Accommodation: 3 stars Hotel and B&B
Period of travel:
Day 01 YOUR COUNTRY- SANTIAGO, CHILE
International Flight (not included in the price)
Day 02 WELCOME TO SANTIAGO
Morning pick-up and transfer from Santiago Airport to your hotel. Tour the city, starting in the Barrio (neighborhood) of El Golf, where you can see examples of the city’s avant-garde architecture. After this, visit the Barrio Cívico, (downtown), which contains the historic government buildings, like the presidential La Moneda and cultural centers such as the Pre-Columbian Museum. From here, take a walk through the main streets of the city center towards the main square, Plaza de Armas, where you can admire the majestic colonial buildings that surround the square: the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Santiago’s City Hall, and various museums. We then take you to Barrio Bella Vista, famous for its lively nightlife. Return and overnight in Hotel 3 stars category.
Day 03 SANTIAGO - SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA - MOON VALLEY
Breakfast at the hotel. We’ll transfer you to the Santiago Airport for your flight to Calama. Upon arrival, you’ll be picked up from the airport and transferred to the small mystical desert pueblo of San Pedro de Atacama, considered the archaeological capital of Chile with sites dating back 3,000 years. Its surrounding landscapes are nothing less than surreal. After checking into your hotel and a relaxing lunch, you’ll visit the desolate Valle de la Muerte (Death Valley) home to the Three Marias, rock formations naturally wind-shaped that almost appear to have been hand-carved. Then onto the other-worldly, Valle de la Luna, (Valley of the Moon), to arrive at dusk, just in time for the spectacular sunset from atop Duna Mayor, a gigantic, perfectly-formed dune that allows for a perfect view of the desert sunset. Return to San Pedro. Overnight in Hotel 3 stars category.
Day 04 SALAR DE ATACAMA - LAGUNAS ALTIPLANICAS
Wander across the Atacama Salt Flats, the largest salt flat in Chile, over 3,000 square kilometers of pure salt where the dry air is so clear that it is possible to see over 70 km away, where the salt ends. The lake under this flat salty crust is an important source of lithium, a mineral salt used in high tech industries. Visit the magnificent mirror-like lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques, and stop off at the village of Socaire. Our picnic today is set against the breath-taking backdrop of these turquoise lakes surrounded by the whitest of salt sands, and flows out into yellow shocks of grass emerging from between black and red rocks scattered over the breath-taking landscape. Here we will have a picnic admiring the breathtaking views. Before we return to San Pedro for the evening, we’ll stop off to walk around the quaint village of Toconao, a desert oasis that supplies enough sweet water to allow the cultivation of fruit. Return to San Pedro de Atacama. Overnight in Hotel 3-star category. (B, L)
Day 05 GEYSER TATIO - SAN PEDRO - CALAMA - SANTIAGO
Today is a very early morning departure, (4:30am approx), for a half-day trip to see the Tatio Geysers, (4321m altitude). The geysers’ natural clocks are set to steam and bubble up for your breakfast viewing pleasure, which you’ll enjoy while watching the boiling pools of water and steam. After breakfast, we then head to Machuca, a typical pueblo typical of the Atacama peoples. At midday, we return to San Pedro at midday, where you can enjoy the afternoon at leisure. At the pre-agreed upon time, we transfer as a group to Calama’s airport. Flight to Santiago, (not included in the quotation). Upon arrival into Santiago, you will overnight at Hotel Holiday Inn Aeropuerto, located within the terminal, just a quick walk from the International arrivals gate, (transfer on own). (B)
Day 06 SANTIAGO - EASTER ISLAND
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer on own from your Hotel to Airport terminal. Flight to Easter Island (not included in the quotation). Upon arrival, you will be greeted at the airport and welcomed to the island with flower leis and group transferred to the Hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in a B&B Hotel (B)
Day 07 EASTER ISLAND
