Most of us learned about Easter Island in grade school. The giant heads – carved from volcanic rock and moved via mysterious means – are the most compelling of all, but the island holds a magic that extends beyond this.
Warm temperatures, cool breezes, and year-round vacation weather make it an amazing destination for solos, couples, and families. Part of what makes this neck of the woods so mystical – and so tragic – is the relatively brief length of its inhabitation.
The native people of the island only lived there undisturbed for a little more than 1,000 years, as they were taken in mass from it as slaves in the 1800s.
“Between 600 and 800 A.D., a group of colonists from an unidentified location in Eastern Polynesia settled on Easter Island after sailing in a southeasterly direction for many weeks,” the Metropolitan Museum of Art explains.
“The name Easter Island originated with the European explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who first saw the island on Easter Sunday, 1722.”
While it is widely believed that the native Rapa Nui people mysteriously disappeared à la the Maya, this is not the case.
As American Scientist writes, “Newly introduced diseases, conflict with European invaders and enslavement followed over the next century and a half, and these were the chief causes of the collapse.” In the late 1800s, “the island was annexed by Chile. It remains part of that country today.”
While we cannot undo the wrongs of the past, you can make a contribution to Easter Island’s people and natural wonders through respectful tourism.
It is the main industry on the island, and the more money they bring in, the more native peoples can support the restoration of their homeland and its culture. It is, therefore, a great way to spend your money as well as a magical week.
If you’re looking to spend time on Easter Island, we’re here to help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about paying for your trip, spending your time wisely, and getting the most out of it.
Average Trip to Easter Island Cost in 2024
An average one-week trip to Easter Island for two people will cost around $5,600:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $150 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,200 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $125 per person, per day
- Transportation: $400 total
- Total Cost: $5,600
We won’t beat around the bush: Easter Island is spendy. Anywhere that is remote and minute must necessarily import a lot of its goods.
The small landmass (less than 70 square miles) and population (less than 9,000 people) cannot support the 100,000 thousand tourists per year that visit, so they pay lots in imports … and that gets passed on to you.
Although Easter Island isn’t the cheapest destination in the world, visiting is worthwhile for the subtropical paradise vibes. It’s also worth it because you’re helping a small population survive and thrive in a new era.
Tourist dollars can go toward not only preserving the land and addressing climate change issues but also toward green technologies such as solar panels for electricity generation. For that reason, it’s becoming a case study in sustainability.
If you have a bit more to spend, consider an eco-tour of the country, where a tour guide will take you to the best sites for a lump sum, plus accommodations, flights, food, and transportation.
This makes it easier to budget and you can feel good about green travel, but it will definitely cost more – around $4,000 per person or more. If you’re a budget traveler, though, we’ve got you covered. We can help you spend far less on a trip for two, so read on!
Easter Island Trip Cost: Average by Item
Budgeting on Easter Island very important. After all, it’s expensive to visit, so learning where you can save big will have your wallet thanking you.
The following budget categories – accommodations, flights, activities, food and drink, and transportation – will give you a basic idea of what you might spend while on the island.
It’s impossible to estimate what any person or couple will spend on a trip, since it depends on timing, season, activities, and the style of travel to which you’re accustomed. However, this will give you a starting point!
Easter Island’s hotels are notoriously expensive. If you price-shop and wait for deals, you may be able to get a room for as low as $125 per night.
However, you should plan on spending closer to $150 or $175 for a 3-star hotel with breakfast and WiFi. The only hotels are in the island’s urban center, Hanga Roa.
Round-trip tickets from Los Angeles to Easter Island are about $1,300, and roughly the same from New York City. Add on a hundred or so if you don’t live near a major hub and will have to fly to one.
When searching for international flights, always book well ahead of time (6 months or more, if you can) to avoid surprises.
This is especially important if you are using miles. Mileage points are often subject to restrictions and blackouts, and you don’t want your trip ruined because you didn’t plan in advance.
Note that a round trip from the US to Easter Island is not necessarily the best way to go, price-wise. Easter Island is legally a part of Chile, so they’re an easy combination.
If you’re looking to visit multiple cool spots in one trip, this is a great way to stretch those flight fares on a budget. Let’s look at how that could work (disclaimer, this is a bit risky). Flying to Santiago, Chile, costs you roughly $700 round trip.
Flying from there to Easter Island’s sole airport – Mataveri International Airport or Isla de Pascua Airport, the most remote in the world – costs about $400 round trip.
It makes sense that it wouldn’t cost much, despite the 6-hour flight time, since it is technically a domestic flight. As you can see, flying first to the Chilean mainland and then to the island is a cheaper route – both literally and metaphorically!
If you have only a week for Easter Island, you’ll probably want to spend it all in one place. However, if you have a few days to spare, why not check out Chile as well?
