This post is the first in a series about Easter Island.
“How far is it? And how do you get there?”
Those are the questions that everyone asked before my trip to Easter Island. And they are good ones: Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui (pronounced Rappa New-ee) or Isla de Pascua, is the most remote inhabited island in the world. Although governed by Chile, the island is closer to Tahiti and other Polynesian islands than it is to South America.
Which means that it does take a long time to get there. But now it’s slightly closer than it was before for U.S. passengers. LAN Airlines has started direct flights to Easter Island from Lima, Peru twice a week – which shaves off several hours from the former route through Santiago, Chile.
Lima is fast becoming a hub for South American travel. LAN offers non-stops from several cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco, with connecting service to other South American
destinations. Delta, Continental and American also have direct flights. Even cheapie airline Spirit has a direct flight to Lima, although I would never recommend taking this airline.
In total, my route took 15 hours flying time: 2 1/2 hours from Seattle to Los Angeles, then 8 hours from LAX to Lima. Luckily, I spent this portion of the flight in LAN business class, which boasted a Chilean wine menu, a full entertainment system and flat bed-type seats.
Things weren’t quite as comfy in economy for the 4 1/2 hour overnight from Lima to Easter Island, but we had spaced things out with a daylong layover in Lima so it wasn’t too bad. The flights in and out of Easter Island weren’t full, so we were able to score a bulkhead seat for more room.
LAN is part of the OneWorld alliance, which includes American, Alaska and British Airways. After my experience, I would highly recommend redeeming your miles from OneWorld for an upgraded business-class seat on any long haul flights you take with LAN, as the lie-flat beds do make a big difference in comfort.
Another tip for RTW (round the world) travelers and honeymooners: LAN also flies from Easter Island to Tahiti. So it’s easy to make Easter Island a stopover on your trip to the South Pacific. My husband and I had briefly considered Tahiti for our honeymoon, but chose to go with something more adventurous. Adding Easter Island to the itinerary might have changed our minds.
What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken? Was it worth it?
Thanks to LAN Airlines for sponsoring my trip.