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for a full-day group excursion. We start at the South end of the island at Haga Te’e Bay, where you will see your first “Ahu,” -- the unrestored Vaiha Ahu, one of the enormous stone platforms built to support the Moai. We continue towards the Ahu Akahanga Region, where legend has it that the famous King Hotu Matua is buried somewhere beside one of the Ahus, and then onto several other of the island’s important cultural sites. For example Rano Raraku is known as the “factory,” from where the Moai were carved. Over 900 statutes cover the dormant volcano incline, like tipsy square stone flowers in various stages of completion, over a third having fallen over and still lay where they fell. We will also visit the Tongariki Ahu, a platform with 15 Moai that was restored in 1995, as a gift from the Japanese government after a tsunami wreaked havoc on the site. We then visit the Ombligo del Mundo, (Belly button of the world), a massive perfectly rounded rock with mysterious magnetic properties, and the Te Pito Kura Ahu, beside it. Our final stop for the day is the beautiful tropical postcard-like setting of Anakena Beach with two of its restored platforms in the backdrop, Ahu Nau Nau and Ahu Ature Huki. Here we can relax a while on the white coral sand, under the shade of the palm trees of this magical spot where the waters of the Pacific Ocean lap up on its shores. Return to the hotel. Overnight in a B&B Hotel (B,BL)
Day 08 RANO KAU - ORONGO - TAHAI - AHU AKIVI
Breakfast at the hostel. In the morning we’ll go up the slope of the extinct volcano of Rano Kau with a group, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view on one side over the entire island and on the other a beautiful crater lake that almost opens up to the ocean . Afterwards take a short drive on the outer ridge of the island to the ceremonial village of Orongo, where the mysterious birdman cult held its annual competition and home to petroglyphs that depicted their ancient gods and myths. This site also hosts the Orongo houses, where the men of different families would stay during the annual competitions, where you can enjoy views to the islands Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao. From here, you go to the South end of the island at Haga Te’e Bay, where where we visit the unrestored Vaiha Ahu, another of the enormous stone platforms built to support the Moai. Here, dramatic cliffs shelter the almost-hidden Ana Kai Tangata cave, where red and white bird petroglyphs appear overhead on the cave’s dome. We arrive back to hotel in time for lunch, (lunch not included).
In the afternoon, we will leave for our trip to the restored Tahai Ceremonial archaeological site. This imposing ceremonial centre has three Ahu, as well as buildings that used to be used as local houses. The tour then heads to the Ahu Akivi platform with its seven restored Moai. According to legend, these seven statues represent the first explorers, sent by the king Hotu Matua, who arrived first on Rapa Nui. The final stop is the Puna Pau building yard, where the red lava-stone “Pukao” hats of the great Moai were carved. Overnight in a B&B Hotel (B)
Day 09 RAPA NUI
Breakfast at the hostel. Day at leisure . Overnight in a B&B Hotel (B)
Optional adventure :Rent a jeep to discover the rest of the island on your own.
Day 10 EASTER ISLAND - SANTIAGO
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning at leisure to stroll through the village of Hanga Roa. Group transfer to the Mataveri Airport. Flight to Santiago. (not included in the quote). Private transfer from Santiago’s airport to Hotel. Overnight in Hotel 3-star category. (B)
Day 11 DAY AT LEISURE IN SANTIAGO
Breakfast at the hotel. Day at leisure. Overnight in Hotel 3-star category. (B)
Optional Tour to Valparaiso & Viña del Mar:
Spend a full day exploring a place that centuries of sailors have called “the Pearl of the Pacific,” Valparaiso. Ride the famous funiculars up the colorful hills of this port town, declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Wander down the narrow, curvy streets so steep that they are lined by sidewalks that turn into staircases. Breath in this bohemian atmosphere where there are new surprises around every corner. The tour ends with a walk through the beach town of Viña del Mar, known as the “Garden City.”
Day 12 SANTIAGO YOUR HOME COUNTRY
Breakfast at the hotel. Private transfer from Hotel to Airport Flight to your country home (not included in the quotation). END OF OUR SERVICES