Easter Island — Travel Tips
Taking a guide around Easter Island and its stone monuments will not only help you to understand its past, but also its present and what is acceptable according to local customs. Expect to be greeted with a garland necklace known as a lei when arriving or departing.
Easter Island may be part of Chile, but the locals remain fiercely independent of their heritage and culture and as such, they identify themselves as Polynesians rather than Chileans or South Americans. Visitors can support the local economy by buying locally produced items such as the newly brewed local beer, Mahini, which comes as both a pale ale and a strong stout.
Although cars are easily hired here, remember that this is only a small island and as such, there is a limited amount to see and an increasing tide of people coming here, meaning a strain is being put on resources. Getting around on foot or by bicycle are therefore preferable ways to get around, and these modes of transport help to maintain the laid-back atmosphere.
Credit cards can be both a blessing and curse on Easter Island. While they guarantee the only available source of cash within a radius of more than 1,000 miles during emergencies, some ATMs here do not take VISA and often using a credit card incurs a steep fee. It is best to bring along Chilean pesos, the official currency, and US dollars, which are also accepted on the island.
Visitors should always check whether water is clean and safe to drink before consuming it when in restaurants. Diarrhoea is among the most common ailments which affect travelers to the island, so bringing along medication to deal with such an ailment is recommended.