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Treat yourself to a Polynesian island experience in the “navel of the world” on a pre-trip extension to Easter Island. This Chilean territory, locally known as Rapa Nui, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Easter Island is world-renowned as the one and only home of the mystifying moai statues. This extension is your opportunity to enhance your understanding of Polynesian culture. Encounter these mystical talismans up close and disentangle history from legend. Who created these statues and how? Whatever happened to Rapa Nui’s ancestors?
Fly to Santiago de Chile
Today, you will depart the United States for an overnight flight to Santiago de Chile.
Arrive in Santiago and spend the day at leisure
If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, upon arrival a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your hotel. After arriving in Santiago, you’ll be transferred to the hotel for an orientation. You’ll have the afternoon to rest or walk around the city. A Welcome Dinner will be provided at the hotel.
Fly to mystical Easter Island
Today, you'll head to the airport for your flight to Easter Island. After checking into your hotel, set off on an afternoon tour of Hanga Roa, the island’s main town and capital. You’ll visit a family museum to learn about the Rapa Nui people from a local resident. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
Touring the island’s architectural hot spots
Spend a full day touring the island’s famed moai and other archaeological hotspots, starting with Ahu Vaihu. At this ancient temple, you’ll find moai toppled over — the result of tribal conflict, family rivalry, or perhaps even local superstition.
Next, you’ll see the Rano Raraku volcanic crater, a former moai quarry. Word has it that there are statues still waiting to be freed. You’ll view the moai in full glory at Ahu Tongariki, the island’s largest ahu platform.
At Anakena Beach, you have the chance to go for a refreshing swim with these towering statues in view. Ahu Nau is known for having the island's most intricately carved moai. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and the evening at your leisure.
Explore Orongo and Ahu Vinapu
You’ll head south of Hanga Roa for this morning’s tour. Orongo, the ruins of a sod-and-stone house settlement, is situated between the Rano Kau crater and cliffs above the Pacific Ocean. Your next stop is the archaeological site of Ahu Vinapu, where even more mysteries unravel.
Following leisure time for lunch, we’ll reconvene for an afternoon tour of Ahu Akivi, Rapa Nui’s legendary seven scout moai. Stop in Puna Pau on the way back to examine the red scoria rock used to make moai topknots.
Weather permitting, you'll enjoy a rustic picnic dinner tonight at Tahai, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Visit the most interesting post office on Earth, then fly to Santiago
Following breakfast at the hotel this morning, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight back to Santiago. Along the way, you'll pay a visit to Easter Island’s post office, the farthest location from any other post office on the planet. Browse the unique postcards and pick up Easter Island’s stamp.
After arriving in Santiago, you'll have the rest of the day to spend at leisure.
Join the base program
Join the rest of the Vantage group to begin your Antarctic expedition.
When Eleanor Roosevelt first laid eyes on Iguassu Falls, she is famously said to have uttered, “Poor Niagara”! It’s easy to understand what overwhelmed the First Lady. This torrent of water separating Brazil and Argentina plunges over 200-foot-high cliffs in a roaring fury of water. (In fact, Iguaçu translates roughly from the local Tupi-Guarani into “great water.”) Judging from Ms. Roosevelt’s reaction, you’ll want to extend your expedition to view Brazil’s other breathtaking natural wonder. Explore the cataracts from both countries, getting as close to the falls as the spraying mist allows. Join us on this thrilling adventure!
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Discover the Argentinian side of Iguassu
Today’s discoveries take us into Argentina for more views of Iguassu Falls, the world’s largest waterfall system, with 275 falls in less than a two-mile radius. Our first views of will be from the Upper Trail, which offers a premium vantage point of this natural wonder as we literally walk across the water! Lunch is on our own in the park.
Tonight, we’ll embrace the spirit of Brazil with a night on the town. On the menu are drinks and a lively samba dance show. You’ll learn more about this vibrant dance and music genre, which originates from African religious traditions, as well as other regional dance forms.
Explore the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls
Transfer to Iguassu Falls to explore its Brazilian side. We’ll take a walking tour with incredible views, including the Devil’s Throat. This is the largest of the falls, where torrents crash into a narrow canyon. The tour will end at Porto Canoas, where you’ll be free to have lunch on your own.
We'll keep the adventure rolling into the afternoon with the Macuco Safari Boat Ride. An open trolley will whisk you through dense rainforest for vistas of flowers, birds, butterflies, and ages-old trees. Then, get your waterproof camera ready, as we embark on speedboats bound for Iguaçu’s gorge. Your experienced river pilots will give you a thrilling ride through the rapids, guiding you right up to the splashing cascades. (Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as you will likely get soaked!) If you'd prefer to not get wet, there is a dry tour option available.
After drying off and enjoying some time to get ready, we’ll dine at the hotel this evening.
Today, you’ll board your return flight home to the U.S.