JetSet Destinations: Rapa Nui, Chile (Easter Island)

Easter Island is not only one of the most remote islands one may visit – it is historically fascinating and topographically beautiful. Its 63 square miles, roughly the size of Staten Island, is predominantly volcanic resulting in dramatic land and seascapes.  With only 5,000 locals – and 6,700 wild horses  – the islanders welcome visitors with open arms and broken English.

Easily combinable with Chile (a 5 hour flight from Santiago) or even French Polynesia (a 6 hour flight from Papeete), this extremely isolated Polynesian Island is brimming with rich local culture, captivating history, and more recently, luxury lodges. Days are spent learning the fascinating and still disputed history of the tribes that inhabited the island some thousands of years ago and their quest to build the famed Moai statues that scatter the island.

Beyond the archeological wonders, there is plenty to do: hiking caves and volcanoes, snorkeling, scuba diving, mountain biking, surfing, lazing on the pink and black sand beaches, sampling the infamous tuna empanadas, exploring the colorful Hanga Roa cemetery, or observing a traditional dance performance.

The place to stay: Explora Rapa Nui.  Rates at this luxurious LEED certified lodge include all guided activities, gourmet cuisine, top shelf refreshments – and unlimited oxygen.

Customize your own adventure with Lauren Maggard: