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Will I have problems with the food and water available on Easter Island?
There is only drinkable tap water in Hanga Roa, the only town in the island. According to tourists, it is quite safe to drink. However, to avoid problems, it is advisable to drink bottled water when you are thirsty.
As regards the local food, it is based on fish and shellfish gathered by the natives. All this food is fresh and in good condition, so travelers eating it should not suffer any adverse consequences.
Does currency exchange pose any problem on Easter Island?
If you need to change your money in Rapa Nui, you should go to the office of the Chilean Bank on Tu'u Maheke Street, in Hanga Roa. This office is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In this bank, you can change American dollars, euros and travellers' checks, the latter with a fixed commission of 7 dollars.
It is also possible to draw up to 450 dollars from the bank office using your International Visa card or the ATM, which accepts Cirrus and Maestro cards.
When are stores open?
Stores and government agencies are open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 4 to 8 p.m. Supermarkets are open from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Do I have to leave a tip for waiters in restaurants and for taxi drivers?
In Easter Island it is usual to leave a tip amounting to 10% of the bill, while in taxis it is usual to leave the small change to the driver. In either situation, it is not compulsory to do so.
Are there any dangerous animals on Easter Island?
There are no wild animals which can possibly endanger travelers in Easter Island, so you can wander peacefully among its attractions. However, those who are interested in scuba diving must take into account the presence from time to time of sharks in the area, even though there have been no attacks up to now. In any case, when in doubt ask the natives before doing anything.
What should I do to get onto the island?
As with the rest of the country, to visit Easter Island, the traveler must have a valid passport and a tourist card to enter Chile, the latter is valid for 90 days and can be renewed for another period in the Foreign Tourism Section. Vaccine certificates are not required.
Is there any theft on the island?
In Easter Island one is perfectly safe. Delinquency does not exist, and tourists can move around peacefully, enjoying the natives' friendliness and warmth.
However, in case of any problem or accident, bear in mind these telephone numbers:
- Carabineros, Sixth Police Station: (32) 100-219
- Police Investigation Station: (32) 100-244
- Firefighting Brigade: (32) 100-264
- Hanga Roa Hospital, emergency service: 100-21
Is it necessary to have a map of the island?
Although it is not common to get lost on the island, it is always useful to have a map. This way your movements will be precise, and you will get to the natural and archaeological attractions in Easter Island without delay.
Where can I find tourist information on the island?
If you need extra information about the attractions and services on the island, you should go to the offices of the National Tourist Service (SERNATUR) on Tu'u Maheke Street or phone: 100-255.
How can I protect the archaeological remains on the island?
To preserve the cultural legacy of the ancient Rapa Nui, the tourist should take into account the following recommendations: neither climb the Ahu (religious platforms) nor damage the Moai (the great stone giants). Besides, the rock carvings must not be damaged, and it is forbidden to enter the ceremonial houses of Orongo (unless allowed to do so)
Is there an emergency service on Easter Island?
The Hanga Roa hospital has what is needed to perform operations and deal with emergencies 24 hours a day. Besides it has dental and pharmaceutical services.
Will I be able to keep in touch with the world from Easter Island?
Easter Island is linked to the rest of the world through a modern satellite telecommunications system, so it has permanent telephone, fax and Internet services.
If you have to make an international call, it is advisable to go to the Entel offices in the center of Hanga Roa. The cost is about 10 dollars every 4 minutes. In the hotels the charge is higher (almost three times the amount).
In Hanga Roa port there is a branch of the Chilean post office. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, it is open from 9 a.m. to midday.