Chile From Easter Island to Valparaiso

This journey takes you to Easter Island for an in-depth five-day discovery of the remarkable culture of the island with its mysterious, giant stone-carved moai figures. Explore the ancient port city of Valparaiso and take a walking tour of historic Santiago. Enjoy two days at an unparalleled retreat and vineyard experience with private wine tastings of the world class VIK wine led by international wine experts, guided tours through VIK winery facilities and activities from horseback excursions to tours on mountain bicycles to hiking.

Country Information

Chile

Chile From Easter Island to Valparaiso Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Chile


(Interest Type(s))

Adventure Travel


(Tour Length)

13 Days


Tour Highlights

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  • Explore Santiago’s historic center, markets, the classical baroque-style Cathedral and more
  • Travel to mythic Easter Island for an in-depth discovery of this unique island culture and their mysterious, giant stone-carved moai figures
  • Hiking opportunities take you through the island’s landscapes of lava tubes and volcanoes and relax on the beaches of Rapa Nui
  • Enjoy private wine tastings of the world class VIK wine led by international wine experts and guided tours through the VIK winery
  • Experience a unique cultural heritage in the 460-year-old port city of Valparaiso, where artists, poets and writers have lived

Day 1: Santiago, Chile
Welcome to Chile! Upon arrival in Santiago, clear immigration, collect luggage, and proceed through customs. In the arrivals halls, you are met by a Big Five Representative who will transfer you to your hotel in the city. Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times. Its downtown is home to 19th-century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic and other architectural styles. Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of Chile as well as the center for the Chilean executive and judiciary. Santiago plans to host the 2023 Pan American Games. The Singular Hotel Santiago

Day 2: Santiago
This morning you are picked up at your hotel by your driver and guide, who will drive you to La Vega Central, the main and largest food market in the city, known for all it offers, Chile’s mild climate and varied landscapes make the perfect place for growing a rich variety of fruits and vegetables. While grocery stores certainly carry your standard fruits and veggies, at La Vega, you’ll find some of the freshest, cheapest, and most varied fruits that Santiago has to offer. Before heading to the patrimonial zone, you will visit the central fish market, where you will be able to see the variety of fish and seafood Chile has on her menus. Housed in an art nouveau building that dates from 1872, this UNESSCO National Heritage Site features an amazing array of sea food; some of which can only be found in Chile’s waters. It’s no wonder then that it was listed by National Geographic as one of the world’s top ten food markets. If you get hungry while looking around, there are a few restaurants inside where you can sample all the delicious seafood, A few steps from the market is the main square of Plaza de Armas along with the classical baroque-style Cathedral, La Moneda (the presidential palace, which can be viewed only from outside) and Ex Congress, (also only from outside). The remainder of the day is free to explore on your own. The Singular Hotel Santiago (B)

Day 3: Santiago / Easter Island
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Easter Island. Few places on Earth have gripped the world’s imagination as has lonely Easter Island, a tiny speck of land 3,702 kilometers/2,300 miles west of mainland Chile. Chilean in nationality and Polynesian in character, the island is famous for the hundreds of mysterious, giant stone-carved “moai” figures facing inland or gazing out to sea, bearing silent testimony to the glory of the island’s ancient chiefs. On arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

Hanga Roa Hotel is unique in its design, materials and history. Its identity is a magical appeal of architecture that blends with the environment through its grass roofs, colors and textures of the island. It is a tribute to the Orongo ceremonial village, with vestiges still near volcano Ranu Kau, an iconic place to the Rapa Nui culture. The reception and lounge area are based on the ancestral “boat house”, a building that is shaped like a boat set reversely. The village concept allows a harmonious interplay between spaces, also linked by a landscape design of native species. Hanga Roa Eco Village & Spa (B,D)

Day 4: Easter Island
Enjoy a morning visit to Rano Kao, Orongo and Vinapu. Begin at the town of Hanga Roa on the coast, heading towards the Rano Kao Volcano. The route ascends its slopes to the summit to reveal the impressive crater noted for its 1.6 km/5,249 feet in diameter and more than 200 m/656 feet depth. Along the crater is Orongo, a magnificent ceremonial city where the majority of the island's petroglyphs are concentrated, representing mainly images of the bird-like man Tangata Manu, Make-Make, god of creation, and Komari, a fertility symbol. The village is made up of 53 oval-shaped houses with stone walls and each with a small, square entrance facing the sea. The houses are laid out in 2 rows, one of which ends at the sacred site called Mata Ngarahu, center for the Bird-Man rituals and the most richly decorated area of the island. It displays a wide variety of petroglyphs. From the edge of the cliff, observe the three islets Motu Iti, Motu Nui, and Motu Kao Kao.

