Easter Island Tour Details

 

7-Day Photographic Adventure

Easter Island (Rapa Nui), is one of the most remotely inhabited islands in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage location and the entire island can be considered an open air museum with many artefacts on open display.

Although most famous for the Moai statues that inhabit its landscape, Easter Island's volcanic origins, in my opinion also make it a great photographic setting for many of its ancient sites. 

Although small in nature (approximately 63 sq miles) Easter Island has much to see and photograph. With an often shifting contrast of light and shade as clouds race across its surface, I find the landscape here to be always interesting, always challenging.

Through its rare combination ofremoteness, mystery and it’s culture that seems to originate more from Polynesia than South America, my time here has often been a highly absorbing and special.

© Eric Gaba / Wikimedia Commons

© Eric Gaba / Wikimedia Commons

Getting to and from the Trip

There are regular flights to Easter Island from Santiago Chile via LAN Airlines.

Upon booking the trip, you will be forwarded onto Andean Trails (a South American travel specialist who can arrange flights and excursions for you).

Arrival

We will meet in the small township of Hanga Roa on Easter Island.

7:00 - 9:00pm
Dinner with the group, hosted by Bruce 

7-day Itinerary

In this section I'll give you a break down of what we're doing each day, in terms of location. There's a further section down the page which deals with what to expect as a daily schedule.

Day 1

Fly to Easter Island, transfer in, hotel. Evening dinner hosted by Bruce.

Dinner & Bed.

Day 2

Today we spend the morning exploring the north western side of the island around Hanga Roa village. There are several Rapa Nui sites of interest here to photograph including Ahu Vai Uri, and Ahu Akivi. Akivi in particular is of interest because it is the only site on the island where the Moai statues face out towards the sea, as well as being situated inland. They are a dramatic feature of the landscape. In the afternoon we visit Kao Kao volcano and the ceremonial village of Orongo. This site contains superb views over the three islets Motu Iti, Motu Kao Kao and Motu Nui. There is an abundance of petroglyphs to be found at this ceremonial site. Volcano Kao Kao is a spectacular cauldron that demands the use of ultra wide-angle lenses.

Bed, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 & 4

We explore the eastern side of the island today. Rano Raraku volcano is of particular note as the birth place for the majority of the Moai statues. For almost 500 years this was a quarry supplying the stone for the statues. Rano Raraku is a visual record of Moai design and technological innovation. The edges of the volcano are littered with nearly 400 statues, some still in-situ with others erect on the slopes. The incomplete statues in the quarry are remarkable for their number, for the inaccessibility of some that were high on the outside crater wall and for the size of the largest; At 21 metres in height almost twice that of any Moai ever completed, and weighing an estimated 270 tonnes, many times the weight of any transported. Some of the incomplete Moai seem to have been abandoned after the carvers encountered inclusions of very hard rock in the material. Others may be sculptures that were never intended to be separated from the rock in which they are carved. In the afternoon we will visit Ahu Nau Nau situated near the only sand beach on the island at Anakena. The Moai statues here are in a beautiful location with palm trees. Ahu Nau Nau was restored in 1978 by the islander archaeologist Sergio Rapu. All of the Moai here had elaborate topknots (pukao). An important finding here was that of an almost complete eye made of coral, with a red volcanic scoria disc to represent the iris, inlaid in a circular cavity in the coral. The eye sockets of the Moai quarried at Rano Raraku were not carved until they were upright on the ahus (in order to bring them to life). It is therefore possible to tell which Moai had been erected, and which were still in transit when the society collapsed. Further on we will also visit the 'Navel of the World', a ceremonial site which contains an egg shaped stone.

Bed, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tipping Culture

Please note that Chile has a tipping culture. Tips will be expected for any drivers and local guides and as an estimate, budget on approximately $100 USD for the trip. But please also consider additional tips for cafe stops and other outings outside of the trip schedule.

Daily Schedule Outline

Sunrise is late at 8am allowing for more time in bed while sunset is early at 6:30pm, meaning we'll be back at our hotel in time for dinner and some well earned time off in the evenings.

7:00 - 7:30am
Breakfast

7:30 - 11:30am
Shooting on location.

11:30am - 12:30pm
Time out to roam the island, or take in a private excursion.

12:30pm - 1:30pm
Lunch at Hotel.

1:30pm - 3:30pmTime out to roam the island, or take in a private excursion.

3:30 - 7:30pm
Late afternoon shooting where we will stay out until after sunset and twilight has finished.

8:00 - 9:00pm
Dinner.

9:00pm - onwards
Free time.

Equipment needed

• Film or Digital SLR camera
• Tripod
• Neutral density graduated filters
• Winter clothing

Links

• LAN Airlines
• Hotel Gomero

 

Itinerary Continued...

Day 5 & 6

Today we explore the south eastern and western sides of the island. In the morning we visit Ahu Tongariki (substantially restored in the 1990s), one of the most impressive locations on the island. Tongariki contains fifteen of the largest Moai statues including an 86 tonne Moai that is the heaviest ever erected on the island. The Moais are lined up facing inland from the Pacific towards Rano Raraku. The statues have quite distinctive faces that require the use of telephoto lenses, but the entire landscape surrounding this location is great for further exploration. In the afternoon we visit Poike, one of the three main volcanoes of Easter Island. Poike forms the eastern headland and there is an abrupt cliff "the Poike ditch" across the island marking the boundary between flows from Terevaka and Poike. Poike last erupted between 230,000 to 705,000 years ago, and as the oldest of the island's three volcanoes is the most weathered with relatively stoneless soil. At 370 metres it is the island's second highest peak after Terevaka. For those who are keen we will also visit the top of Terevaka, the central volcano on the island. Terevaka is less than 400,000 years old. Itslava field at Roiho has been dated at between 110,000 and 150,000 years old.

Bed, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 7

Breakfast Only. Trip ends after Breakfast. Return to Santiago.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking any of our workshops/tours that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you for trip cancellation (by you), activities involved and destination. This cover should include repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue.

We work with Travel Nomads, who offer insurance solutions to people in more than 140 countries across the world.

Should you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must provide us with details of your alternative insurance with or before your final payment.

Terms & Conditions

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Contact Details

Bruce Percy Photography Limited
Landscape Photography Workshops
33 Sandport Street
Edinburgh, EH6 6EP
Scotland

Tel: +44 (0) 787 621 0051
e-mail: bruce@brucepercy.com