To get to the one and only swimming beach on Easter Island, a rental vehicle- car, moped, or ATV is a must. The beach, Anakena, has a line of maoi statues overlooking the gorgeous white sand and turquoise water.
The drive to Anakena takes about 20 minutes along the only road from Hanga Roa to the other side of the island. Since internet is not great and I didn’t have cell service, it is a good thing you cannot get lost on Easter Island because Google Maps is not an option.
To actually rent a car walk down the main road in Hanga Roa with all the souvenir stores, food shops, and many restaurants. There are quite a few places to rent cars/mopeds/ATVs from but only one had what I was looking for and willing to spend. Manual cars were reasonably priced between 40,000-70,000 Chilean Pesos ($65-100) per day. But automatic cars were way more expensive at $250 per day. I was not paying $250- I’m way to cheap for that! Instead I struck a deal with one place that had a super-old junker automatic that they rented to me for 50,000 Chilean Pesos ($83 per day)! The best deal of the whole trip. But let me tell you this car was a junker.
The air-conditioning hardly worked, windows tended to get stuck in the down position, and needed at least two starts before the engine would actually turn on. Whatever- it was cheap and it got me to the beach and other Moai around the island.
Anakena was amazing and my favorite place on Easter Island! I took photos, ate an empanada picnic, got sunburned, swam in the beautiful water, and made a new dog friend.
It was so cool to have the Moai statues on one side of you and the water on the other. A big crowd at the beach this day
After frying oneself crispy, you have the choice to drive back to town or continue on the loop which passes by other moai and archeological sites. Ahu Tongariki is nearby so I drove my junker there. Sunrise is really the time to go to Ahu Tongariki but it a spectacular sight any time of day.
More fun with the rental car on Easter Island coming up!
Reader Question: Are you a bargain hunter? Does haggling over prices thrill you or drive you mad? It turns me off because I always think I must not be getting a good deal!