short. By the time we tried to arrange a tour with a recommended guide, it was not possible to visit the part of the island we had not yet seen. Ancestral Tour (rapanuiancestraltour.cl) was highly recommended to us. Horseback tours, walking tours and bicycle tours are also available.

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