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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
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. 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 Across Patagonia: Chile's Lakes, Mountains & Wildlife adventure.