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Ahu akivi plataforma ceremonial

Discover Easter Island

Example 5 Day Tour
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Travel to the world's most isolated bits of land in the world. The Easter Island is best known for its huge stone statues, called Moai, which were carved by the island's original inhabitants the Rapa Nui. The island is actually a mound of consolidated lava and ash from three submarine volcanoes. During this trip, visit numerous sites and learn all about the moai, including legends and myths about their construction. Fly from Santiago, Chile, and spend 5 days discovering the ancient history, breathtaking scenery and unique traditions of Easter Island.
Cultural performance in Easter IslandAhu TongarikiAnakena BeachTrekking in Easter IslandThe Hanga Roa StatueGastronomy in Easter IslandThe Stone village of OrongoAhu akivi plataforma ceremonial
Highlights
  • Visit the Ahu Akahanga the ancient funeral site
  • Explore Ovahe Beach to see its turquoise ocean and fine pink sand
  • Visit Rano Raraku, where seventy standing sentinels are embedded in grass
  • View the quarry where Moai were cut from volcanic tuff
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Fly to Easter Island

Today, take your flight to Easter Island (the natives call their island Rapa Nui or Te Pito o Te Henua, "the navel of the earth") from Santiago, Chile. Easter Island has captivated the attention of navigators, historians, scientists, and travelers from all around the globe ever since its "discovery" on Easter Sunday in 1722. This remote island in the Pacific Ocean is considered "the most island-like island," and it's easy to see why. The gigantic stone statues, known as moai, are awe-inspiring, and the still-undeciphered writing of the Rongo Rongo symbols only adds to the island's mystery. The story of inhabitants who were on the brink of disappearing only adds to the island's allure.

After a warm welcome, you will be transported to your hotel in Hanga Roa where you can begin to explore this fascinating island.
 

Day 2: Tongariki and Tahai

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Explore the wonder of Easter Island's ancient megalithic past with a tour of three incredible sites on today's full day adventure: Tongariki, Akahanga, and Tahai. Starting with Tongariki, learn about the largest reconstruction on the island and in all of Polynesia. The site boasts 15 restored Moai, which were swept away by a massive tsunami before being restored between 1992 and 1995. Situated in front of the Rano Raraku volcano, approximately 2 km away, Tongariki is a testament to the island's ancient inhabitants' incredible megalithic culture.

Next, uncover the mysteries of Akahanga, also known as "The King's Platform." Here, you'll find four platforms with 12 Moai of various sizes and eight Pukao headdresses. The site is believed to be the final resting place of Hotu Matu'a, the island's first king, with a cave in the Akahanga sector possibly holding his tomb. You'll also be fascinated by the aligned stones made of red scoria, a type of iron-rich volcanic stone used to create headdresses, tombstones, boarding stones, and more. While exploring the site, take a moment to admire the petroglyphs along the front of the main Ahu platform, and note how the ancient culture was skilled at recycling and reusing materials, as evidenced by the head of an old statue incorporated into the back wall.

After a lunch break to refuel, the tour culminates with a visit to Tahai, a ceremonial complex restored in 1967/1968 by archaeologist William Mulloy. The complex boasts three different Ahus or altars, including Ahu Ko Ko Te Riku, featuring a towering Moai standing at 4.73 meters in height. Between Ahu Ko Ko Te Riku and Ahu Vai Ure, the Ahu Tahai dates back to the year 690 AD, making it one of the oldest sites on the island. 

Day 3: Ahu Akivi | Orongo & Birdman Competition

Rapa Nui National Park, a wildlife sanctuary that spans most of Easter Island and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains about 900 moai sculptures, as well as 300 ahu, or ceremonial platforms, on which the carved figures stand. Carved from solidified volcanic ash, these statues are believed to represent the spirits of ancestors and high-ranking members of each tribe. Today you will have two half day private tours to explore within the park.