Next, visit Vinapu, the site of two ruined temples or ahus. The moais here were destroyed during bloody battles among rival tribes. This site is home to three ahu. The first features a perfectly laid stone wall that compares with those of Cuzco and Machu Picchu in Peru. Six moai have fallen from their original positions. The second temple is astronomically oriented like the first, and appears to have had a female moai with two 2 heads. The third and oldest ahu only survives as stone strewn about the site. Return to the hotel through Vinapu.

The afternoon excursion is to Ahu Akivi cave and quarry, called The Seven Moais. At Ahu Akivi, the moai face the ocean. Although the platform is clearly visible, the overgrown grass obscures the pattern of the sloping pavement. Ahu Akivi is a particular sacred place in Rapa Nui with seven moai, all of equal shape and size, and is also known as a celestial observatory that was set up around the 16th century. Moai statues were believed by the early people of Rapa Nui to be their ancestors or Tupuna that were believed to be the reincarnation of important kings or leaders of their clans. The Moais were erected to protect and bring prosperity to their clan and village. A particular feature of the seven identical moai statues is that they exactly face sunset during the Spring Equinox and have their backs to the sunrise during the Autumn Equinox. Such an astronomically precise feature is seen only at this location on the island. These are the first ahu to be scientifically restored on the island by William Mulloy and Gonzalo Figueroa in 1960. A secondary crater was used as quarry for the pukao (top knots). Red scoria apparently represents hair that was dyed using red earth. Since only 50 moai have these cylinders, and there are 31 more at Puna Pao, it is believed that this addition was a late development related to increased strength of the tribes. Hanga Roa Eco Village & Spa (B,L,D)

Day 5: Easter Island
Our full day tour to Tongariki, Rano Raraku, and Anakena departs early in the morning to visit the ancient ruins of Vaihu Temple. It is preserved just as it was left after the ancient wars. In terms of size, this is one of the most important ahu of the south coast. It is situated next to the Vaihu fisherman’s wharf. When the moai fell, some pukao rolled down to the sea. Continue towards Ahu Akahanga, a large ahu (platform) with four big fallen statues where, according to the legend, the tomb of the first king of the island is located. Several phases of construction are visible: 4 platform, 12 moais and 8 pukao. It features a boat ramp, houseboats and stone-lined firepits. One of the most well-preserved villages can be observed inland from the ahu. From there, visit Rano Raraku quarry, classic symbol of the island and original factory of the moais. The gigantic statues cover the inner and outer slopes of the volcano; they can be admired in the different stages of production, from carvings in the rock to upright position, and lying face down on the road in route to their intended platform. Most of the Moai were carved from volcanic tuff extracted from its inner and outer slopes. There are nearly 400 moai exhibiting different stages of termination, with a wide variety of figures including the kneeling Moai Tukuturi. Another moai has the distinguishing feature of a three-masted sailboat carved on its chest. Towards the west, there is a long series of moai strewn along the so called “ Road of the Moai “.

