Hanga Roa is Easter Island´s only urban area with roughly 6000 inhabitants (Censo 2012). In its main street (Atamu Tekena) you will find several souvenir shops, restaurant and fast food places (empanadas, hot-dogs and burgers mainly) and there are also 2 drugstores (pharmacies) – where you can purchase anything you may have forgotten to pack- internet cafes, bakeries, liquor stores and minimarkets are also found along the main road.
There are two ATM’s in town (one at Banco Estado that is nearer the town centre and another a little further around the corner on the coast).
As for money, it is common for restaurants and stores in general to accept dollars although beware of the exchange rates – it is better to change your dollars to Chilean pesos in the only petrol station on the island, they give fast service at a reasonable rate. Most of the restaurants accept major credit and debit cards.
But what about beaches in Hanga Roa? The beaches around town are small but hold treasures in their own right. One of them is Pe’a which you can be easily spoted right next to the PEA restaurant in front of the football ground. Here you will be able to watch surfers and swim with the islands Turtles. Although turtles are friendly be sure not to touch them as you may inadvertently hurt them and upset some of the locals. If you can, bring your own snorkel and mask so you don’t have to rent one. If diving is your thing there are a number of scuba diving tours you can book a hundred meters north at the Kaleta (where the small fishing boats are docked).
Slightly North of Pea beach along the coast is what is referred to as Poko Poko, which is a large rock pool near town with palm trees and grass- which you will be thankful for on the long sunny days of summer. The natural barrier of rocks keep most waves from the pool and is generally safe for kids. Although do be weary – if there are no locals swimming it might pay to watch the waves for a while to make sure no big ones are stirring up the pool. If you are travelling as a family with kids remember to pack water shoes because it can be slippery especially beside the small children’s pool at Poko Poko. Here you can snorkel alone or with your kids and see some of Rapa Nui’s oceanic richness.
Across the road from Poko Poko is Tia Sonia’s restaurant, a small quaint shack looking place which is a big hit with the locals. Her menus are very reasonable and portions are big making it a great cheaper option.
If you continue North up the coast, you will reach Easter Island’s cemetery, feel free to enter but be respectful. It overlooks the vast Pacific Ocean and there are some beautiful stone and wood statues that pay tribute to those who have passed away.