Few places on Earth offer more mystery than Easter Island, a remote group of volcanic islands in Chile, home to over 600 stone Moai. The statues’ function, method of creation and means of transportation continue to puzzle scientists today. An Easter Island tour presents the possibility of magic, a sparse yet striking landscape and a glimpse into the lives of the few thousand people who inhabit the island today.
The Atacama Desert covers more than 600 miles of Chile’s northern landscape and is one of the driest place on earth, yet it bursts into blossom every few years after heavy rains. This another “must” in your trip to Chile. The spectacular scenery of the region includes towering volcanos, otherworldly salt flats in the Valley of the Moon and the pre-Colombian ruins of San Pedro de Atacama.
Patagonia tours offer the chance to visit the far south of South America, an untouched and uninhabited environment. You’ll be awed by the abundant wildlife in these stark plains. The breathtaking peaks in Torres del Paine National Park, some of the most striking and rugged in the world, are a photographer’s dream. The area’s natural wonders make tours to Patagonia popular among trekkers, climbers and adventurers from around the globe.
ULTIMATE CHILE: SANTIAGO, EASTER ISLAND, &
10 Days/9 Nights Departs from Santiago
Day 1 Arrive Santiago: Fronting the snow capped Andes; the Chilean capital is a blend of colonial and modern architecture. There are lovely parks and gardens, excellent museums, fine restaurants and great shopping. Arrival greeting and transfer to your selected hotel. (Accommodations, Santiago)
Day 2 Santiago: City tour of Santiago. This tour includes the main landmarks in the city of Santiago, such as Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins, Santa Lucia Hill, Barrio Lastarria, the La Moneda Palace, the Santiago City Hall, the Cathedral, the old financial district, and the urban park, Parque Forestal, the confines of which hold the lovely Museum of Fine Arts building. After these sights, you will board a cable car and ride to the top of San Cristobal Hill for a real treat: a panoramic view of the city of Santiago. Last, but not least, you will take a tour of the new financial district, cleverly known as “Sanhattan”, located at the highest point in the city. The area is an incredible contrast to the early morning with its modern architecture. You will return to your hotel afterward. (Breakfast, Accommodations, Santiago)
Day 3 Santiago to Easter Island: Transfer to the airport for a 5 hour flight (not included) to Easter Island in the South Pacific, one of the most remote islands in the world. Airport greeting and transfer to hotel. Relax by the pool, go to the beach or start exploring on your own. Dinner and overnight in Rapa Nui (Polynesian name for Easter Island). (Breakfast, Santiago; Accommodations, Easter Island)
Day 4 Easter Island: Your guide for an all-day tour around the small island meets you at the hotel. Learn the legends of this isolated island’s colonization by Polynesian navigators and the first king (ariki), Hotu Matu’a. Visit the beach where he (Breakfast, Accommodations, Easter Island)
Day 5 Easter Island: Your morning tour, called “Looking at the Stars”, focuses on the central part of the island and its astronomicallyoriented ahu (altars) and moai, created during the end of the prosperous Ahu Moai era. Visit Ahu Huri a Urenga, Ahu a Kivi, Ahu Vai Teka and the quarry Puna Pau, where the red volcanic rock was mined thatcrowned the head of some moia. Lunch at the hotel. The afternoon tour, “Power of the Birdman”, explains the next era of Rapa Nui’s history, the cult of the birdman. Visit the sites of the annual ceremonies, where men swam through shark-infested waters to be the first to claim an egg from the manutara bird (sooty tern) on an islet, Motu Nui. (Breakfast, Accommodations, Easter Island)
Day 6 Easter Island to Santiago: Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago. Take the day to relax or explore with one of our optional tours. (Breakfast, Easter Island; Accommodations, Santiago)
Day 7 Santiago to Puerto Natales: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas (we recommend arriving into Punta Arenas by 1:00 pm or earlier to connect to a 1:00 pm or 2:30 pm bus), and then transfer to the bus terminal where you will board a regular scheduled bus to Puerto Natales. The journey takes you past large estancias and fields of grazing sheep, with mountains far away on the horizon. You will be met at the bus station and transferred to your hotel with a view of the Sound. (Breakfast, Santiago; Accommodations, Puerto Natales)
Day 8 Puerto Natales: After breakfast, depart for a full day tour to Torres del Paine National Park. From Puerto Natales, the scenery becomes even more spectacular and the 2-½ hour journey passes quickly. Once inside the Park, the road passes lagoons and grassy hills with grazing herds of Guanacos. It is easy to spot flocks of the ostrich-like Rheas known as Nandu, and if you are lucky, Condors flying overhead. The crown jewels of the park are the three sheer granite towers, the Towers of Paine, which dominate the landscape. In the late afternoon, transfer to your selected hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Accommodations, Puerto Natales)
Day 9 Puerto Natales: After breakfast, depart for a full day tour. The Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers are located inside Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, which is located 31 miles to the Northwest of Puerto Natales and it is part of the Andean mountain range. The trip begins in the port of Puerto Natales, and on the way can be seen the building that belonged to “Frigorifico Bories”, which was one of the largest meat packing plants in Patagonia, also can be seen a little colony of Cormorants and a little colony of Sea lions. The flora is dominated by different species of beech trees, Calafate, Chilco and Canelo among others. The Balmaceda glacier can be seen from the boat, instead to visit the Serrano glacier is necessary to walk for 20 minutes on a path bordering a calving lake originated by the melting of the glacier. (Breakfast, Lunch, Accommodations, Puerto Natales)
Day 10 Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas: After breakfast, transfer to Punta Arenas before contiuning on to your next Avantu destination. (Breakfast, Puerto Natales)