- A legendary journey: the detailed exploration of 'Rapa Nui' or Easter Island, the fabled land of the Moai
- Santiago, Easter Island, Vina del Mar and Valparaiso in private with guides
- Private tour of the Matetic Vineyards followed by a tasting session
- Lounge access at airports, Concierge service, all our usual additional services
Contact one of our Chile specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
AT THE VERY EDGE OF THE PACIFIC - EASTER ISLAND
TRAVEL TO CHILEBefore flying to the South Pacific, start off in Santiago, the Chilean capital, of which Easter Island is a dependency. This is the opportunity to discover the charm and character of the Latino way of life. Earthquakes mean that Chileans are not complacent about their place on the planet, but in a way it has driven them to enjoy life and be optimistic about the opportunities rebuilding brings. The hotel chosen for this stage is fairly symbolic of how the present day builds on a shaky past. On return from Easter Island, Valparaiso. A harbour to satisfy the seafaring adventure-loving child inside the adult traveller. And Valpo doesn't disappoint. The atmosphere here is infectious. It is a world city where big business and immigration have brought abundant diversity.
Flight to Santiago
Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
Private transfer and accommodation for two nights in a Lastarria hotel in the historic centre. The Parque Forestal is within walking distance, the neighbourhood hums with a pleasant bohemian chic vibe, home to many artists and creative types. The building combines the early 20th-century Chilean style with French neoclassical influences.
Take a private tour of Santiago with a guide. The architectural tones of the city are quite neo (classical, Gothic) with shades of Art Nouveau, the earthquakes having spared only a few of the colonial buildings. Take a walk on the delightful Santa Lucia Hill or in the Parque Quinta Normal, visit the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and La Moneda, the presidential palace, Plaza de la Ciudadania...
Santiago - Hanga Roa (Easter Island)
Transfer to the airport and flight to Easter Island. A five-night stay in a charmingly simple hotel. The decor has a fun and cheerful feel with its Polynesian motifs. The hotel features a secluded garden and a small oval pool. Its clean, tidy rooms come with all the amenities.
A visit to the island's main drawcard - The Moai. There are nearly 900 of them in various stages of completion. Some have been straightened out on 'ahus', ritual platforms, and capped with red 'pukao'. Others lie half-buried, their gender hidden. The crater and sides of the Rano Raraku volcano served as a moai quarry; they were made on site, cut from slabs of rock, before their arduous journey to their final location.
The trip includes - A one-day tour to discover the island's major sites: Anakena Beach, Ahu Te Pito Kura, home to the island's largest Moai, measuring 30ft high and weighing 90 tonnes; Rano Raraku, the site of a unique quarry used for almost all the island's Moai, as well as two ceremonial platforms: Ahu Akahanga and, of course, Ahu Tongariki, the island's most majestic site, Polynesia's largest platform and, symbolically, the Pacific Ocean's most important archaeological site.
Ahu Akivi and Puna Pau
Ahu Akivi, located almost in the geographical centre of the island, has a special place in its history. One theory describes it as a memorial site dedicated to ancestors. Legend has it that these seven magnificent upright moai, the only ones on the island to face the sea, represent the seven envoys of King Hotu Matu'a, sent to explore the island. The Puna Pau quarry, located east of Hanga Roa, was the place where the 'pukaos', the cap-shaped buns that top the heads of the statues, were carved. Several of these giant red stone cylinders have remained on the hill.
Includes half-day private tour of the sites with an expert guide.
Rano Kao, Ana Kai Tangata
There's an extensive tour in store, to enjoy some of the island's outstanding sites: the Ana Kai Tangata cave, which houses one of the most beautiful remains of the birdman cult, a colourful rock fresco painted more than three centuries ago; the imposing Rano Kau volcano at the entrance to Orongo National Park at the top of which, on the cliff side, lies the ancient ceremonial village of Orongo. This was the setting for the 'tangata manu', or birdman competition.
Includes half-day private tour with an expert guide.
Hanga Roa - Santiago - Valparaiso
Airport transfer and flight to Santiago.
Transfer for Valparaiso
The itinerary includes a tour of the Matetic Vineyards with an expert guide. Created in 1999, the estate has modern architecture and panoramic views of the valley. It was the first bodega to attempt to introduce Syrah vines to the San Antonio area, south of Valparaiso. With the influence of the Pacific Ocean and the granite soils, Matetic Vineyards offers high quality wines, born of an environmentally-friendly philosophy. Sample the quality produce (in moderation). Overnight in Valparaiso in a historic Hispanic mansion, overlooking the ocean, and converted into a charming hotel.
Includes a private tour of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, with an expert guide. First off: Vina del Mar, a famous seaside resort with a contemporary feel. Visit Avenue de la Libertad, take the coastal road up to Renaca, Avenue San Martin, the Casino and Flower Clock. Continue with the visit to Valparaiso. The great Chilean port has been a legendary destination since the great days of sailing ships. Valpo is one of those places people tend not to know the exact location of (about a hundred miles from Santiago) because it is so universal. The flat part (El Plan) has a regular urban layout and a rich administrative and commercial architecture (19th-early 20th century); on the slopes of the hills (Cerros) which form a beautiful natural amphitheatre, the small colorful dwellings covered in corrugated iron seem to be stacked on top of each other. There is a certain picturesque chaos to their erratic layout along steep alleyways... Go up into the hills taking the historic lifts, the funiculars, the first of which was built in 1883 in Cerro Concepcion.
Valparaiso - Santiago - Return flight
Transfer back to Santiago and return flight home. Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
A la carte
Night bike ride in Santiago
eight miles through the streets and parks of the north-east of the city (the districts of Vitacura, Las Condes and Providencia). Enjoy an effortless ride, with regular stops to enjoy a view or monument. Night traffic is fine and the city's lights twinkle seductively. There will be a refuelling stop along the way to give your legs a rest.
Look up at the stars of the Southern Hemisphere - Santiago
The National Astronomical Observatory in Las Condes organises introductory sessions to astronomy. During our visit, they show us the telescopes and point out some celestial landmarks. After light refreshments, it's up onto the terrace to put the theory into practice, where the stars and planets are unveiled.
A bodega in Valparaiso
Chile is one of those countries that has taken on more traditional countries by producing quality wine. To see what this means, head for Valle del Rosario, south of Valparaiso. Here, they cultivate biodynamic wines - a hotly debated topic - and produce bottles of fine wines (mostly from single grape varieties). Visit very stylish cellars, sample their products, along with a few pieces of cheese, and give your verdict.
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