Don’t miss the parades that mark both the beginning and end of the festival. Both are complete with elaborate floats, scantily clad dancers and plenty of music, but the final parade honors the newly crowned queen.
Haka Pei Tobogganing
Arguably one of the most popular (not to mention dangerous) events, you won’t want to miss the haka pei competition. Get a front row seat along Maunga Pui volcano to watch this daredevil race.
While Tapati is traditionally a festival for the locals, tourists are invited to participate in two activities: a dance and the parade. To participate in the dancing, you must be present for one month of rehearsals, so plan on arriving on Easter Island in early January. To participate in the parade, you’ll need to have an in with one of the teams, so make friends!
You can’t come all the way to Easter Island without seeing at least some of the 887 famous moai statues. Take a tour to learn more, or form your own conclusions about how and why these stone giants ended up here.
The only airline serving Rapa Nui is LAN Airlines, with several flights each week to and from Santiago, Chile, and a couple flights per week to and from Tahiti. Flights can get overbooked, so it’s wise to reconfirm your ticket a few days before departing. Like the flights, accommodations fill up quickly as well, so book in advance. Homestays are a great way to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and get an “in” for parades and other traditionally locals-only events.