Easter Island is one of the most remote places in the world and one of the top destinations when visitors come to Chile. The island has experienced a rapid growth of visitors during the last years due to an increase in low-cost flights and the improvement of the living conditions of its inhabitants. This increase has definitely favored the economy but it’s also created a threat to the vulnerable ecosystem.
Chilean authorities and the people, Therefore, the authorities and the Rapanui citizens have made the decision to control the growing flow of tourists and residents before it is too late. Between August 1, 2018, and February 28, 2019 visitors will be going through a trial period of new regulations that will gradually be implemented during this period. Starting February 29th, it will be mandatory to have all the requested documentation to travel to Easter Island.
So what are the new regulations and requested documentation?
According to article 7 of law No. 21,070, in order to enter Easter Island, they must submit the following documents:
- a) Identity card (Cedula de Identidad) or passport according to the current general regulations.
- b) Ticket for non-transferable return from Easter Island, which allows effective compliance with the term provided in Article 5 for a maximum of 30 calendar days.
- c) Reservation in an establishment authorized by Sernatur that provides tourist accommodations. You have two options:
- Visitors must show proof of payment or reservation of where they will stay during their stay in Easter Island
- If staying with a family member or a person belonging to the Rapanui community, the visitor must show a letter of invitation with accommodation of any of the persons referred to in article 6 (these visitors are then authorized to remain over the maximum time of 30 days).
If we take a look at the first point, the identity card is applied to Chilean citizens. Everyone else must travel with their passport as if they were entering Chile. The law indicates that every person, Chilean or foreign, will have the right to enter and remain on the island for a maximum period of 30 days, and is extendable under certain conditions. The exception will be given for people who meet special requirements, for example: for the exercise of some economic activity; for a family relationship; for labor ties; or for the exercise of some public function in organs of the State.
Not too bad right?
So there you have it. These new regulations will really only affect those who enjoy traveling unplanned and last minute. It’s a small change as travelers to maintain and reserve this ecosystem so that we can enjoy it for years and years to come.