Best time to visit Easter Island

With its temperate climate, Easter Island with its famous moai statues is a year-round destination, though winds and rain can be unpredictable.
The high season on Easter Island is the Southern Hemisphere summer between January and March, and even though it receives relatively few visitors due to its isolation, the island is so small that crowds are very noticeable. The best time to visit Easter Island is either side of the high season, when you can expect temperatures around 22°C. It gets blustery on this exposed, flat island, so a rain and wind-proof overcoat is recommended whatever time of year you’re traveling. Do stay up late as well: in a place as remote and underpopulated as this, the light pollution is next to zero, making Easter Island a wonderful spot for stargazing.

Easter Island Weather Chart

RAIN (mm)


Things to do in Easter Island…

The main reason that practically everyone travels to Easter Island is to see the famous moai statues, the mysterious, monolithic stone statues erected all around the coast to watch silently over their descendants. Some, in key locations such as Ahu Tongariki, have been restored and make for stunning photography, while the quarry in the volcanic crater of Rano Raraku where they were built is another must-see. While most tour groups explore the island by private vehicle, there are also many opportunities to get out and about. Most sites can be reached on foot or mountain bike, and there is also the option of horse riding. The weather can be unpredictable but is generally warm, averaging around 19°C in winter and 24°C in summer. Perfect for admiring Easter Island's rugged coastline and gorgeous Polynesian beaches. Photography vacations of Easter Island are fantastic for discovering the unique and fascinating moai sites, volcanic craters and caves, idyllic beaches, rock carvings and ancient ceremonial sites, while at the same time exploring contemporary Rapa Nui culture. Enthusiastic beginners are welcome on tailormade tours that are escorted by a tutor experienced in technique. You'll want a wide angle lens to capture the astonishing sunrises and sunsets here, those in Ahu Tongariki and Ahu Akivia respectively are incredible.

Things not  to do in Easter Island…

While the moai are bound to be the focus of attention on any Easter Island vacation, they are far from the only attraction here. Don’t neglect Rapa Nui culture which can range from learning about the fascinating Birdman cult at the Orongo Ceremonial Village to Polynesian dance performances, or a visit to the ethnological museum in Hanga Roa. And of course, trips here will often use local guides, always the best way to get a deeper understanding of the culture of a destination. Speaking of exploring traditional culture on Easter Island, don’t skip dinner – an Umu meal uses an ancient form of cooking, the earth oven, steaming food using fire-heated rocks. They can often take hours, if not an entire day to prepare, and some tour operators are able to organise for you to enjoy one with a local community. When packing, don’t forget your swimsuit. Easter Island has several gorgeous beaches, including Anakena, ideal for a refreshing swim, while you can also snorkel in the Hanga Roa harbour. Scuba diving is another very popular activity here with several dive sites available, but don’t be taken in by the underwater moai, it’s a cast-off from a film shot here, not an original.

Our top Easter Island Vacation

Photography vacation on Easter Island

Photography vacation on Easter Island

Photograph one of the world's most isolated inhabited islands

From US $5392 5 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip is can be tailor made to depart anytime to suit you
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Easter Island or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.


Rosie Tobin from our travel specialist Real World Vacations on the cultural highlights of Easter Island:


“The most famous and best preserved Moai site is Ahu Tongariki, where 15 complete statues stand in a line on their ahu plinth. Here you can also see the largest Moai on the Island at 86 tonnes! Other Moai sites include Ahu Akivi, Ahu Vaihu, Ahu Akahanga, Raro Raraku, Ahu Te Pito Kura, the Puna Pau quarry and Ahu Tahai. Other must-see locations include the impressive Rano Kau volcanic crater and the ruins of the ceremonial village of Orongo. For geology enthusiasts the caves of Ana Kai Tangata, close to the main town of Hanga Roa, are also worth a visit.”

Umu meals

“We can help organise an Umu dinner, which is a fantastic cultural activity and a great opportunity to meet the locals. They teach you how to use an underground clay oven, called an umu. You prepare some traditional dishes and learn about the cultural history of Easter Island. Then you all enjoy a banquet dinner together and the locals put on a Polynesian dance performance.”

Getting to Easter Island

“The only reasonable way to get to Easter Island is by flying (unless you want to spend three weeks and a lot of money on a boat crossing the notoriously rough Pacific Ocean!). The flight from Santiago takes around five hours. Most visitors stay in or around Santiago before and after their trip to Easter Island, since the flight times make onwards travel on the same day difficult. Getting around Easter Island itself is very simple due to its small size. Most tour groups use private cars or buses but it’s also possible to explore on foot, or even on horseback.”


Kathy Jarvis from travel specialist Andean Trails on capturing Easter Island:
“The whole island is very photogenic especially up on the hills, and on the coastline. It can be problematic taking pictures in some places, due to the restrictions on the island by the national park. Some areas are difficult to get into before sunrise and after sunset, and there are also restrictions on the number of times you can visit a site and generally there is no access before 10am. There are also barriers around the moai - you are not permitted to get too close. But there are some fabulous locations - it’s a small island and going round it each day will show up many excellent spots for photography.”


At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Easter Island travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation – and the space inside your suitcase.
There was a maximum of 4 of us on each experience so it felt really personal and like we have the whole island pretty much to ourselves.
– Nina Szewczak on an Easter Island adventure vacation
“Our time at Easter Island was truly magnificent! We had the same tour guide throughout our stay and he was very passionate and super knowledgeable. We also loved the fact that the tours are so tailored - there was a maximum of 4 of us on each experience so it felt really personal and like we have the whole island pretty much to ourselves. Watching the sun go down behind the Moai was an amazing experience, but all other points of our tour were magnificent too so it's impossible to choose one memory that's most exciting. We went in August so although the winter temperatures are still warm - be prepared for changing weather with some rain and wind.” – Nina Szewczak on an Easter Island adventure vacation

“Beautiful Island. Doesn't take too long to see the major sites, but it's a very pleasant atmosphere. The restaurants are mostly fairly informal, but serve great food (the ceviche makes the trip worthwhile). Local Rapa Nui acted as a guide. She was obviously very concerned with protecting the monuments and treating them with respect.” – Jeffrey Swensen on an Easter Island vacation
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Alanbritom] [Quarry: Tristan in Ottawa] [Cultural dance: travelwayolife] [Ahu Tongariki: Kristin "Shoe" Shoemaker] [Ahu Tongariki - coastline: David Berkowitz]
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