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Chile & Easter Island

From Santiago, embark on a deeply rewarding quest to behold Easter Island’s enigmatic Moai Statues.

Itinerary & Prices

8 Day / 7 Night - Chile & Easter Island
itinerary map

Welcome to Chile!

Welcome to Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. Situated smack bang in the center of Chile’s most densely populated region, Santiago Metropolitan, whose total population is 7 million. Located entirely in the country’s central valley, most of the city lies between 500–650 m (1,600–2,100 ft) above sea level. Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago is rare among South American capital cities in that it has served as the capital city since the colonial occupation.

Downtown and central Santiago is largely made-up of 19th-century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, but has smatterings of art-deco and neo-gothic architecture, amongst others. Like many cities in along the Western confines of the continent, Santiago is surrounded by hills as the Andes begin to build behind it. The main river in the city is the fast-flowing Mapocho River, and Santiago is known in South America for being modern, organized, and very safe, as well as a clean, prosperous city with important financial and industrial clout in South America.

Meals (x)

flags and horse-backed man chile
Location
Santiago
Day
1 / 8

Arrival & City Tour San Cristobal

Upon arrival in Chile, you will be picked up at the airport and taken on today’s excursion, we explore the historical and modern sights of Santiago de Chile. We start our trip at the main avenue, the Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, and head to La Moneda, the Government Palace, where we will learn about the historical and contemporary role it plays in Chilean life.

From there we take a walk through the pedestrian streets of Huérfanos and Ahumada, where the main commercial activity of the city is concentrated. Afterward, we visit the famous main square of the city, the Plaza de Armas, around which are several important historical buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral. From there we continue our trip on to Santa Lucia hill, the mount upon which the Spanish founded Santiago in 1541. It is alone steep rock, covered in vegetation and a great vantage point for viewing the city.

Moving on, we cross the Mapocho River to get to Bellavista, the cultural and artistic neighborhood of Santiago and home to many artists, actors, and young bohemian people. Bellavista lies at the foot of the San Cristóbal Hill, the highest in town, and is situates in the middle of the Metropolitan Park. We venture up the hill to explore the surrounding areas all the while enjoying beautiful panoramic views of the city. Finally, we visit Providencia with its top restaurants, elegant shops, and modern high-rise buildings. After this amazing tour, we will call it a day and return to the hotel.

Meals (x)

building with chilean flags
Location
Santiago
Day
2 / 8

Welcome to Rapa Nui!

Today we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Easter Island!

Upon our arrival at the Mataveri airport in Hanga Roa, we are received with the traditional Island welcome presentation of a traditional flower necklace. After a short transfer to the hotel, we will have the rest of the day to spend as we please. A visit to the nearby church and village is recommended, where we have the opportunity to observe both Catholic and indigenous symbols and statues (Sunday mass available if time permits).  Next to the church, there is a local market and museum rich in Rapa Nui artifacts and culture. 

Meals (B)

 

Seagull in flight
Location
Santiago to Easter Island
Day
3 / 8

The Moai of Easter Island

Today we will learn more about the fascinating history of Rapa Nui as we head south along the coast. As we travel along the road, we have the black volcanic rock shoreline as a backdrop, and behind that, some amazing views of the vast Pacific Ocean.

Our first stop will be a place known as Hanga Te’e where we will be able to view a variety of toppled Moai (statues) of Ahu Vaihu. From there, we will continue on and arrive in Rano Raraku. This volcano is home to an ancient quarry that supplied the stone from which about 95% of the island’s sculptures were carved. Here we will enjoy a box-lunch and explore our surroundings. 

Subsequently, we make our way to the next highlight, Ahu Tongariki. This is the largest restored Ahu on Easter Island and features 15 impressive moai. Afterward, we drive towards the east coast and arrive at Te Pito o Te Henua. This location is known locally as the “bellybutton” of the world boasting the nearby Ahu Te Pito Kura. Last, but not least, we will reach the beach of Anakena known for its beautiful white sand and coconut palm trees. After some time here, and a visit to a nearby restored Ahu Nau Nau, we’ll have time for a little rest and a refreshing swim in the Pacific Ocean. 

Meals (B, L)

largest restored Ahu on Easter Island and features 15 moai
Location
Easter Island
Day
4 / 8

Legendary Tangata Manu Bird Cult

After breakfast in the hotel, we take a drive up the Rano Kau, an extinct volcano that offers spectacular views from the track that takes nearer the summit. Along the way we will be able to stop and appreciate beautiful panoramic views of the island from different heights and angles – these stopping points are great places to take some really impressive pictures of the dramatic scenery.  Further up, we make a brief stop at an outlook point from which we can see the beautiful lake which is nestled neatly inside the old volcanic crater. 

From there, we will head to the ceremonial village known as Orongo and learn about its fascinating past and how such traditions have been preserved to this day. Orongo is home to the birdman cult, Tangata-Manu, an epic annual race in which competitors needed to swim to a nearby island, harvest the first egg of the sooty tern, and return to Rapa Nui, climbing the cliff with the eff intact!

Here, we can also see some ancient petroglyphs and have a fantastic view of the three islets situated on the opposing coastline. Afterward, we will drive down the volcano to the Ahu Vinapu that includes an ahu – a sacred ceremonial site where several moai stand – with its intricate stonemasonry. Our last stop of the morning before heading back to the hotel will be the cave of Ana Kai Tangata, famed for the ancient cave paintings that adorn its walls

Meals (B)

take a dip in tidal pool Rapa Nui
Location
Easter Island
Day
5 / 8

Original Seven Explorers

After a good rest and a delicious breakfast, we set off to Ahu Akivi, a sacred place that features seven re-erected moai. This Ahu is situated inland, and as such, varies a little from other statue collections. Our guide will tell you about the story and legends around this sight and the belief that these statues represent the first seven explorers who were sent to Rapa Nui by the late king Hotu Matua.

From there, we continue on to Hanga Poukura, a site with a number of ahu in various states of disrepair. One of the most famous and varied statue sites on the Island, where we can see the widest variation of stones, with the famous “topknot” statues featured heavily. 

Next, we will visit the important quarry of Puna Pau that provided the sole source of the red scoria that the Rapa Nui villagers used to carve the Pukaos, with every single one traceable back to this one quarry site. We conclude our visit by heading back towards shore and a visit the ceremonial site of Tahai which boasts three completely intact ahus, some other statues that have been lovingly and carefully restored and the remains of the old boathouses and ramp system used many years ago. This is a day is filled with history, culture, and breathtaking sights! 

Meals (B)

Ahu Akivi which features seven re-erected moai
Location
Easter Island
Day
6 / 8

Returning to the Mainland

Today, after one last breakfast in our hotel, it is time to bid farewell to this fascinating and mysterious island and head back to Santiago de Chile.

Meals (B)

 

Sunset and palm trees easter Island
Location
Easter Island
Day
7 / 8

The Flight Home

Today we have a final breakfast. If you have not already, you should try the Chilean empanadas!

As we have slept at the airport hotel for convenience, we simply check our departure times and make our way to the check-in counter for our flight home.

Meals (B)

Chilean Empanada Basket
Location
Return Home
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

Accommodations

Hotel Options

Boutique

Casa Bueras

Santiago
Boutique

Hare Nua

Easter Island
Boutique

Holiday Inn Santiago Airport

Santiago