Day 1: Santiago. Arrive this morning in Santiago de Chile, gateway to the Andes, situated between mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean. Your tour guide will accompany you to your international hotel in the green heart of the city, the Radisson or Hotel Torremayor. Private sightseeing of Santiago and it's environs: After a hearty breakfast, your guide introduces you to this city nestled between mountains on your private sightseeing tour: Enjoy a city tour visiting both the historic and modern centers of Santiago, as well as a trip to neighboring San Cristobal for a good look at the surrounding area. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Visit to Valparaíso, the oldest port in Chile. Though no longer its largest port, it retains tremendous historical significance and beauty, as well as being home to the Chilean House of Assembly and Senate. The upper and lower parts of the city are connected through 16 funicular railways constructed around the turn of the century, a time when the city experienced tremendous growth.Parts of Valparaiso are considered to become a UNESCO heritage site. From Valparaíso, continue along the coast to the beautiful beaches of Viña del Mar, the Garden city, named for its many parks and green spaces.
Day 3: Fly to Easter Island. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 3800 km (approximate 2375 miles) straight out from the Chilean coastline, is an island which still holds a very special mystery and magic. Rapa Nui, as the natives called it, literally meaning the Navel of the World, was discovered on Easter Sunday and thus to this day it is usually, is simply referred to as Easter Island. But this island holds an intrigue far greater than one might imagine. So far from everything and everyone, isolated by the largest ocean in the world, it demonstrates a rich history, art, language and interestingly once even suffered a civil war - all upon an island not 24 km (approximate 15 miles) across.
The Island is an equilateral triangular shape, 24 km across its longest side with extinct volcanic cones in each of its three corners respectively. Amidst an atmosphere of friendly Polynesian hospitality, the entire island is today a species of open-air museum with more than 600 MOAI (some up to 9 meters in height), the fascinating Orongo Village and many traditional people‚s cave dwellings open to view. Hanga Roa is the small capital town of the island. This is where the great majority of the population lives (about 2.000 inhabitants). Rapa Nui National Park was created in 1935 to protect the archaeological sites all over the island. The great majority of the island is in fact National Park. Includes: (D).
Day 4: Full-day excursion on Easter Island. Today an English-speaking driver/guide will accompany you, together with other travelers, on your regular full-day excursion on Easter Island. First we shall visit the Ahu Vaihu. This is a big base of an altar with eight knocked over Moais and is situated in the bay of Hanga Tee. Unlike many others on the Island it remains unrestored. On the way to the Ahu Vaihu we will see several ruins of different Ahus. Later we drive on to Rano Raraku, a volcano that has been extinct for centuries.
The lake in the crater is one of the very few reservoirs of freshwater on the Island. There is the giant quarry, where the Moais were once made, at the Rano Raraku. Nearly 400 statues in their different stages of completion can be visited, and one can help analyzing how the islanders once built their impressive figures of stone. Afterwards we continue to the Ahu Tongariki where we will see a tremendous restored Ahu, over 200 meters long, and 15 Moais, which have already been set upright. Ahead you can find extraordinary petroglyphs. Scientists presume that there are more than 6000 petroglyphs on Rapa Nui.
The three Ahus of Akahanga that we will visit next, have not been restored either and their Moais are also knocked over. However the grave of King Hotu Matua, is supposed to be at this site, one can also find remnants of a settlement. Later we drive on to Rano Raraku, a volcano that has been extinct for centuries. The lake in the crater is one of the very few reservoirs of freshwater on the Island. There is the giant quarry, where the Moais were once made, at the Rano Raraku. Nearly 400 statues in their different stages of completion can be visited, and one can help analyzing how the islanders once built their impressive figures of stone.