After lunch, drive to Ahu Tongariki, formerly the biggest platform on the island, destroyed by a tidal wave in 1960. This is the largest ahu on the island. It has 15 moai and the axis of the platform faces the rising sun of summer slostice. The ahu was destroyed was reconstructed between 1993 – 94 with contributions from a Japanese company, which donated a crane for the purpose of archaeology. Beyond the main plaza, there is an important petroglyph site called Papa Tataku Poki with figures such as tunas, turtles, Make Make, Bird-Man, and more. Your exploration takes you along the North Coast to visit Ahu Te Pito Kura. This ahu features the largest statue placed on a platform, the Moai Paro, 10 meters/nearly 33 feet tall and weighing 85 tons, and a pukao weighing 11.5 tons. It is believed that this was the last moai to fall as of 1840. Next to the ahu there is a large spherical rock which is identified with the navel of the world (Te pito o te Henua). According to legends, it was brought to the island by Hotu Matu’a on his expedition. From here, you drive by La Perouse Bay to the beautiful archeological site of Anakena. This is a stunning beach with white coral sands chosen for the arrival of Ariki Hotu Matu’a and his sister Avareipua. Anakena is the name of a small cave in a nearby gorge. Return to the hotel through the Vaitea Farm. Hanga Roa Eco Village & Spa (B,L,D)

Day 6: Easter Island Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the island on our own. Hanga Roa Eco Village & Spa (B,L,D)

Day 7: Easter Island / Santiago
With new insights to an enigmatic island, transfer to the airport to board the flight back to Santiago. Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. The Singular Hotel Santiago (B)

Day 8: Santiago / Millahue
This morning, you drive about two hours to your hotel, Viña Vik Hotel. This small retreat is an art-filled, 22-suite, avant-garde hotel and wine spa in Millahue, Chile on the VIK vineyard. The vineyard retreat is perched on a hilltop above a lake at the center of this spectacular 4,325-hectare/11,000-acre vineyard with panoramic 360-degree views of the vines, multiple valleys, hills, forests with the majestic Andes Mountains in the distance.

Viña Vik welcomes guests through a central, open public living area and garden. Every suite boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing guests to take in views across the stunning nature. Beyond the public living areas, guests will find a striking cantilevered pool made of Absolute Nero granite extending out over the valleys and lake below, offering the sensation of swimming above the vineyard. Vik Chile Hotel (B,L,D)

Days 9/10: Millahue
These two days are for you to enjoy the property’s amenities included in your experience. You are invited to discover an unparalleled retreat and vineyard experience. Private wine tastings of the world class VIK wine led by international wine experts, to guided tours through VIK winery facilities, horseback excursions through the vineyard and surrounding mountain trails or tours on mountain bicycles are some of the adventures available. Unwind and indulge at the Viña Vik’s tranquil wine spa, with treatments inspired by the land and incorporating VIK grapes into one-of-a-kind massage, facial and body-scrub treatments. Following adventurous excursions, you may savor delicious gastronomic treats from exceptional 4 course high culinary experiences to barbeques set amidst the vineyard hacienda enjoying Chilean inspired foods paired with exquisite VIK wine. Vik Chile – (B,L,D)

Day 11: Millahue / Valparaiso
This late morning, you will be transferred by road about two and a half hours to Valparaiso, the oldest port in Chile. It is not the largest port, but it retains tremendous historical significance as well as being home to the Chilean House of Assembly and Senate. In 1989 when democracy, and thus the National Assembly, was re-established it was transferred here from Santiago. The remainder of the day is free at your hotel. Casa Higueras hotel (B)

Day 12: Valparaiso
This morning experience a unique cultural heritage walking tour of the 460-year-old city port. It originally was inhabited by the indigenous tribes of Changos and later discovered by Spanish conquistadors in 1566. Time has been a witness to the passing of corsairs and English and Dutch pirates during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Scottish Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane put an end to the Spanish colonial period. Valparaiso welcomed immigrants from European origin who were fleeing war, poverty and religious persecution. During the walking tour, you will be able to admire the unique 19th century architectural style and enjoy the experience of the funiculars (cable cars) up some of the many hills of the city. Likewise, the beauty of the cemeteries, the general atmosphere where world renown scientists like Charles Darwin and Claudio Gay, renowned artists like Mauricio Rugendas and James Whistler and poets like Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda lived and were inspired for their unique work. Visit La Sebastiana La Sebastiana House Museum, formerly poet Pablo Neruda’s home. Today, visitors can tour his home and a place where Neruda's verse will remain forever. Casa Higueras Hotel (B)

Day 13: Valparaiso / Santiago / Depart
Today, you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight back home. (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancy: Price starts from US$800 per person per day.

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