This tour begins with an international flight into Santiago, where you will be met by one of our bilingual guides. Spend a day exploring the capital city on a modern city tour through historical downtown, the Central Market, and some of Santiago’s most interesting “barrios.” Catch a great vista of the Andes from atop San Cristóbal Hill while you are exploring. Depart Santiago for a three day stay in one of the driest places on Earth, the Atacama Desert. Choose from a number of daily excursions and activities that will have you traversing these ancient sands across volcanoes and lava fields. You will get to learn about the limited and specialized ecosystems that have evolved in the oldest desert in the world, of which some parts have reportedly never received rain. Leave the desert for incredible Easter Island, just a short flight from the mainland. Over the next several days you will get to experience your choice of amazing, culture-rich excursions all over the island. Visit the most important and significant moais, learn of their astounding history and preservation, and see the volcanic quarry from which they were carved and then transported to other locations. Easter Island is teeming with ancient caves, ceremonial sites, and interesting architecture that bears evidence of Incan influence. While these tours aim to unveil some of the mysteries of the island, so much remains unknown… and that’s half the excitement!
Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your Santiago hotel. For morning arrivals you will have the afternoon and evening at leisure to explore on your own.
Overnight at the Hotel Orly, daily breakfast included - 2 nights.
The Hotel Orly is a small, boutique style hotel which has 28 rooms. Once a private mansion home, the hotel is superbly situated in one of the city's more exclusive areas, Providencia. Everything you may want to see is close by - shops, restaurants, downtown, museums, banks and the cable car up San Cristobal Hill. And should you require any assistance the staff is extremely helpful in pointing you in the right direction.
You will depart with your guide from your Santiago hotel and head to the exclusive El Golf Neighborhood, home to the financial district and many modern buildings. A little further to the west you will find Providencia, an area with wide streets, lovely homes, and a “French feel."
Proceed through the main avenue of the city, Alameda del Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins, passing by the San Francisco Church, the oldest monument in the country. You will visit and walk around the culturally vibrant Barrio Lastarria, with the option to visit , museums, theaters, antique fairs, cafes, bookstores, and small specialty shops. From here, you will be taken to the neoclassical La Moneda Palace that is now the government palace, and take a walk along the “Plaza de la Constitución.”
Next, stroll around the Central Market, one of the main attractions in historical downtown. Its beauty lies in the architecture of melted iron, the variety and quality of its seafood, and the authentic atmosphere provided by the tenants.
A little further, cross the Mapocho River and head straight towards the Bellavista Neighborhood, the lively core of arts and nightlife, where pubs, cultural centers and international gastronomy can be found. From here, ascend the San Cristóbal Hill, a spur of the Andes marching into Santiago, where the famous Virgin Mary statue overlooks the city. Conclude this day with a panoramic view of the city and the majestic Andes in the background. Then, enjoy a downhill ride by funicular.
Afterward, you will return to your hotel in Santiago.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Calama. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to San Pedro de Atacama, the gateway to the beautiful and diverse Atacama desert.
Overnight at the Casa Atacama - 3 nights. Located in the town of San Pedro, the Casa Atacama is a great base for exploring Atacama and the streets, shops and markets of the town. Clean and elegant guest rooms feature balconies with views of the hotels' landscaping, comfortable amenities and wi-fi access. The hotel has a swimming pool and is home to the wonderful La Romerria restaurant.
While at Casa Atacama, all meals are included, as well as daily excursions which you choose from a menu of options, divided into 4 basic categories:
Biking: Excursions for all skill levels (recreational and sporting), often held on rugged terrain and gravel roads, with stretches of sand or chusquea bamboo and calamine.
Trekking: Walking is an excellent way of discovering places and fully enjoying the natural wonders surrounding Casa Atacama. There are hikes for all tastes and skill levels (recreational and sporting).
Scenic: Excursions designed for enjoying the diversity of the local landscapes, without physical exertion. Routes that allow you to take in the immensity of the desert, the magic of the Atacama Salt Flat, and the majesty of the high plateau, as you marvel at the variety of landscapes. All scenic excursions are classified as easy.
Mountains: Challenging ascents into the high mountains, for those who want the unique experience offered by the Andes peaks.
Days to explore the Atacama Desert on guided excursions.
Transfer back to the Calama Airport for your flight to Santiago. Upon arrival transfer on your own to the Holiday Inn Santiago Airport Hotel, located adjacent to the terminal.
