Easter Island Explorer
Santiago and Rapa Nui: 7-day Easter Island Holiday for £1550pp
The island of Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island, is one of humanity's most remote outposts. Its original Polynesian inhabitants crossed the ocean in giant canoes to settle on this volcanic speck in the Pacific, erecting the giant stone statues that have become synonymous with the island.
However, for reasons which are still not conclusively established, the population crashed, Easter island became deforested, and many of the giant Moai were toppled or left unfinished. This great week-long Easter Island holiday will take you to see for yourself, or you could include a trip to Easter Island as part of a longer tour of Chile...
- Day One: Arrival in Santiago de Chile
- Day Two: Tour of Santiago
- Day Three: Fly to Easter Island
- Day Four: The Route of the Moai
- Day Five: Tour of Rano Kau and Orongo
- Day Six: Fly back to Santiago
- Day Seven: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Start of your Holidays to Easter Island
Your Easter Island holiday will begin this morning as you touch down in Santiago de Chile, and we will be there to meet you and take you straight to your hotel in the upmarket Providencia area of the city. You will then have the rest of the day free to relax and enjoy one of South America’s most sophisticated capital cities.
Day Two - Tour of Santiago
This morning we will pick you up and take you for a tour of colonial and modern Santiago, so you can get a feel for the contrast between old and new which typifies the city. We will start off with a look at the grandest of Santiago’s colonial buildings, such as the imposing Presidential Palace and Mint Building, and the neo-classical Cathedral. We will then travel through some of Santiago’s most modern districts on our way to San Cristobal hill. Here a funicular railway takes right to the top so we can finish the tour with a fantastic view over the city. (Breakfast included)
Day Three – Travel to Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
After breakfast today we will take you back to the airport for a flight out to the most isolated human outpost on the planet – Rapa Nui. Way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this tiny speck of volcanic rock is famous for its giant Moai stone statues and for the collapse of its once-thriving civilization, and today you can enjoy your first sight of the enigmatic Moai as we meet you and take you to your hotel in the small town of Hanga Roa so you can start your holidays on Easter Island in comfort. (B)
Day Four - The Route of the Moai
We will have a full day exploring the major Moai sites today, starting with a visit one of the island's major archaeological sites, Ahu Vaihu. An ahu is the ceremonial platform on which the Moai stood, and at Ahu Vaihu you can see eight fallen statues, together with three of the red pukao hats (sometimes called ‘topknots’) which originally stood on top of the Moai. From here we will drive on to Ahu Akahanga, where it is believed the first king of Rapa Nui is buried. There are no fewer than 13 Moai here, as well as the ruins of an early village. After exploring Ahu Akahanga, we will drive further on to the Raro Raraku quarry, where almost all of the Moai were created. In fact nearly 400 statues still remain here in various stages of completion, some barely chiselled out of the rock, while others seem fully complete but are just lying on the quarry floor. After the quarry we will continue on to Ahu Tongariki, which is the largest restored site on Rapa Nui. Here, 15 complete Moai stand proudly on their ahu, including one 86-tonne monster which is the largest ever erected on the island. We will end the day by travelling via Ahu Te Pito Kura (which has 13 Moai, including the tallest on the island) down to the beach at Playa Anakena, where you can relax and swim in the warm Pacific waters. (B/L)
Day Five - Tour of Orongo and Rano Kau
This morning your holidays in Easter Island continue as we drive out from your hotel in Hanga Roa to visit the extinct Rano Kau volcano, in whose deep crater there is a large freshwater lake which is largely covered by tortora reeds. On the crater lip lies the restored village of Orongo, which was a centre for the Birdman cult which was the most important religious tradition on the island. Here you can see several restored stone houses and more than 100 petroglyphs which seem to represent the gods of the ancient Rapa Nui. From Orongo we will visit the Ana Kai Tangata caves, where you can see cave paintings of the manutara bird (Sooty Tern) which was closely associated with the birdman cult. We will then head back to the hotel, visiting the Ahu Akivi (the only ahu with Moai facing the ocean), the Puna Pau quarry where the red scoria stone for the ‘hats’ was quarried, and the Ahu Tahai, with its three platforms of restored Moai, on the way. (B)
Day Six - Fly back to Santiago
After a last free morning to swim or explore, your holidays in Easter Island will sadly come to an end, as we pick you up and drive you to the airport for the flight back to Santiago. You’ll arrive in the early evening and we will be there to meet you and take you back to your Providencia hotel, so you can get ready to head out and enjoy your last night on here on holiday in Chile. (B)
Day Seven - Last day of your Easter Island holiday
Today will be the last day of your Easter Island holiday, and if you're not extending your tour of Chile you will have some free time this morning to see a little more of Santiago, before this afternoon we pick you up from your hotel and take you back to the airport in plenty of time to check in for your international flight home. (B)
Options for this Easter Island Holiday
Wine Tasting in Maipo Valley - from £95pp
Chileans are justifiably proud of their wines, and a great addition to any holiday in Easter Island is a trip out to some of the mainland's best vineyards for a tasting session. We'd suggest a day trip into the fabulous Maipo valley, where you can visit a couple of Chile's best vineyards to sample their wares, as well as enjoying the beautiful countryside.
Atacama Desert - 4 days from £995pp
The Atacama desert is the driest place on earth, and also one of the strangest. This four-day excursion will take you out deep into the Atacama desert to experience the other-wordly landscape of giant red volcanoes, bizarrely-coloured mineral lakes, and the resident wildlife: speedy chinchillas and elegant pink flamingoes. At times it can be a bit like being in a real-life Dali painting!
Torres del Paine National Park - 4 days from £850pp
If you follow the chain of the Andes right into the south of Chile, you end up in Chilean Patagonia and the fabulous Torres del Paine National Park. This winter wonderland of snow-capped mountains, icy glaciers and flower-strewn alpine meadows is one of a holiday in Chile's biggest attractions, and including this four-day package in your tour of Chile makes sure you'll see the very best of it.
Valparaiso & Viña del Mar Tour - from £140pp
The port city of Valparaiso was once one of the most famous in South America, and before the opening of the Panama Canal it was a regular stop for all shipping as they circumnavigated South America. Today you can see its superb historic architecture and the brightly-painted hillside houses, reached by Victorian funicular railways. From Valparaiso we'll travel on to the beachside town of Viña del Mar to enjoy its lovely promenade and parks.
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Our standard price for these holidays to Easter Island is £1550 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels.
That price includes all your accommodation, flights to/from Rapa Nui, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees. It also includes lunches on your full-day tours, and breakfast every day.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2017.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
Our Holidays are rated 4.8 out of 5 on the Feefo Independent Review Site