With only about 4,000 permanent residents (yes, people do live on Easter Island), it’s not exactly what you call a happening party spot. This doesn’t mean there are no events, however. While there are no official Easter Island holidays, the nation can still get down with a festival or two.
Easter Island Festival
Taking place an early weekend in April, Easter Island Festival welcomes spring with a celebration of art, music and culture. Started in 2010 as a grassroots movement, the event has grown every year in patrons and popularity.
Tapati Rapa Nui Festival
A mix of Carnival, sports and theatre, Rapa Nui is Easter Island’s showcase of culture. For a few weeks at the end of January, hotels are so booked that local residents actually have to rent out their houses to accommodate all guests. What started in 1963 in celebration of the first time residents could vote in the Chilean presidential elections has grown into a heritage event complete with dance competitions and a crowning of the festival queen. Ancient games like haka pei, sliding down a cliff on a banana tree log, rowing across the river on a reed tortora raft and balancing a bushel of bananas over your shoulder are highlights.
Easter Island Marathon
Held every year in May/June, the Easter Island Marathon, half marathon and 10 K is one of the most exclusive running events in the world. Only accepting 150 participants, about 50 of those are locals. A fairly flat track, the race begins in the center of Hanga Roa, the main town, continues on to the center of the island and then circles back to Anakena Beach.