Easter Island with Kids: 5 Reasons to Visit

Easter Island is known for the huge moai statues scattered all over the island and is one of the most remote islands and communities in the world.  Some people may feel it’s daunting to visit Easter Island with kids, however with some careful planning, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip that your whole family will remember forever.

Visit Easter Island with kids - it's a trip of a lifetime!A giant Moai on Easter Island - kids are fascinated

Easter Island is over 1,200 miles away from the closest inhabited island, and 2,180 miles from Chile, the nearest continent. Easter Island is 15.3 miles by 7.6 miles and has around 4,000 residents. Due to the extreme geographic isolation, (5 hours in the air from the nearest continent) the only commercial flights in and out are via Chile and Tahiti. Visiting Easter Island with kids has been at the top of our travel list for many years and we were blown away by the magical beauty and history.

 

1.  The Easter Island Moai Statues

Dutch explorers found Rapa Nui island on Easter Sunday in 1722, and for years people have wondered how the Rapa’Nui people (the island’s native inhabitants), were able to transport the huge sculptures from the quarry throughout the island — all without the use of wheels or draft animals.  The statues represent ancestors and when they’re presented in a line, they face inward towards the island’s inhabitants. The common wisdom is the monoliths and watch over their descendants and protect them.

There are many theories as to how the 887 moai statues were distributed around Easter Island, but nobody actually knows for sure. Our family had fun speculating on different theories, but to see the size of these carvings in person was incredible. We knew visiting the Moai sites would be breathtaking, however, being next to them was truly a spiritual experience.  Our conversations trying to figure out how on earth they actually got there, our long hikes to the sites, and gazing out across the ocean with the statues standing majestically, will forever be etched in our minds as one of the coolest experiences ever.

Moai statues with kids

Visit Rapa'Nue (Easter island) with your family
It’s about a 1/2 hour hike to Ahu Tongariki from the road, and the whole way you are treated to the most incredible views of the statues.

 

 

Ahu Tongariki Moai on easter island
Ahu Tongariki

Ahu Tongariki is by far one the most impressive sights we have seen anywhere in the world. The moai statues line up with amazing splendor, and the backdrop of the ocean, all come together to create this masterpiece. We all agreed it’s one of the most beautiful things we have ever seen.

Things to Know (especially for kids)

The Moai are protected because they are slowly eroding due to exposure, so touching one is an offense and comes with a fine.  We heard the fine could be quite expensive, up to $17,000 USD!

2. ATV around the Easter Island with Kids

ATV around easter island with kids
What could possibly go wrong?

It is so easy to get around Easter Island as there’s literally one road outside of the main town, Hanga Roa. The boys were thrilled when our guide told us they have very liberal rules on Easter Island with kids riding ATV’s, and it’s quite common to see. They were giddy when we spent the day on ATV’s exploring the island. It was so peaceful, and in a parenting of the year moment, Hot Hubby and I scooted to the back of the ATV and let them take the wheel (in a secluded spot of course!)

It was so fun, liberating, and a great way to explore the lesser-visited parts of Easter Island with our kids. A note that some of the roads are paved, but some are just dirt, but those roads bring you to the most secluded and beautiful places.

There are some great kid-friendly restaurants on Easter Island
The food was incredible with lots of fresh seafood.  We clearly need to buy Julian some sunglasses however…

3.  The Beach at AnakenaVisiting the moai statues on Easter island - lined up on Anakena beach

We loved Anakena Beach so much. The white sand, the extensive grove of palm trees (practically the only trees on the island) crystal clear water (ok, it is quite chilly in full disclosure), and seeing the Moai statues as a backdrop was unbelievable. The view is breathtaking and even with a handful of tourists and locals there, you feel as if you are sharing in a remote, beautiful little secret. We took our own empanadas and beer (water for the kiddos obvi)  and picnicked, although there are a couple of tiki bars that sell food and drinks too.

 Napping on Anakena Beach on easter island with kids
Jules being watched over very carefully by the statues as he napped

Visiting the moai statues on easter island Anakena beach with kids

4.  The Crater at Rano Kau Volcano

Things to Know (especially for kids):

The Moai are protected because they are slowly eroding due to exposure, so touching one is an offense and comes with a fine.  We heard the fine could be quite expensive, up to $17,000 USD!

Easter Island Rano Kau volcano crater

Rano Kau is a large volcano, standing 1,063 feet tall, in the southern part of the island. The crater is almost a mile across and even has its own microclimate. We drove our ATV’s up to the crater as far as we could drive, parked, and hiked about an hour from the road to the crater’s viewpoint.

ATV fun with kids on the back seat

It’s a challenging hike, but the views of Hanga Roa and the coast when you get there are simply breathtaking and worth every step.

Tidepooling on easter island with the children

5.  Surfing on Easter Island with Kids

Easter Island is great for kids who like to surf

Both boys love to surf at all of our destinations whenever possible. Sometimes it’s for the epic surf (think Tavarua, Bali), and other times it’s just to say that they have surfed there. The surf on Easter Island was low when we were there, but still fantastic with the perfect blend of some decent waves and absolutely no crowds. The coast is rocky with coral on the beaches, so it was a little tricky to get into the water, but once they were in, they both caught some great waves and met local surfers in the water too!

Moai apparently can't surf

Getting to Easter Island is east as long is you’re in Chile (it’s technically a part of Chile). Hanga Roa has an international airport, and there are also cruises that stop over. At the time we went, the only airline that flew to Easter Island was LATAM Airlines, a Chilean airline. Flights from Santiago, Chile to Easter Island take about five hours each way. The flight from Santiago to Easter Island takes about six hours on the way out, and four and a half hours on the way back. It’s like flying to Hawaii from Los Angeles, and you know you’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean when you arrive.

family travel to easter island

Have you been to Easter Island with Kids?

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About The Author

Samantha

I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Chrissy | 14th Aug 17

    Sam, you are the consummate adventuress. Your family is so lucky to get to travel the world and visit places few get to go to. Love hearing about your adventures!!!

  2. 7 Reasons Chile Should Be On Your Travel List – My Travelling Circus | 3rd Oct 17

    […] is one of only two places you can fly to Easter Island.  Easter Island is over 1,200 miles away from the closest inhabited island, and 2,180 miles (6 hour flight) from […]

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