Home to over a third of Chile’s population, Santiago is an extraordinary city with myriad attractions that reflect the dynamic culture of this country. From Santiago you will head to the quiet bohemian city of Valparaiso to escape the hustle and bustle of Santiago’s busy streets. This charming seaside town lies in a beautiful semi-circular bay on the Pacific Ocean and is one of Chile’s most attractive cities.
Easter Island, is a UNESCO heritage site famous for its 887 surviving monumental statues called "Moai". These impressive monoliths were created by the early Polynesian people who settled on Easter Island in the first millennium AD and created a thriving culture, as evidenced by the Moai and other artifacts. However, human activity, the introduction of the Polynesian rat and overpopulation led to gradual deforestation and extinction of natural resources, which caused the demise of the Rapa Nui civilization. On this tour, you will learn up close about one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, and its fascinating civilization and breathtaking landscapes.
Arrive into Santiago today.
On arrival to Santiago, capital of Chile, we will meet and transfer you to your hotel. (Private Transfer)
Santiago de Chile was founded in 1541 by the Spanish Conqueror Pedro de Valdivia who was sent by the conqueror of the Incas, Pizzaro, to establish a new capital in the fast growing Spanish Empire in the New World. Much of the core layout as designed by the master builder Pedro de Gamboa remains to this day. During the half day city tour you will visit key locations where the rich history of the city played out. Santiago city is the perfect blend between the old colonial style and modern architecture, characteristics that make the city on of the most interesting in South America. The tour begins with a visit to San Cristobal Hill. Rising 880 mts / 2640 ft over the city – the second highest natural point in Santiago, you are offered panoramic views of the city. You then travel to the heart of the city and Plaza de Armas the spot from where the city has grown throughout the centuries. Each Latin city has a plaza de armas as when cities were founded the center was also were the armory and military base was established – hence the name “Plaza de Armas”. Visit some of the more important buildings such as the Cathedral, the City Council, the Central Post Office and the National Historical Museum.
You will also visit some the original colonial neighborhoods such as Concha y Toro Square. Characterized by its cobbled streets and old mansions that reflect the elegance and richness of the early twentieth century the neighborhood grew to prominence between 1870 and 1876 with the influx of wealth as a result of mining and the discovery of Silver. Many Chileans achieved great wealth, including Enrique Concha y Toro founder of the famed winery. Then onto the eastern part of the city and the more modern side of Santiago.
End of the tour and transfer to the hotel. (B.)(Private Tour)
SANTIAGO - VALPARAISO
This morning your tour will depart from Santiago to the coastline located 120 kilometers of Santiago, passing through the fertile “Curacaví and Casablanca Valleys”, its vineyards, fruit plantations and forest reserves. During the route, you will visit two important cities, “Viña del Mar”, the main resort of Chile and “Valparaíso”, a port city founded in the XVI century and declared “World heritage by UNESCO”. The promenade includes a panoramic tour by the emblematic places of Valparaíso, such as “National Congress”, “O’Higgins Park”, “Italia Park”, “Victoria Square”, “Sotomayor Square” and “Prat” dock located in the same port. You will then visit the Museum of the famous Chilean poet and writer and Nobel prize-winning in Literature (1971), Pablo Neruda named “Casa Museo La Sebastiana”. In the house, collections of old and navy maps and other paintings are kept. There are many other relics of the port and strange objects, such as music boxes and an antique carved wooden carousel horse. You will then walk through the wonderful viewpoints “Atkinson” and “Gervasoni” located in the most important hills of Valparaíso, “Cerro Alegre” and “Cerro Concepción”. You will also use its old and picturesque cable cars, the trolleybuses, which are still connecting this city. You will continue this beautiful route in front of the sea to arrive at the city of Viña del Mar, which is very well-known as the “Garden City”, fine. You will then walk past the picturesque “Flower Clock” and go through the “Peru Avenue” with its traditional “Casino” and fine “Hotel Del Mar”, which is the first of Chile, founded in 1930. Finally, you will be able to see and take a picture of an authentic Moai from the Easter Island, located on the outside of the important “Museum of Paleontology and Anthropology Fonck”. Return to the Hotel.(B.) (Private Tour)
SANTIAGO – EASTER ISLAND
Today at schedule time we will transfer you to the airport for your direct flight to Easter Island.
Upon arrival into mysterious Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui or Isla de Pascua, situated in the South Pacific Ocean where your quest begins. You will be met and transferred to your hotel. (B.)(Shared Transfer)
Morning tour begins with a visit to Ana Kai Tangata, a beautiful cave with wall paintings on the rock representing the Manutara (Birdmen) with paint made from mineral pigments found on the island.
The tour proceeds up to the RanoKau volcano. The crater is almost a mile across and a fresh water lagoon. Has its own micro climate and sheltered from the winds inside the crater grows vines, bananas and totora (reed) extensively used for houses, boats among others. Then moves to the ceremonial village of Orongo, from this vantage point you can see the curvature of the earth with an unending vista of the deep blue Ocean. Orongo was the center of the “Bird Man” cult. A ceremony was traditionally held here each year to elect island’s religious leader. Each participant would attempt to retrieve the first egg laid by the sacred manutara bird. The first one to swim across to the islet of Motu Nui, retrieve the egg, swim back to the shore, and then scale the 100-metre-tall cliff would become Birdman (Tangata Manu).
