REGION: Islands of Chile (Easter Island, Rapa Nui)
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 1-2 (Easy +)
SUMMARY: This packaged program includes four days in Easter Island with the following tours: Archeology Tour at Hanga Roa, Discover The Moais at Rapa Nui, and Manutara & Topknots—The Fallen Giants of Rapa Nui; also, two days for optional tours in Central Chile, and all airport / hotel transfers.
DURATION: 5 days (Can be extended by combining with Central Chile tours.)
MIN. / MAX.: PEOPLE: 2-15; more with prior arrangement.
SEASON: October through April (Peak season: December – March)
Day 1: Transfer in from Santiago Airport
Pick up from Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport. Meet your local guide. Private transfer with English driver guide. Drop off at your hotel.
Day 2: Transfer out from Santiago hotel to airport & flight to Easter Island.
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Santiago Airport. Flight to Easter Island (5 hours approx.).
Pick up from Easter Island’s International Mataveri Airport. Meet your local tour guide.
Half Day tour: Archeology Tour at Hanga Roa
Check in at your hotel. After your lunch, we will visit the Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum, a museum in the town of Hanga Roa. Named for the Bavarian missionary, Fr. Sebastian Englert, the museum was founded in 1973 and is dedicated to the conservation of the Rapa Nui cultural patrimony. The museum is administered by the Chilean Directorate of Libraries, Archives and Museums and houses the William Mulloy Library. The museum houses the only female Moai, as well as one of the coral eyes that were placed in the Moai. There are wood statuettes, a photographic collection, archives of traditional music, and a three-thousand-volume library. Then, we will visit the Santa Cruz Church to observe beautiful wooden carvings. After that, we will ride along the two main harbors at Rapa Nui: Hanga Roa and Hanga Piko, while turtle watching and then visit the Ahu Riata, the last restored Ahu at Easter Island. (Ahu means: Ceremonial Place in Rapa Nui language). Return to your hotel. End of our services for the day.
Day 3: Full Day tour: Discover The Moais at Rapa Nui
After breakfast, we will drive along the rugged southeast coast and our first stop will be an Ahu (ceremonial platform) in ruins. You will have a chance to observe what was once a flourishing culture but was left in ruins with these gigantic statues toppled. The quarry is our next stop and we will hike between the Moai discovering how they were carved and moved from this colossal volcano and finally transported to their Ahu. Amongst these, we will see the biggest one ever carved, but never moved 21 meters (90 ft.), and the kneeling Moai. Finally, we will see the inactive crater (now a beautiful lake) of Rano Raraku volcano. Now that you have more knowledge of how and where the statues were carved out, it’s time for you to watch the spectacular Ahu Tongariki, the 15 Moais, that were restored by Japanese, standing majestically like soldiers protecting their land and people. We continue our tour and drive across Poike (the oldest volcano) to reach the north coast and find ourselves faced with Ahu Te Pito Kura, the biggest Moai ever transported, measuring 10 meters (32.8 ft.), together with the navel of the world, a perfect round rock which is said to have Mana (divine power) and was brought by the first Polynesian settlers. We end our tour in Anakena beach, tasting local tuna empanadas, where you will also have some time to sunbathe or dip in its clear crystal waters or look at more archaeology, Ahu Nau Nau and Ahu Ature Huki, the first ahu to be restored. Return to your hotel. End of our services for the day.
Day 4: Full Day tour: Manutara & Topknots—The Giants Fallen at Rapa Nui
After breakfast, we will visit Orongo in the south part of the island formed by Rano Kau Volcano. Orongo is a ceremonial village which was built between the cliffs and the volcano’s crater. This site was the center of the Bird Cult and where the Birdman Competition took place. The ritual was an annual competition to collect the first sooty tern (manu tara) egg of the season from the islet of Motu Nui, swim back to Rapa Nui and climb the sea cliff of Rano Kau to the clifftop village of Orongo. The Tangata manu (bird-man, from tangata or person, plus manu or bird) was the winner.
You will be mesmerized by Rano Kau Volcano’s amazing caldera. We will later go to Vinapu, an Ahu in ruins with toppled Moai left abandoned after the internal war. Its back wall is compared to Saksayhuaman wall in Cuzco, Peru.
After your lunch, we will continue our exploration with a visit to three different places:
• Puna Pau: topknot quarry. We will see around 20 Pukao, that were left abandoned; some of them with petroglyphs.
• Ahu Akivi: The only seven Moais, facing the ocean, which are said to represent the first seven explorers to discover the island.
• Tahai: Ceremonial site or Ahu, with three important Ahu or platforms. One of them is the only one with its eyes still in it.
Return to your Hotel. End of our services for the day.
Day 5: Leisure time in the morning & transfer out airport Mataveri.
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Easter Island airport Mataveri. Half day services with English tour guide. Flight to Santiago.
Note: Don´t forget to confirm the time of your transfer out with our local representative or your tour guide at Easter Island.
End of our services at Easter Island, Rapa Nui.
Arrive at Santiago airport; connect with international flight home or transfer to Santiago hotel. (If staying in Chile, half day services with English tour guide. End of our services for the day in Santiago.)
INCLUDED: Professional local tour guide (with First Aid Accreditation and mobile phone), and private transportation with seat insurance.
NOT INCLUDED: Travel insurance, personal equipment, meals, tips or anything not listed in the program.
GUEST PROVIDES: Comfortable clothes appropriate to the activity.
TOUR COST: Request a quote!
BACKGROUND INFO: Easter Island, Isla de Pascua, Rapa Nui, Chile
Easter Island (Rapa Nui language: Rapa Nui; Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian Triangle. Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental stone statues, called Moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park. Polynesian people settled on Easter Island in the first millennium AD, and created a thriving culture, as evidenced by the Moai and other artifacts. However, human activity, the introduction of the Polynesian rat and overpopulation led to gradual deforestation and extinction of natural resources, which caused the demise of the Rapa Nui civilization. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island’s population had dropped to 2,000–3,000 from a high of approximately 15,000 just a century earlier. Diseases carried by European sailors and Peruvian slave raiding of the 1860s further reduced the Rapa Nui population, down to 111 in 1877. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The nearest continental point lies in central Chile, 3,512 kilometres (2,182 mi) away.
Easter Island is a special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888. Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region and more specifically, is the only commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. According to the 2012 census, it has about 5,800 residents, of which some 60% are descendants of the aboriginal Rapa Nui.