15 Best Tours of Easter Island

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Located on the Chilean coast in the southeastern Pacific, Easter Island is world-renowned for the massive stone figures with mysterious origins that have stood as sentinels overlooking the sea for eons.

There are nearly 900 statues in all, and due to their historical and cultural significance, they’re located in Rapa Nui National Park to ensure their protection and make them available to locals and tourists alike.

It’s believed by archaeologists and historians that people of Polynesian descent came to the islands nearly 1,000 years ago, though the statues’ origins are still disputed.

Below are 15 of the best tours of Easter Island.

1. 4-Day Easter Island Tour

Easter IslandSource: Jess Kraft / shutterstock
Easter Island

For those visitors to Easter Island that have four wide-open days to devote to seeing the island and its amazing sites, this tour is a perfect choice.

The tour includes a knowledgeable guide who’ll lead you and your travel companions to the Moai statues at Ahu Akivi and Akahanga.

Hotel accommodations include a choice of 3 and 4-star hotels, round-trip transportation to and from your hotel and the sites, and meals as specified on the itinerary.

The Moai statues are the tour’s highlight, but you’ll also see the bird paintings in the Ana Kai Tangata cave and the Rano Raraku volcano.

Entrance fee to the parks isn’t included.

2. Easter Island Tour of Ahu Akivi from Hanga Roa

Ahu AkiviSource: Erlantz P.R / shutterstock
Ahu Akivi

This three-hour tour begins with a drive to Ahu Akivi, one of the most scenic areas from which the island’s Moai figures stare off into the distant seas.

Local lore claims that these stoic figures represent the island’s colonizers that arrived many centuries ago.

The red crater at Puna Pau is also an important stop; archaeologists believe it’s the spot where the materials for many of the figure’s headpieces were quarried.

The tour also includes a stop at the lonely sentinel at Ahu Huri a Urenga that faces the winter solstice, marking an important time of the year for the natives.

Pickup and drop-off at Hanga Roa hotels are included, though entrance fees and lunch aren’t.

3. 2-Hour Sunrise at Tongariki Tour

Tongariki SunsetSource: AlexandrinaZ / shutterstock
Tongariki Sunset

Sunrise and sunset on Easter Island are amazing sights to behold, and this early-bird sunrise tour is the perfect way to start the day.

From your Hanga Roa hotel, you’ll depart to Ahu of Rapa Nui, which, due to its location, is one of the most majestic places to witness the sunrise. You’ll be accompanied by your guide and travel partners as you make your way to the site which boasts 15 Moais.

The amazing combination of shimmering sea, emerging sun, and sunlight reflecting off the stone figures is truly unique. With the time left in the tour, you’ll explore a few more gems on the island of Rapa Nui before heading back to your hotel.

4. Tour of Anakena Beach and Lost Culture of Rapa Nui

Anakena BeachSource: Sergio TB / shutterstock
Anakena Beach

This tour of Anakena Beach and the Lost Culture of Rapa Nui will focus on the island’s eastern portion and includes the temple at Ahu Vaihu, which is comprised of massive stone platforms that act as the resting place for eight Moais.

You’ll also stop at Ahu Tongariki, which is home to 15 Moais and the island’s largest – a massive 30-foot specimen that is reported to weigh nearly 90 tons.

You’ll wonder at the skill and mechanics need to create and move such large objects, especially by a society that was supposedly much less advanced than we are today.

It’s also the spot that locals consider to be the center of the world.

5. Easter Island Caves Tour

Easter Island CavesSource: Alfredo Cerra / shutterstock
Easter Island Caves

Once you’ve had your fill of the giant gazing statues, take a break and enjoy the island’s natural side with a cave exploration tour.

The Rapa Nui people frequented the caves and left some interesting archaeological sites behind that visitors will see.

Your local guide will give you an idea of how the caves were formed and why they were so important to the culture of the people that lived here long ago.

This tour includes round-trip transportation to and from your hotel. At only four hours, you’ll have the rest of the day to fill with other adventures and activities.

6. Rapa Nui Full-Day Tour to Anakena Beach

Anakena BeachSource: Olga Danylenko / shutterstock
Anakena Beach

If you’ve got a whole day free and would like to see as many sights as possible on Easter Island, this full-day tour would be a great match.

From your guide, you’ll get an amazing historic insight into the island’s history, and the massive figures that dot its landscape staring out toward the sea.

The indigenous Rapa Nui were the island’s original inhabitants, though there’s still much that isn’t known about them.

You’ll also visit Anakena Beach, one of the island’s most beautiful with its white, sandy shore.

The tour meets at Easter Island pier and includes lunch, but not entry fees to the parks or hotel pickup and drop-off.

7. Ahu Vinapu and Rano Kao Half-Day Tour

Ahu VinapuSource: RPBaiao / shutterstock
Ahu Vinapu

Easter Island’s southwest coast is one of the most beautiful areas you’ll explore on your visit. This half-day tour begins in Hanga Roa and will include visits to a few of the most expansive ceremonial complexes.

Rano Kau volcano was revered by the stone builders; in addition to the figures they built, they also created large works of art inside nearby caves that depicted strange, man-like bird creatures.

You’ll marvel at how such large slabs of stone were fitted together with such precision as you visit these sites. You’ll also take a side excursion to the volcanic crater that serves as one of the island’s three bodies of natural water.

8. Rapa Nui Traditional Polynesian Dinner and Show

Rapa Nui Traditional Dinner And ShowSource: viator.com
Rapa Nui Traditional Dinner And Show

Few tour-related activities capture the essence of Pacific Island and Polynesian culture like this traditional show and dinner combo.

