By Donovan Wong
When people ask us about a great option for single travelers, we always recommend Easter Island. We can easily match you up with small groups where you can meet other international travelers as you head off on daily explorations of the island’s moai (stone figures). For many people, traveling to one of the world’s most remote islands is one-in-a-lifetime experience, and one they will never forget.
We always love to hear back from our travelers with trips about our destinations. Here, Myths and Mountains traveler Donovan Wong from Las Vegas shares his thoughts on Easter Island.
How easy is it to walk around the main town, Hanga Roa?
DW: Really simple with the hotel Myths and Mountains booked for us as a base. You could easily do laps around town in less than an hour.
What can you share about money matters?
DW: Check your bank cards for ATM access such as PLUS or Cirrus before you leave home. We had to try a few banks before we found one that would take our particular cards, but it wasn’t an issue. Also don’t be surprised by the cost overall – it’s very isolated, and they need to bring all of their food from the continent. I think we paid upwards of $20 for a plate of spaghetti, as an example, and the rental car was easily over $125 per day.
Are there any foods that are a must-try on the island?
DW: While beef and pasta were okay, seafood was probably the best choice all the way through.
What did you do on your “off” days?
DW: We rented a car to redo some of the sights and take more photos as well as lie on the beach on the opposite side of the island. I recommend spending four days on Easter Island unless you visit during the Tapati Festival, in which case you may want more time. In fact, I would probably opt to time the trip for the festival, which looked pretty amazing from past photos. Tapati is a summer festival that takes place every summer in late January and early February. It combines a carnival spirit with sports, dancing, and cultural activities.
Any other tips to share specific to Easter Island?
DW: It’s definitely a bucket list destination to see the stone heads and to learn more about their unique culture. The beaches are nothing like Hawaii, and the water was actually quite cold. Swimming is isolated, and there are really no coral reefs to speak of even though you think it’s part of Polynesia and there should be some. The people are really, really nice, though, and the sights are truly amazing!