Transfer on your own to the terminal for your flight to Easter Island, an island of volcanic remains, known for its massive and mysterious moai statues. Upon arrival you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight at the Taha Tai Hotel, located seaside and a short distance from the village of Hanga Roa. The hotel offers 30 bedrooms all with balcony, TV, in-room safe and air-conditioning. The hotel also offers 10 roomy and comfortable independent bungalows, all with comfortable terrace. Hotel facilities and services include restaurant, swimming pool, pool bar, wireless Internet access, room service, laundry service. Daily breakfast included.
You will have daily guided excursions that explore the sights of the iconic island from the rigid coast lines to Ahu Tongariki. You will visit numerous sites that hold the colossal moai statues and will be engagingly informed on their origin and historical context.
Today’s full-day tour includes Akahanga, Te Pito Kura, Rano Raraku and Anakena Beach:
You will be met at your hotel by your guide and begin your visit at Vaihu in Hanga Te’e Bay, off the South Coast road, to find the non-restored ahu (platform in Rapa Nui language) with knocked down moais as well as red topknots (pukao). Further south along the coast is the important site of Akahanga where the royal chiefs often resided, with four platforms, twelve Moais, eight topknots, and the remains of several "boathouse" foundations.
Continue to the Rano Raraku Volcano, also known as “The Factory”, containing the quarry in which practically all existing Moais were sculpted and from where they were transported to various points of the island. Come across around 300 moais in various stages of completion, including one measuring a staggering 21 meters in height.
The Ahu of Te Pito Kura has the largest Moai transported from the Rano Raraku quarry. It measures 11 meters high and weighs approximately 80 tons. It is located approximately 26 km northeast of Hanga Roa.
Located at the north with clean and warm turquoise waters, Anakena is the island’s main beach. For many years, its coral sand beds and great luminosity were for the exclusive use of important people and governors. It was a population and political organized center, and the Polynesian expeditions pertaining to the Ariki Hotu Matu’a, the island’s first king, disembarked at Anakena some 1,500 years ago.
This morning's half-day tour includes Orongo, Vinapu, Anakai Tangata:
Orongo was the site of the famous annual Tangata Manu (birdman) tournament, in which the competitors would climb down the cliff and swim across to Motu Nui (which means “big island” in the Rapa Nui).
Carry on to Ahu Vinapu to find the ruins of two moais and one of the platforms bearing a striking resemblance to the stone masonry work in Machu Picchu. This is one more mystery of Rapa Nui: Inca oral history tells of a voyage to the west by the Incan King Tupac Yupanqui and his discovery of two "Islands of Fire". The precisely carved and fitted stone walls at Ahu Vinapu may evidence that visit.
Ana Kai Tangata is the only cave where you can still see paintings on the walls and ceilings. Scholars have speculated on the source for the name of this cave, as it is literally translated as meaning "man-eating cave." (Kai = to eat; Tangata = man). Some 'smart people' like to jump to the conclusion that the ancients practiced cannibalism; however there is no proof to support this theory. The paint used to decorate the ceilings of the cave is the same the Rapa Nui used to paint their bodies.
The afternoon half-day tour includes Akivi, Ana Te Pahu, Puna Pau:
Continuing with this journey, take a pleasant walk to Ahu Akivi, where seven beautifully-preserved Moais in the archaeological centre at Roiho are found. These were the first Moais to be restored on the island back in the 1960s. This ceremonial site is also surrounded by numerous legends. The seven Moais represent the first seven explorers sent to explore the island by the King Hotu Matua and are the only Moais facing the ocean. 700 meters away from the backs of the Moai are two stone columns. During the summer solstice (December 21), the sun appears to be wedged exactly between them, an example of the early inhabitants’ mastery of astronomy.
Afterwards, your adventure continues walking along a somewhat stony path on the West coast of the Island bordering steep cliffs with spectacular views, arriving to the Ana Te Pahu caves. These caves, also known as the “Banana caves”, are among the largest on the island and are interesting not only because of their location, but also for the legends that surround them. It is said that many island rulers used them as “official residences”. Moving inland towards Hanga Roa, reach the Puna Pau quarries on the slopes of a volcano. The Moais’ reddish topknots were quarried and sculpted there.
You will be transferred back to the airport for your flight to Santiago. Connect with your int'l departure.
|Price from||$3,165.00 per person, based on double occupancy|
2 nights Hotel Orly, breakfast included
3-night Casa Atacama package (includes Calama Airport transfers, accommodations, meals and guided excursions)
1 night Holiday Inn Santiago Airport, breakfast included
3 nights Taha Tai Hotel, daily breakfast included
Modern Santiago city tour with San Cristobal Hill (private)
Easter Island excursion package (2 days - private)
International and domestic airfare