Afterwards we continue to the Ahu Tongariki where we will see a tremendous restored Ahu, over 200 m long, and 15 Moais, which have already been set upright. Ahead you can find extraordinary petroglyphs. Scientists presume that there are more than 6000 petroglyphs (carvings and engravings stones) on Rapa Nui. After visiting the Ahu Tongariki we drive on to the Te Pito or Te Henua, the so-called "Navel of the World". This is a nearly spherical stone with a diameter of approx. 80 cm claimed to have magic forces.
Nearby is the Ahu Te Pito Kura, where the tallest Moai that ever has been moved will impress you. It is nearly 10 m in height. We shall continue driving along the North coast to the beach of Anakena, a beautiful bay with white sand, palm trees and a nice picnic place. If you like you can take the opportunity of a swim in the warm waters of the South Pacific. A couple of steps away there is one of the most beautiful restored Ahus of the Island - the Ahu Nau Nau with integrated relieves and its seven Moais. Five of them even have a Pukao on their heads, but two of them are just torsos. Before returning to the hotel, we will visit the Ahu Ature Huki. At the feet of this small hill, there is the single Moai, the first to be set upright during modern times. At the end of this impressive day we will take you back to your hotel.
Day 5: Half-day excursion on Easter Island. Today your English-speaking driver/guide accompanies you on a three hour excursion. First we will visit the extinct volcano Rano Kau. It is fascinating because of the spectacular view of the crater lake, with its 600 m surface diameter making it the largest reservoir of freshwater on the Island. Additionally you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Island as well as of the roaring Ocean. Afterwards we visit the ceremonial village of Orongo, from where you can look out to the three little Islands of Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao, where the historic, heroic quests for the egg and the Islands kingship once took place. We will visit the petroglyphs and the houses of Orongo.
Next, on to visit the Ahu Vinapu. This is a base of an altar constructed out of 2 ton weighing blocks of basalt and built with such precision that it reminds one of pre-Inca buildings. At the end of our excursion we will stop at the cave dwelling, Ana Kai Tangata. At this secluded situation you will find remnants of drawings connected with the birdman culture. After our excursion we will take you back to your hotel.
Day 6: Relax! You are in Polynesia, after all! Today, take advantage of this mild climate and the warm waters of the South Pacific. Digest your impressions, rent a bike, and go the beach. You have seen the main sights, but you might have brought special interest for specific sights that are not of general interest, or simply, you are more curious and want to go back to see some sights again.
The day is yours and you are on one of the world's most fascinating islands! Below is a summary of the main sights: Volcano Rano Raraku is the site where Moais were carved out of the island's very unique bedrock. There are more than 300 half-finished statues here in different stages of completion. The largest is nearly 22 m tall and weighs 250 tons.
Orongo is the ceremonial village, where the birdman culture's king was selected. Here the houses are built of flagstone and throughout the ancient community there are many interesting petroglyphs. There are also magnificent views out over the ocean at the three little islands of Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao, where the historic, heroic quests for the egg and the Islands kingship once took place. Rano Kau is an extinct volcano with a deep and mysterious crater lake situated at the foot of the Orongo village. It is the biggest water reservoir on the island.
Day 7, Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Santiago. Stay at the hotel.
Day 8, Full-day private excursion to Concha y Toro Winery. Visit to Concha y Toro, one of the most famous Chilean vineyards around the world. Located in the Maipo River canyon, planted with grapevines of the most noble French stock such as cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir and others. Founded in 1883 showing today a most modern technology in cooling equipment, stainless steel tanks, filters and oak casks which has lead as making of exceptional wines such as Don Melchor, Cabernet Sauvignon, Casillero del Diablo, third in sales surpassed only by France and Italy.
Take the afternoon at leisure for shopping around. Then journey home or continue on: After breakfast transfer back to the airport for your flight to Santiago or continue with another tour: See Patagonia, the Southern Andes and Buenos Aires on our The Very Best of Argentina tour or continue on the very popular Tango, Samba, Waterfalls tour to Buenos Aires, Iguassu Falls, the Atlantic Rainforest and Rio de Janeiro.
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South America Chile Local Culture Food & Wine Island Vacation