You and your travel partners will be wowed by the dancing and music that the island has been home to for centuries. As you’re enjoying the show, your guide will describe the cultural and historical significance of what you’re seeing.

The tour lasts about four hours and conveniently includes round-trip transportation to and from your hotel.

The dinner is buffet-style and includes traditional and international cuisine. Dance lessons are available as well if you’d like to put on a show of your own.

9. Tour of Ceremonial Ana Kai and Tangata Manu

OrongoSource: Marco Ramerini / shutterstock

After pickup from your hotel, this tour will depart for the caves at Ana Kai that are home to the island’s famous, stylized bird art that depicts the Manutara – or ocean swallows – that live in the vicinity.

In ancient folklore, the swallow’s egg was considered sacred and was the center of a popular island competition as well.

On this three-hour tour, you’ll have plenty of time to discover the caves’ wonders, after which you’ll head to the Vinapu archaeological site, which is notable for its especially intricate architecture and construction.

This short tour is great value and includes hotel pickup and drop-off.

10. Half-Day Archaeology Tour

Standing MoaiSource: Tero Hakala / shutterstock
Standing Moai

The south Easter Island ceremonial site at Ahu Vianpu is one the most visited and includes seven Moai figures that have been faced to view the rising sun.

Each of the majestic statues is nearly 17 feet tall and they’re estimated to weigh an astonishing 18 tons.

According to local legend and tradition, the statues represent the explorers who set out from their ancestral homeland to colonize new lands after guided by a spirit to do so.

Whether the legend is true or not, the island’s Polynesian colonizers were gutsy trailblazers who set out across an incredibly vast ocean to face hunger, harsh weather and uncertainty.

11. Ahu Tongarik, Rano Raraku, Anakena Beach Tour

Ahu TongarikSource: Vadim Ozz / shutterstock
Ahu Tongarik

This full-day tour from Hanga Roa includes all the sites that make Easter Island such a unique place.

Your guide will give guests a running narration on the amazing archaeological sites they’re seeing and how they fit into the culture and stories of the people who populated the islands long ago.

The tour’s highlights include the quarry at Rano Raraku and the ceremonial area in Ahu Akahanga.

After so much history, you’ll probably be pleased to have some time to enjoy the white, sandy beach at Anakena. Before heading back to your Hanga Roa hotel, you can enjoy a beachside BBQ lunch.

12. Full-Day Tour to Anakena

AnakenaSource: Olga Yatsenko / shutterstock

In local lore, the white beach at Anakena was the landing point for the Polynesian explorers who colonized the island centuries ago.

It’s one of the island’s most beautiful and memorable areas; this Hanga Roa-based tour will take you and your travel partners there in style.

The tour includes stops to the island’s north and southeastern portions, which are home to some of the largest and most impressive Moai figures you’ll see on your trip.

Before heading back, guests will have the opportunity to explore a few nearby caves and do a little relaxing on a serene beach.

13. Moai Monuments Private Tour

Moai FiguresSource: Alberto Loyo / shutterstock
Moai Figures

Since their discovery, the Moai figures on Easter Island have enthralled visitors, who find it hard to fathom how such a supposedly primitive culture created such massive and everlasting monuments.

On this guided tour of the Moai monument sites, you’ll get a unique historical and cultural perspective from your guide as you wind your way across the island.

You’ll have ample time to get out and do a bit of exploring, and since the tour size is limited, you’ll receive a more intimate experience than others in larger tours.

No site will be left unexplored, and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.

14. Tahai Orongo and Rano Kau Half-Day Ruin Tour

Rano KauSource: Anton_Ivanov / shutterstock
Rano Kau

The ancient ruins at Orongo are one of the area’s most well-preserved stone villages and ceremonial sites.

They’re located on the southwestern coast of the island and are convenient for those who’ve arrived by tour boat.

The tour includes a professional guide and the highlights are Rapa Nui National Park, Tahai Archaeological complex and the volcanic crater at Rano Raraku.

Since it’s important for guests to be back in time for the boat’s departure, this tour comes with a worry-free return policy.

The tour lasts approximately four hours and will give participants a great overview of the island’s past.

15. Hanga Roa History and Culture Tour

Hanga RoaSource: Karminalucis / shutterstock
Hanga Roa

The capital of Easter Island is Hanga Roa, and this three-hour tour begins with hotel pickup there before heading off to other island hotspots.

You’ll visit the local anthropology museum that’s named after a missionary to the islands, after which you’ll stop at the Church of the Holy Cross and do a little browsing and shopping at one of the local markets that’s full of unique items made by island artisans.

The tour lasts about three hours and includes hotel pickup and drop-off. It’s a great way to get a crash course on the island’s history and culture.

15 Best Tours of Easter Island:

  • 4-Day Easter Island Tour
  • Easter Island Tour of Ahu Akivi from Hanga Roa
  • 2-Hour Sunrise at Tongariki Tour
  • Tour of Anakena Beach and Lost Culture of Rapa Nui
  • Easter Island Caves Tour
  • Rapa Nui Full-Day Tour to Anakena Beach
  • Ahu Vinapu and Rano Kao Half-Day Tour
  • Rapa Nui Traditional Polynesian Dinner and Show
  • Tour of Ceremonial Ana Kai and Tangata Manu
  • Half-Day Archaeology Tour
  • Ahu Tongarik, Rano Raraku, Anakena Beach Tour
  • Full-Day Tour to Anakena
  • Moai Monuments Private Tour
  • Tahai Orongo and Rano Kau Half-Day Ruin Tour
  • Hanga Roa History and Culture Tour