4 days from £860pp plus international flights.
Easter Island is one of the few places on Earth that can rightly be described as unique. Set 3,700 kilometres off the coast of mainland Chile, this isolated island has developed its own culture and identity, which you can experience for yourself on this holiday.
You have two full days filled with specially selected excursions and activities, led by local guides who know the places, people and history of the island intimately. You'll see fine examples of moai, the huge carved stone figures symbolic of island culture, some lying where they fell when knocked down during inter-clan warfare in the 18th and 19th centuries and others restored to their full standing glory. The aura of these moai is undeniable, and they exert a fascination and wonder in all who see them.
There's more to Easter Island than the moai. From your guide you learn about the history and culture of the Rapa Nui people. Originally from Polynesia they arrived on the island around AD300, with their distinctive beliefs, religion, rites, rituals and folklore. Aspects of these are displayed in the dances, music, ceremonies and festivals of present-day Rapa Nui, the Polynesian name for Easter Island. During the holiday you visit an erstwhile village perched on the rim of a volcano, site of the famous Bird Man competition, see quarries where stone was mined, gaze on a vast crater lake and even have time for a swim at one of the island's best beaches.
It should be noted that excursions are offered subject to weather conditions and the precise itinerary may vary from that shown in the day-by-day description.
You have a choice of hotels, both located close to the airport and to Hanga Roa, the capital. Altiplanico has 16 self-contained bungalows painted with eye-catching Rapa Nui designs and set in attractive gardens. Facilities include a swimming pool, lounge, bar and restaurant. Hare Noi Rapa Nui has 9 guest rooms grouped in 3 hares, or dwellings, each with a shared living room and terrace, echoing the layout of traditional Rapa Nui houses. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, terrace, spa and outdoor pool.
This holiday has been designed as an extension to add to any of our mainland Chile itineraries, making an already special holiday extra-special. And, as this is a tailor-made trip you can extend you stay on Easter Island to give yourself even more time to explore and experience its fascinating history, culture and scenery.
Your flight from the mainland passes over the South Pacific Ocean and touches down at Mataveri Airport. A representative is waiting to welcome you to Easter Island, or Rapa Nui in the Polynesian language of its native people and transfer you to your chosen hotel. Settle in and enjoy your new surroundings, one of the most isolated places on Earth and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It's time to explore! After breakfast your guide arrives to take you on a full-day tour to some of the best sites in the island. At the Ahu Akahanga you get your first sight of some of the moai for which the island is famous. These 13 figures are not standing, but lying down, knocked down in the clan wars that occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some are face-up, which lets you observe their facial features at close proximity and admire the skilled craftsmanship. Nearby you can see their pukao, or hats. Behind the main ahu there's a very small maoi, about 2 metres in length, lying on its back, that is considered to be one of the oldest on the island. Next you visit Rano Raraku volcano, where most of the stone for the moais was mined. Climb to the crater rim for views of the lake within and a number of moais scattered on the inner slopes. Next you travel to Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial structure on the island with 15 standing moai. It's all the more impressive as this site was almost totally destroyed by a tsunami in 1960 and had to be rebuilt by an international team of archaeologists and engineers. There's a lot to admire here. Finally, you arrive at Anakena beach with time for a refreshing swim, before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon. Breakfast, lunch
Your morning excursion begins in Vinapu, a large archaeological complex including an impressive stone wall not dissimilar to Inca structures, demonstrating impressive stonework skills. From here you visit Rano Kau, the largest of the 3 main volcanoes on Rapa Nui. The enormous crater contains a lagoon with islands composed of floating totora reeds and is much photographed. The narrow south rim of the crater is the location of Orongo village, which was inhabited seasonally by participants in the bird man, or tangata manu contest whose winner ruled the island for the next year. You can see petroglyphs in some of the houses depicting scenes from the competition. Return to your hotel to relax. This afternoon you explore Ahu Akivi where 7 unusually uniform moai stand on their platform. Although apparently gazing out to sea (most face inland), they are positioned facing a former village, in common with other moai, suggesting that one of the purposes of the maoi was to protect the island's inhabitants. Later, at Puna Pau, you see the small volcano from where the red stone used to create the pukao was quarried and you can see several lying scattered over the ground nearby. After the tour you are taken back to your hotel to shower and change before dinner, either at the hotel or a local restaurant as you prefer. Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and free time until you are collected for the drive to the airport to check in for your flight back to the mainland. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £860 (ex. international flights)
2020 prices (pp sharing, excluding international flights):
01 Oct 2019 – 30 Apr 2020 from £875
Hare Noi01 Jan – 31 Mar 2020 from £950
01 – 30 Apr 2020 from £860
3 nights twin share accommodation at either Altiplanico Easter Island or Hare Noi Rapa Nui, private return transfers Mataveri airport to your hotel, private full day guided tour on day 2, private morning and afternoon guided tours on day 3, entrance fee to Rapa Nui National Park, meals specified as included
Return international flights to mainalnd Chile, return flights from the mainland to Easter Island, airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, vaccinations, early checkin and/or late checkout if required, meals now specified as included, drinks, personal expenditure, tips
This holiday starts and ends on Easter Island. Return flights from the UK cost from around £XXX per person, according to season and availability. We usually book these for you.
Departure dates: This is a tailor made holiday that can begin on the day of your choice, subject to availability. It operates between July and February.
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Time: GMT -4 hours
Flight time: There are direct flights from London Heathrow to Santiago, which operate 4 times a week and take 14 hours 40 minutes. The Chilean airline, LATAM, flies via Madrid.
Language: The official language is Spanish. but other local languages are also spoken. English is spoken quite widely.
Visas: Visas are not currently required for British passport holders staying for up to 90 days, who are issued with a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo-Tourist Card’ on arrival. You must retain this and present it to immigration on departure.
Health: Generally none is compulsory but we recommend the following: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, diphtheria, meningitis, tetanus, rabies and polio. There is no malaria in Chile. A yellow fever certificate is required if you are coming from an infected area.