Discover fun facts about Rapa Nui Airport in Chile
Beatriz Chávez, Alamy, Shutterstock
Rapa Nui Airport, formerly known as Easter Island, has plenty of elements of its native culture and offers unforgettable moments to travelers
New entry requirements
Aiming to protect the island’s ecological and cultural heritage, since last August, all visits for touristic purposes have been limited to a maximum of 30 days. Before boarding, you need to fill out a form and present a return ticket, ID, and hotel reservations. As such, it’s recommended to arrive at the airport at least three hours before your flight.
A selfie with history
Even though there are 887 moai (the famous humanoid sculptures) on the island, tourists can’t resist taking a picture next to the first sculpture they come across. The effigy at the airport’s entrance soothes visitors’ anxiety, but it has become so popular that, oftentimes, you need to wait in line for your turn.
LATAM is the only airline that connects Rapa Nui with the rest of the world
From the volcano to the Pacific
Mataveri has only one landing runway, but it’s not just any runway: it starts at the foot of the imposing Rano Kau Volcano and, being 2-mile [3.3 km] long, it crosses almost the entire island from east to west, practically dividing it in two.
Although it’s small in size, this airport is big in affective memory. Every passenger is welcomed with a garland of flowers and, before they leave, they get a moai necklace. The reason? Flowers will wither, but the statue will last forever – just like the memories of the island.
At the airport, you can buy tickets to Rapa Nui National Park or one of its many attractions, like the Rano Kau and Rano Raraku volcanos. The 10-day ticket gives you access to the main icons on the island, but there’s no time to waste: the park covers over 40% of the island’s territory.
2,336 miles [3,759 km] from Santiago, Chile, and 2,643 miles [4,254 km] from Papeete, Tahiti, Mataveri is the most isolated airport in the world