This morning, travel south with your guide into the park to Ahu Tahai, a ceremonial platform that features a unique moai, a stone giant that stands alone and imposing at more than 4 meters tall. Continue north to Puna Pau to see variations of the moai designs. Here the moai feature pukao or topknots made of red scoria on their heads. It is believed that the volcanic rock was used to impress rival tribes. Approximately 30 pukao are found in or near the Puna Pau quarry, the source of the red slag. From here, drive to Ahu Akivi, where you will see the famous line of seven moai facing the ocean. The moai here are 16 feet (5 meters) tall and weigh approximately 18 tons each.  It is an unusual sight to see Moai facing out to the sea instead of inward on the island and the reasoning for their positioning remains a mystery today. One theory behind their unusual position is these moai symbolize the seven explorers from the Polynesian homeland of Hiva sent by the chief to find the island of Rapa Nui. According to this hypothesis, these statues face the ocean in the direction from which they came. The morning will conclude with a visit to the Ahu Huri a Urenga, a solitary moai with two sets of hands, found in the interior of the island, overlooking an agricultural area and human settlement.  From here, head back to your hotel for time to rest and fuel up on lunch before your afternoon tour begins. 

This afternoon you will head out to the Vinapu Ceremonial Center, known for the largest ahu on Rapa Nui and an arhitectural structure similar to the Incan Construction techniques found in Cusco and other Peruvian ruins. Continue South on your exploration to Ana Kai Tangata, a cave along the coast; the only cave on the island containing ancient images. of the fabled birdman competitions Many believe this place served as the starting point of the annual Tangata Manu (Birdman) ritual practiced until around 1800. As you listen to the rhythmic crashing of the waves against the cliffs and hear ancient legends, imagine selected men from each tribe jumping out of the cave and swimming to the islet of Motu Nui to collect the first egg laid by a sooty tern. Many drowned or were killed by sharks. The first man to return with the egg was rewarded with riches by his tribe for the rest of the year. From teh cave you can take in the sights of the Rano Kau volcano and it's crater lake looming off in the distance. The Village of Orongo is your final stop this afternoon. Here you will learn more about the birdman competitions that took place between the years of 1600 and 1866. Wanted the village structures adorned with birdman petroglyphs.

The evening is yours to relax or explore as you please. 

 

Day 4: Akahanga | Anakena Beach

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Your full day adventure today begins by heading to Ahu Akahanga. Unlike most ahu, Akahanga has not been restored, allowing you to stumble upon the area as European explorers first did. The platform, about 59 feet (18 meters) long, originally contained about a dozen moai and is believed to be the burial place of the Polynesian king Hotu Matu'a.

Continue your day traveling inland to Rano Raraku, where, on its volcanic slopes, ancient Rapa Nui sculptors carved moai from volcanic stone before moving about a third of them to various ahu throughout the island. Many of the island's more than 800 moai remain in the quarry and scattered nearby. As you walk with your guide to the stone pit, you'll see peeking out from the grassy ground hundreds of moai heads and partially buried torsos.

Here you will stop and have lunch before continuing on to the North coast of the island this afternoon. 

Along the north coast, arrive at your last stop at Anakena and explore the seven extremely well-preserved moai at Ahu Nau Nau, four of them with pukao. At this site, archaeologists located a nearly complete coral eye, encrusted with red volcanic scoria stone. Your sightseeing for the day complete, opt to swim or stroll along Anakena, one of the few white sand beaches on the island, for about 30 minutes before being transported back to your hotel. Or feel free to stay longer, and your guide will arrange a cab ride for you (at your own expense) when you are ready to return to your accommodation. Changing rooms with showers are available on site for a small fee.

Let your trip planner know if you would prefer to spend one day or afternoon doing something more active. It is possible to tailor these days to include horseback riding on the island or take a boat out to Los Motus where you can snorkel among the protected inlets. 

 

Day 5: Fly to Santiago

  • 1 Breakfast
Today after breakfast, your transfer will pick you up to take you to Mataveri airport for your flight back to Santiago, Chile.

Accommodations

Taha Tai Hotel

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Dates & Prices

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Included
  • 4 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Box Lunch
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • 4 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Entrance Fee: Rapa Nui National Park
  • English Speaking Guide
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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