Then, when you buy a domestic ticket inside the country, you’ll pay less for it. Overall, plan to spend an average of about $1,200 per person, per ticket, round trip.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Easter Island is tiny. It is roughly 63 square miles – compare that to the city of Los Angeles, which is 502 miles square! That means you can see the island in a week (or less), including all the best monuments.
You can make the most of your time on the island with tours. A private one-day tour of the main highlights will cost you $100 per person and get you access to the bulk of the archaeological sites.
It leaves from Hanga Roa, the island’s only urban center, which is nestled between two extinct volcanoes: Terevaka and Rano Kau. At Hanga Roa Otai – also in the main urban center – you’ll find a lot of the non-archeological activities on the island: cafes and restaurants, tourist shops, and diving centers.
A guided diving trip for beginners will cost about $55 per person, and deep-sea fishing costs about $250 per boat, per day (with a three-person capacity). Prepare to pay a lot for food and drink as well.
A modest lunch – two sandwiches and two drinks – will cost around $40 total, while a nice seafood dinner could run about $100 per couple. While expensive, though, the food is amazing … local foods include lobster, tuna, eels, bananas, coconut, sweet potato, and pineapples. Yum!
Combining food and activities, if you only do a few of the latter and go cheap with the former, you should expect to spend about $125 per person, per day.
Easter Island is not the cheapest place to get around, for the same reasons that food and accommodations are pricey: importation costs money.
Renting a car will cost you about $60 per day – compare that to $20 or $25 in the United States or Europe – so it can add up.
Plus, renting a car has other drawbacks: many of the best sites aren’t accessible by automobile anyway, and the roads are often washed out, so some tourists may find it nerve-wracking.
One of the least expensive ways to get around is by bicycle, which is a wonderful way to explore the countryside. If you’re a hardened biker, you can see the entire island this way in the course of a week. At only $15 a day, the sweat equity will save you major dough.
Tours, as mentioned above, are also an excellent way to get around. In addition to paying $100 for transportation all over the island, you’ll get a knowledgeable guide.
These tours often include archeological deep dives as well as calf-burning volcano hikes with amazing views of the Pacific. Overall, plan to spend about $400 on transportation. This covers the cost of a tour or two, several bicycle rentals, and a cab from the airport.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Easter Island:
- Now is the time to visit Easter Island. Sadly, climate change and rising sea levels are endangering the island’s coastlines as well as many of its prime archeological sites. Time will tell how its population will respond to the crisis, and if funding from Chile or UNESCO (it is a heritage site) can help it. However, nothing is guaranteed, so go now if you can!
- US dollars are widely accepted on Easter Island, but it is not a guarantee. If you want to make sure you have cash to handle every situation (and you should), keep both Chilean pesos and dollars on hand. About $100 and 90,000 pesos (roughly equivalent to $100) should do it.
- Easter Island’s high season is December through March. Although the weather is lovely this time of year, it is when most tourists are making the trek, so things are more expensive and crowds are larger. If you want to avoid them, opt for spring or fall travel.
- Pack in layers. The subtropical climate means you’ll want shorts and tank tops during the day, with sweatshirts and pants during the breezy nights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions to help you budget the cost of your trip to Easter Island:
Is Easter Island expensive?
Yes, Easter Island is pretty spendy. Much of the goods on the island have to be imported, given its small size and population, to support the ever-growing tourist crowd. That drives up the cost of goods, so this isn’t the cheapest vacay you’ll take.
How big is Easter Island?
Easter Island is tiny! At only about 63 square miles, this is one of the most noteworthy and action-packed little municipalities on the planet.
How does one get to Easter Island?
To get to Easter Island, you’ll take a 6-hour flight (or so) from Santiago, Chile. You can either book your ticket from the US through to Mataveri International Airport or Isla de Pascua Airport (the most remote airport in the world!) or you can book your flight to Santiago, then buy a domestic ticket there.
Where should I go?
In a word, everywhere! Combining boats, bikes, and buses, you can see all of Easter Island in 7 days or less. There’s only one city. That, along with the many wondrous archeological sites across the island, are all worth seeing in a week.
When is the best time to visit Easter Island?
Between April and June (Southern Hemisphere fall) and October and December (summer) are the best times to visit the island. It is warm and mild, but the crowds are lighter.
Is Easter Island safe?
Easter Island is one of the safest places to visit in the world – you can even walk alone at night!
So, What Is the Average Cost for a Trip to Easter Island?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost
|$150 per night
|✈️ Average Flight Cost
|$1,200 per person
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities
|$125 per person, per day
|💲 Total Cost
The average cost of a one-week trip to Easter Island is around $5,600 for two people. While expensive, it is well worth the cost for a once-in-a-lifetime escape to a gorgeous subtropical destination with glorious food, ocean breezes, and UNESCO-grade archeological experiences.
So, with so much to see and do and the ability to visit this gorgeous destination on a budget, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Easter Island has to offer. Happy travels!