His leader would be made religious leader for a year. The houses in Orongo, made of soft stone, have been meticulously restored, but the cliff side has been left untouched: it is adorned with hundreds of petroglyphs such as Tangata Manu, the manutara, and Make-Make, the god who, it was believed, created the world. There will be time to appreciate the views of the three islets Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao-Kao, and take in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean and the huge sky. Return to the hotel.
Time for lunch. Lunch is not included but your guide will give the best recommendations to enjoy local gastronomy.
Afternoon we will invite you to continue discovering the secrets of this ancient culture, visit the archeological sites and experience the connection between the islanders and the universe.
Your first visit is at Ahu Huri a Urenga located west from HangaRoa in a depressed area named ManavaiTorekau. This was one of the last Ahu (Altars) to be restored and from the astronomic point of view it is though that the Ahu is oriented to face the sunrise during the solstice in winter and summer. Then visit the Ahu Akivi. This ahu with its seven moai was completely restored in 1960 by Dr. William Mulloy who had the site dated at 1460 AD. Continue to Ahu VaiTeka, this inland site apparently wasset to be oriented towards the rising sun of equinox, close to this Ahu you can find a large number of caves and waterholes, a very important source of fresh water for the ancient islanders. Then you will continue to Puna Pau. It’s from this crater that the ancients Rapa Nui used to carved the red scoria to make the Pukao (topknot), that they put on the heads of some of their iconic moai statues as well as lining or lintel stones, and funeral cists amongst others features including statues. Return to the hotel. (B.) (Shard Guide)
Today we will invite you to discover the legends and experience the magical history of the Island.
This excursion will introduce you to the time of the island´s colonization and the life of the first Polynesian navigators once they had stepped ashore.
The tour begins with a drive along the northern coast of the island to the beach of Anakena, where according to native legend Hotu Matua first landed on Rapa Nui. Here one can see the Ahu NauNau, partially restored in 1978 by Rapa Nui Archaeologist Sergio Rapu. Located in this same area is the Ahu AtureHuki. The moai standing on this ahu was the first one ever to be placed back onto its ahu after having been toppled. This was done by a group of islanders working with Thor Heyerdahl and the Norwegian expedition in 1956. From Anakena continue your tour and stop at Ahu TePito Kura. This is the site of the largest moai ever transported and erected onto an ahu. The moai stands at 9.8 meters and has an estimated weight of 82 tones. Its topknot alone weighs approximately 11 tones.
Continue to the RanoRaraku volcano, where 95% of all moai were carved. Today you will find 396 statues in various stages of completion. A walk to the top of the volcano’s crater will not only reveal many statues but also a beautiful fresh water lake.
After lunch continue to the restored Ahu Tongariki. This magnificent platform is the largest on the island and holds a row of fifteen moai. This site was completely destroyed by a tidal wave caused by the earthquake in Valdivia in 1960. The ahu was restored in 1992 by Claudio Cristino of the University of Chile. Continue to the Ahu Akahanga: “The Platform of the King” It’s believed the grave of the first king of the island HotuMatu’a can be found in a cave in Akahanga. Here are four separate platforms with 12 Moai (statues), of various sizes, and 8 Pukao (topknots). Also, petroglyphs run along the front of the main Ahu. Return back to the Hotel. (B. L.) (Shared Guide)
DEPART EASTER ISLAND – SANTIAGO
Today at schedule time we will transfer to the airport for your afternoon flight to Santiago. (B.) (Shared Transfer)
The below hand-picked properties feature good location, superior service, and all facilities necessary for a comfortable stay.
- Santiago: Hotel Ismael 312
- Easter Island: Altiplanico
- Hotel accommodation quoted in lead-in hotel guest rooms unless specified otherwise
- Hotels can easily be changed at the customer request. We have a wide selection so you can be assured of a great place to stay
- Occasionally due to circumstances out of our control, hotels quoted may not be available at the time of booking. In these circumstances when hotels are unavailable, South America Tours Pty Ltd will provide the best possible alternative.
- Accommodation with private facilities as mentioned in the itinerary
- Return flight Santiago to Easter Island to Santiago
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary:
(B.) = Breakfast
(L.) = Lunch
- All transport, sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary unless specified otherwise:
(Private Transfer) = Your own exclusive driver. No queuing for taxis, no stopping en route at tour booking agencies. All private transfers / transport is operated on a private basis – i.e., you won’t be sharing with others
(Private Tour) = Your own, personal tour guide and an exclusive vehicle
(Shared Guide) = Meet other like-minded travelers and share the services of a guide / vehicle during the plan sightseeing activity. Typical group size is around 10 travelers.
- Parks and monuments entrance fees
- Professional English speaking local guides throughout
- Service charges and taxes.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Tourist Visas are not included.
- Travel insurance
Any items not specifically mentioned as included, phone calls, laundry, tips, alcohol, etc.