Getting to Easter Island means transiting Chile. From North America or Europe, fly to the Chilean capital and Santiago International Airport. A few more administrative formalities and you’re on your way to the land of the legendary Moai!

Step 1: Getting to Chile

Meeting in Santiago de Chile before Easter Island

The fastest way to reach Santiago de Chile is by plane. There are direct flights from Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. The flight takes around 10 hours from North America and 14 hours from Europe. For passengers from the Polynesian Triangle, a stopover in Los Angeles is essential. There is one exception: New Zealand offers direct flights to Chile.

Citizens of North America, the European Union, Australia and South America do not need a tourist visa if their stay is less than 90 days. All you need is a valid passport with an expiry date at least six months before the return date. Remember to keep a photocopy of your identity papers with you at all times.

People from other parts of the world should contact the Chilean consular authorities in their respective countries to apply for a tourist visa. Entry requirements vary from country to country, and additional documents may be required.

Step 2: Getting to Easter Island

Arrival at Hanga Roa airport on Easter Island

Once you’ve arrived in Chile, you’ll need to find a flight to Easter Island. It will take several hours to reach Mataveri airport. But before you leave, you’ll need to go through a number of formalities and meet entry requirements.

Easter Island is a special territory, whose culture and environment must be preserved from mass tourism. Since 2018, entry has been strictly controlled, and has even been banned to foreigners during the pandemic of the years 2020-2022. Stays are limited to a maximum of 30 days, and several guarantees are required by the Chilean authorities.

In addition to your identity papers, you’ll need to present a number of other documents. For example, you’ll need to provide proof of a return ticket to the mainland and confirmation of accommodation on Easter Island, certified by the Chilean Ministry of Tourism. Remember to have these documents available in hard copy at Santiago airport. Finally, you’ll need to fill in an entry form with your contact details and the reason for your stay. The Chilean police will then check this information.

Step 3: Reaching Your Accommodation

Arrive on Easter Island and meet the Moai

Most hotels on Easter Island provide transfers from Mataveri airport. This service is part of your package. Remember to inform your hosts or hotel reception of your exact arrival time and flight number.

If transfers are not included, it’s best to take a cab from the airport. The distances to the city are too long to walk and carry luggage. It’s also worth noting that many tour operators offer to collect their clients from the airport on the day of arrival and drive them back at the end of their stay.

One last precaution: once you’ve booked your flights and accommodation on the island, don’t forget to reserve your Rapa Nui National Park pass online. Carry it with you at all times: it’s the precious sesame that will enable you to encounter the Easter Island statues and archaeological treasures.

Waiting For a Complete Reopening

Easter Island underwent great upheaval during the 2020-2022 pandemic. To protect the Rapanui population, the Chilean authorities took drastic sanitary measures. Cruises have been interrupted and some scheduled airlines, notably from French Polynesia and Tahiti, no longer exist for the time being.

It will be some time before the situation returns to normal. In the meantime, Santiago de Chile remains the only gateway to Easter Island. Contact us to organize your stay in the Polynesian Triangle.