Hanga Roa & transport, Easter Island

Hanga Roa village, Easter Island, Chile

Rapa Nui ‘s capital is Hanga Roa. The main street is pictured.

Easter Island’s main population centre, Hanga Roa, is no more than a village with scattered and varied accommodation, a few shops, vehicle rentals and some good though expensive restaurants.

Locals are mostly relaxed and friendly and some moai lurk nearby, though a set of wheels is a great asset as the best examples of island statutary and the best beaches are half an hour away by car or motorcycle. Or there are plenty of horses around if you have a tough butt. . .

Hanga Roa Surfers, Easter Island, Chile

Locals rowing and surfing off Hanga Roa’s stony beach.

Easter Island Transport


Motorcycle transport on Easter Island, Chile

We tried an offroad bike at first. . . then it rained. A lot. And the seat was a bit small for three and mornings were very chilly. So four wheels began to look more attractive. Four legs too.


Problem horses, Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island’s biggest problem, horses.

Up to recently they were the primary form of transport but now the internal combustion engine has superceded them, so they have mostly been left to wander and graze at random, going wild in the process and creating the island’s biggest traffic hazard and cause of many accidents.

However, the upside is, if you are a horsey person you won’t have any trouble finding four hooves to take you around the island in traditional style.

So what else is there to see on this blasted little island of Rapa Nui apart from avoiding horses and staring at moai?

Ana Te Pahu cave

Ana Te Pahu cave, Rapa Nui, Easter Island, Chile

There are a few caves and/or depressions in the volcanic strata where locals sheltered during storms, warfare, or grew fruit and vegetables protected from the fierce deforested winds. This one, near Ahu Akivi (a 7 moai platform and the only one looking reasonably out to sea, tho’ hard to get to and not exactly a must-see) is one of the biggest caves on Easter island.