Easter Island is completely fascinating! If you are heading there soon you are very lucky indeed.
If you’re a strict vegan, or even vegetarian, you need to be prepared. Lucky for you I’m sharing my top tips on how to survive as a vegan on Easter Island so you can enjoy your time rather than worrying about where your next meal is going to come from.
At over 2,200 miles off the coast of Chile, Easter Island is one of the most remote places on earth; it’s easy to see why food options are limited and why seafood features at almost every meal. Eating out if you’re vegan is more or less a no-no; you might find some fries but a plain salad will probably be too much to ask, especially if you don’t speak Spanish.
Here are my top tips on how to survive as a vegan on Easter Island:
- Pack emergency snacks, a small tupperwear and reusable cutlery – I recommend packing calorie dense protein bars (such as CLIF bars) and lightweight packaged foods such as oat sachets and instant pasta pots that you just add hot water to. You’ll be travelling around the island during the daytimes, where there are no shops, so the tupperwear will come in handy for packing lunch. You can use it to make up some overnight oats or a pasta pot.
- Check your accommodation – Ideally you’ll book self catering accommodation so you’ve got cooking facilities but if you do book a hotel, like us, then try and enquire before you go about the breakfast options. Try to find one that at least serves fresh fruit at breakfast so that you can have a fruit salad.
- Find the local supermercados – There are around 5 or 6 very small ‘supermarkets’ in the town of Hanga Roa, which stock mainly tinned or dried foods with a limited selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you’re in self catering accommodation you could buy some rice, tinned tomatoes, veggies and beans to cook up. If you’re in a hotel consider picking up some tinned fruit and coconut milk so you can make overnight oats with your oat sachets from home. Your hotel should be able to store this in the fridge for you overnight if you don’t have a fridge in your room.At the far end of the main shopping street in Hanga Roa, near the Latam shop, you will find a small health food shop with some lovely fresh fruits and veggies along with dried fruit, cereals and snacks. I found ripe avocado here which I peeled and ate as a snack at the airport (#desperatetimes).
- Download Google Translate – English is not widely spoken and many shop keepers do not speak any English at all. The Google Translate app is a life saver in shops when you are trying to read the Spanish ingredients on the back of food packets.
Here is an idea of what I ate during our stay:
- Breakfast – I had fresh fruit salad from the hotel in the mornings.
- Lunch – I made up some overnight oats using oat sachets I had brought from home, tinned coconut milk and tinned mixed fruit from the supermarket. I also had some fruit and nut mix from the health food shop and a protein bar from my emergency stash.
- Dinner – This was usually a mish-mash of whatever I could find. This could be a pasta pot from home mixed with boiling water, or a smashed avocado and red pepper sandwich. Self catering accommodation would have made dinner easier as I could have cooked rice or pasta with a veggie, bean and tomato sauce.
It may be a challenge surviving as a vegan on Easter Island but don’t let this put you off. Most visits are only 3 or 4 days and it is completely fascinating – don’t miss a visit to the quarry and be sure to hire a local guide to fill you in on the local history.
Have a fab time!