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EASTER ISLANDS AND ATACAMA

 

Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the south-eastern Pacific Ocean, at the south easternmost point of the Polynesian triangle. The island is a special territory of Chile. Easter Island is famous for its monumental statues, called moai , created by the Rapanui people. It is a world heritage site with much of the island protected within the Rapa Nui National Park.

 

Easter Islands Itinerary

 

Day 1: Hanga roa
After your arrival at Mataveri airport you will experience a traditional reception with flower necklaces. A short transfer takes you to your hotel. We recommend you to use the remainder of the day to visit the church of the village; among the various statues there you will find traditional Roman Catholic symbols together with indigenous ones. On Sunday morning you are welcome to attend mass. The artisan market and the local museum are located next to the church. In the museum you can marvel at the Rapa Nui artefacts; two originals were removed from the island and replaced by reproductions, but the remainder of items in the museum and the other two Rongorongo carvings are original artefacts.

 

Day 2: Anakena
Today you will learn more about the fascinating history of Rapa Nui. After leaving Hanga Roa, we will drive to the south along the coastal road. You will have views of the Poike Peninsula and the whole coastline consisting of black volcanic rock. We will make our first stop in Vaihu to visit archaeological sites. On the road to the next stop we will pass several Moai, lying along the street indicating the "Camino de los Moai", the "Trail of the Moai" on which they were maneuvered to their destinations. At Ranu Raraku - the quarry where a lots of Moai were sculpted - we will have a picnic lunch, and afterwards we will start walking up the Ranu Raraku volcano. You certainly will be impressed by our next highlight - the restored giant Ahu Tongariki and its 15 moai, which are the largest worship site on the island.

 

Continuing on our excursion, we will take a small break to visit two beaches, one of them being Ovahe, a small bay with a cave and nearly pink-colored sand; after another short drive we will reach Anakena with its white sandy beach and coconut palm trees inviting you to rest in the sand and swim in the warm Pacific water. Drive back to Hanga Roa. (B,BL)

 

Day 3: Ceremonial Village Orongo
From Hanga Roa it is a 30 minute drive to the volcano Rano Kau with the ceremonial village Orongo. You will be surprised by the perfect round shape of the Crater Lake. Orongo is the ceremonial center of the cult to the bird-man "Hombre Pajaro", which started after the further building of Moai had stopped. Your guide will explain this "new" culture of the island and show you the petroglyph images of Tangata Manu (bird man), Make Make (the god who created him) and Komari (a fertility symbol). This site commands a view of three small islets in the Pacific: Motu Nui, Motu Kao Kao and Motu Iti. You will have the rest of the day for your leisure and relaxation. (B)

 

Day 4: Santiago

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago. (Flight not included) Transfer to your hotel. (B)

 

Day 5: Santiago to Calama - San Pedro and the Moonvalley
Transfer to airport in time to board the flight to Calama (not included) (B)

Arrival at the airport of Calama and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro is an unusual colorful village located 2.440 m / 8.000 ft above sea level in the middle of a green oasis. In the afternoon you will be taken into the mystifying Valle de la Luna, the famous Moon Valley. At sunset you can see how the light intensifies the impression of a moonscape. We will climb a sand dune to watch this spectacle and then return to the hotel. Overnight in San Pedro.

 

Day 6: San Pedro, Toconao and the Atacama Salt Lake
After breakfast you will visit San Pedro de Atacama - the centre of a Paleolithic civilization that built impressive rock fortresses on the mountains encircling the green valley. The colonial church was constructed in 1577 and is the largest and most beautiful church in the region. The extraordinary archaeological museum (closed on Mondays) of Padre Gustavo Le Paige shows, among its many archaeological pre-Hispanic artifacts, several amazingly well preserved mummies, including one known as "Miss Chile." After this visit you drive 4 km / 2,5 mi to reach the pre- Columbian village Tulor with an approx. age of 3000 years. The archaeological remains are the oldest evidence of human settlement in the valley. In the early afternoon you will start your tour to Toconao, a village where locals dedicate themselves to the manufacture of white volcanic stone sculptures. You continue to the huge Atacama Salt Lake, an inland sea formed millions of years ago. You will be overwhelmed by the vast emptiness with the white salt crusts stretched out in front of you as far as your eyes can see.

 

Day 7: El Tatio and Machuca
In the morning you will depart early at 4:00 am to reach the El Tatio Geysers at an altitude of 4.300 m / 14.108 ft before sunrise. It is the highest geothermal field in the world in a remote setting and has spectacular scenery. Make sure to bring warm clothes because it is very cold in the morning at this altitude. At dawn, powerful spurts of steam shoot out from various blowholes. The steaming ponds are encrusted with brilliant salt crystals reflecting the metal-blue sky at dawn. You will have enough time to enjoy this beautiful natural wonder before we return and drive to the village Machuca where the ancient llama caravans used to rest from their travels on the "Inca Highway". Today only few people live here. Afterwards, we will return to San Pedro de Atacama. Leisure time in the afternoon. Overnight in San Pedro. (B)

 

Day 8: San Pedro - Calama
After breakfast, a transfer takes you to the airport to board your departure flight. (B)

 

End of Services

 

For details of costs, or to send an enquiry, click on the e-mail link telephone and email link on the right

 

Location: Argentina

Total Tour Duration: 11 Days

Accommodation: Hotel

Minimum Group Size: 1

Departures: All Year

Best : March to November

 

 

CHILE TOURS

 

Charming Chile
Chile Nature Tour
Patagonian Pearls Tour
Magical Chile
Trekking Torres Del Paine
Easter Islands

For details of costs, or to send an enquiry, click on the e-mail link below:

Easter Islands

 

 

Tours in South America

ARGENTINA

 

Patagonia to Ushuaia 11 Days
Patagonia to Ushuaia 14 Days
Patagonian Pearls Argentina Tour
Mt Aconcagua

 

PERU

 

Alpamayo Trekking
Sacred Ayahuasca Ceremony
Gems of Peru Tour
Highlands of Peru
Pearls of Peru Tour
Inca Trail and Amazon
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

 

 

ECUADOR

 

Galapagos Cruises

 

 

 

 

 


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Last modified: December 10, 2014

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