This classic 8-day Chile and Easter Island itinerary takes you from Santiago de Chile to the enigmatic Easter Island. Enjoy the modern and historical highlights of Chile’s sophisticated and eclectic capital city, then head to Easter Island, aka Rapa Nui, in the Pacific Ocean for a chance to marvel at the moai, the giant human forms carved from stone. Learn about the heritage of the Rapa Nui people, the island’s native Polynesians.
Santiago de Chile
Chile’s exciting capital city is characterized by skyscrapers against a stunning snow-capped mountain backdrop. There’s lots to see and do here, and the best way to take it all in is on a downtown walking tour through the historic district. Start at the main avenue, the Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, and head to La Moneda, the Government Palace.
Walk through the pedestrian streets of Huérfanos and Ahumada, and visit the famous main square of the city, the Plaza de Armas, where you’ll see the beautiful Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago. Continue to Santa Lucia hill, which is a great vantage point for viewing the city. Stroll around Providencia with its top restaurants, elegant shops, and modern high-rise buildings. Finally, a highlight of any visit to Santiago is taking the funicular up to Cerro San Cristobal, the city’s highest hill, for stunning panoramic views.
This unforgettable Easter Island Chile tour allows plenty of time to stand in awe and admire the many giant stone moai statues, which were built during the 13th – 16th centuries by the island’s inhabitants, the Rapa Nui people, in honor of their ancestors. View the moai at various different locations on the island. Head to Rano Raraku volcano − which is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the world − and view the quarry where moai were cut from volcanic tuff.
The quarry contains 397 moai statues which are all at various stages of carving. Walk along the path that leads to the ancient crater; it is like being in an open-air museum. Marvel at the most famous and best preserved moai platform of Ahu Tongariki, where 15 complete statues stand in an impressive line on their ahu plinth in front of the ocean and cliffs. This is the picture that you will see on nearly every postcard rack on Easter Island. Wander Anakena Beach, the legendary landing place of Hota Matua and take a dip in the cold Pacific. See Ahu Nau Nau, which is the best-preserved platform on the island because the toppled statues were buried under sand for many years, protecting them from damage.
Take a drive up to Rano Kau, the largest volcano on Easter Island and the location of the historic Orongo village. See the stone dwellings looking out over the sea towards a couple of rocky islands. This ceremonial village is where the ancient ‘Birdman’ competition was held, pitting representatives from each village on the island against each other in a dangerous climbing and swimming match to one of the offshore islands.
Peer inside the Puna Pau volcanic crater where there is a quarry of red scoria that was once an important source of raw material for the islanders. Visit Ahu Akivi for unparalleled ocean views.
Rich in legends, extraordinary landscapes and gorgeous sunsets, this is an unforgettable trip of a lifetime, perfect for couples and families with kids. The featured activities and accommodations can be tailored to suit your personal wishes. The tours are conducted on a private basis (private transport with a private guide).