Travel resumed to Easter Island last week after COVID-19 restrictions. Last weekend, the second regular flight was performed, thus reopening one of the most iconic tourist routes after sanitary measures halted all commercial airline services.
The first flight landed at Rapa Nui last Thursday and Saturday officially marked the return of regular services. The Latam airliners with room for some 300 passengers were full each day and each way, it was reported.
The carrier will maintain two regular weekly flights during August and increase frequencies to three weekly services, according to airline sources.
We train and prepare ourselves, the hotels, the restaurants, the markets, the boutiques, because the island is 100% tourism economy, Rapa Nui Mayor Pedro Edmunds told reporters.
The Federation of Tourism Companies of Chile (FEDETUR), meanwhile, pointed out that they value the reopening, because it was unsustainable for the island to remain closed to visitors, whose money is essential for the survival of the many businesses there, although operators were more cautious than optimistic given the limited number of tourists that will be reaching the island.
This reopening takes place at a time when the arrival of foreign tourists is still slowed down because Chile maintains restrictions to enter the national territory, such as the approval of vaccines and random PCR testing, FEDETUR Executive Vice-President Helen Kouyoumdjian explained.
Travelers to Easter Island must have a negative PCR test when boarding the plane at Santiago's Airport, and an antigen test after entering the island.
Easter Island, a territory of Chile, is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia, whose native name is Rapa Nui. It is famous for its archaeological sites, including nearly 900 monumental statues called moais, built between the 13th and 16th centuries. These are carved human figures with oversized heads, often resting on huge stone pedestals called ahus.
These stone giants were made by the Rapa Nui to represent their ancestors, rulers, or important ancestors, who after death could extend their mana or spiritual power over the tribe, to protect it.
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