Hanga Roa is the capital of Easter Island. It is located in the southern part of the island's west coast, in the lowlands between the extinct volcanoes of Terevaka and Rano Kau.
The island's main avenue, Avenida Atamu Tekena (formerly Avenida Policarpo Toro), is the heart of the town. Many hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and pharmacy are found alongside this road. In 1998, the road was renamed after nineteenth century Rapanui hero Atamu Te Kena; it had previously been named after Captain Policarpo Toro, the Chilean Naval officer who annexed Easter Island to Chile in 1888. The island's museum and also the Roman Catholic church, are located in the center of town.
Hanga Roa has a very pleasant sub-tropical climate. Temperatures reach almost 30 °C during the day in summer, which lasts from November to April. June to September is wintertime, but temperatures are still pleasantly warm and above 20 °C, though dropping below 15 °C sometimes at night, so bring a sweater for the evenings. There isn't that much variation regarding rainfall, but generally April to July are wetter months, while November to January are the driest.
Mataveri International Airport (IPC) is the airport on Easter Island, not far from Hanga Roa.
There are flights between Easter Island and Santiago, Chile. These are operated by Lan Chile and cost upwards of $650. Lan Chile also has flights from Papeete, Tahiti, and from the 5th of January 2011 also to Lima, the capital of Peru.
Easter Island is relatively small, so it is possible to get around fairly easily, even though public transportation is not available. That of course is except for taxis, which are plentiful and very cheap. In fact, the flat rate pricing make taxis a great island bargain. The usual flat rate is CLP2000 for any pick up and drop off in Hanga Roa, so to be picked up from your hotel and taken to a restaurant in town is the princely sum of only CLP2000 (around USD $3.00) and the same to be taken back. Places slightly outside town maybe CLP3000. Taxis come in minutes and are fast and accurate. Meters are not used. The flat rate applies to a pick up and a delivery so if you say you want to go to Restaurant X and when you get there it is closed it is still assumed you will pay the 2000 pesos and again after the driver takes you to your new destination. Taxis can take you to further out destinations, but this is not recommended as a one way trip to a popular moai site outside of town could easily run you CLP30,000 or more. Moreover, cell phone coverage is only in Hanga Roa, so you would in fact be stranded unless you make expensive arrangements for the taxi to wait for you, or to return at a specified time. Taxis are a mix of vehicles ranging from new vehicles to old beaters, all at the same price.
There are also plenty of rental cars, generally 4x4s with manual transmission, available by rental agencies in Hanga Roa, as well as other vehicles. However, it should be noted that vehicles of the island are not insured since mainland insurance companies do not offer any insurances for the island even for residents. Thus, you cannot rent a vehicle without a guarantee (your credit card).
Bicycles are also available to hire around CLP8000 for 4-8 hours, but you should be well-prepared since summer months can be exhausting due to combination of heat and humidity. Some protection against wind and rain is highly recommended between June and August. Road to Anakena is paved but most of the dirt roads are challenging (quite uneven and potholed). However, an experienced biker will be perfectly fine everywhere on the island. The roads to all major sites are paved at least to their parking areas. Most places will require a passport to hire a bike as a guarantee.
Restaurants of Hanga Roa are located on the main street and near harbour, but there's a few others scattered in the surrounding areas.
Traditional food includes Curanto and Tunu Ahi.
Menus tend to be limited, as most of the food on the island needs to be imported which also explains the price level of the island. Even at the less fancy restaurants, entrées start at USD20 and go up from there. The range of fish, though, is considerable - as is true for most of Chile. Pizza and other comfort foods are available kitty corner to the Catholic Church. Large pizza will set you back CLP14000-22000 however. Plenty of choice of toppings and really a full menu also.
There are 2 species of lobster. The big one is referred as an actual lobster and the small, equally very delicious, is referred as it's native name "Rape Rape". Currently, lobster is protected and restrictions are applied when it's off-season.
Local tuna can be recognised due to its white meat and is highly recommended. Octopus and several species of fish are all delicious.
There are also several grocery stores with limited supplies (only a few can be considered as actual supermarkets) where visitors can pick up snacks, limited sundries, booze, etc. It should be noted that it is difficult to shop in the food stores on Easter Island. They are all quite small and stock varies. Many items are not out in public and must be asked for with the staff. If you can, bringing canned food with you from the mainland, or drinks, makes good sense. This saves you paying island prices but also supplies you with what you want.
|Cabins Hakari||Av Hotu Matua Hanga Roa||Guesthouse||-|
|Kona Tau||Avareipua s/n||Hostel||88|
There are cybercafes in every major and midsize city and at all tourist destinations. Some libraries are in a program called Biblioredes, with free computers and Internet. Wifi is getting more and more common. They're usually in metro stations, airports, malls, cafes, public buildings and several public spaces. Check for the ones that say gratis - for free. McDonald's and Starbucks are chains which almost always have free wifi.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Chile is: 56. To make an international call from Chile, the code is: 00. Emergency phone numbers include 131 (Ambulance), 132 (Fire) and 133 (Police).
Public phones located on streets are very likely to be tampered or vandalized, so it's better to use a phone located inside a commerce or a station. Prepaid cards for mobile phones and public phones are sold at most newspaper kiosks, supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies and phone dealers. Mobile GSM networks are ubiquitous in all major cities and most of the territory of central and southern Chile. A basic prepaid cellular phone usually costs about 15,000 pesos, most frequently charged with 10,000 pesos worth of prepaid minutes. No ID is required to buy a prepaid phone. GSM SIM cards from ENTEL, Movistar or Claro are usually available for 5,000 pesos, but without credit, so you'll need to buy some prepaid minutes to be able to call. Money can be charged into a cellphone from some pharmacies (Ahumada, Cruz Verde and Salco Brand) on the counter and in cash, or by using a credit card through an automated service operator, with directions in Spanish or English.
Correos de Chile is the national postal service, and although relatively slow it is reliable with post offices throughout the country. On the website you can find more information about prices to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. Post offices are generally open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday until 2:00pm, although there are sometimes longer opening hours in the bigger central post offices and shorter ones in small places. Ask around. If you want to send packages internationally, you might consider companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, which are fast, reliable and usually competitively priced as well.
We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Hanga Roa
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License