One of Chile’s most popular national parks, Rapa Nui National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site which sits on Easter Island. It is one of the most expensive places in South America to explore, both because it is so remote and also because all goods on the island need to be imported.
If you can factor a trip to Rapa Nui into your travel budget, you won’t regret it. This national park is one of South America’s most enigmatic, famous for the Moai statues that were miraculously created using just stone tools in around 1,000AD.
As well as these looming stone statues, the island is home to several natural wonders. There is a pink sand beach, rolling hills and fascinating volcanic landscapes. The area benefits from a sub-tropical climate with average temperatures of 19 °C in winter to 24 °C in summer.
- Landmass: 68km²
- Entrance fee: $80USD (54,000 CLP) for foreign nationals
- Best time to visit: December-February
Highlights of Rapa Nui National Park
The adventure of flying to Easter Island and experiencing the historical cultural significance is the highlight of the visit. This island and park represents one of the most isolated places in the world.
How to get to Rapa Nui National Park
The only way to get to Rapa Nui is to fly from Chile. LATAM airlines depart from Santiago daily, with 3 flights per day in peak season and 2 per day during winter. If you are on a budget, try to plan your trip outside of peak season to save on flights.
Rapa Nui National Park Protection
Rapa Nui National Park was created to protect the cultural heritage of the 887 Moai scattered across Easter Island. In recognition of the cultural significance, UNESCO has declared the area a Worled Heritage Site. Management and conservation responsibilities have now been turned over to the Rapa Nui local people. All revenue generated by the park visitors now goes into preservation and protection.
The park protects the nearly 900 moai statues, over 300 ceremonial platforms, and the abundance of other historically and culturally significant structures that represent the culture’s life activities.