Posted: 2009-02-09 11:44:00
It is definitely worth the trip! The island is tiny, and I think three days would be sufficient. One day, in the morning, you could do a round trip around the island to see almost everything at the glance and then decide, which temples and sights you would like to see again in the evening by bike or on foot (or even horseback). The same day, in the afternoon, you could do Orongo and the ancient village on the top of the volcano, where the reliefs of the birdman can be found. I would recommend that on foot (it is an easy climb, but take water as it may get hot). For sunset, I would head for Tahai.
The other morning, I would recommend a sunrise for Rano Raraku, where the moai were carvout and to see the Tongariki temple. Then go breakfast and relax. Maybe some shopping in the capital. In the afternoon, you could do the only beach, Anakena, complete with three temples and palmtrees clusters.
On the third day, I would do some trekking on the tallest of the volcanoes and visit the Navel of the World, and see some of the temples in the different light.
The airfares can be steep, as LAN Chile has been the only airline. They do not fly daily. So, either you go for a 2, 3 or 5 day trip, or something - check the schedules. Often, they offer good deals over the internet. I paid about $450, but I know that a regular price may be higher than $800.
There a few hotels in the capital. I did not book in advance. Locals met the aircraft inviting to go and stay at their guesthouses. I stayed at Orongo Hotel, as you know, which was rather good option, clean (if a bit tacky) and the restaurant was superb. I think it was about $50 or so per night, including fabulous breakfast.
In general, Rapa Nui is about 3 times as expensive as Chile - this is what the taxi drivers would claim - and for taxis on the island you would pay about three times as much as in Santiago, but the distances are very short!
Please let me know if you need more information.
[edited by krisek at 2009-02-09 11:44]
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