Enhance your understanding of Polynesian culture — and treat yourself to an exotic island experience in the “navel of the world” — on a post-trip extension to Easter Island, a Chilean territory and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rapa Nui, as it’s locally known, is distinguished worldwide as the one and only home of the mystifying moai statues. This extension is your opportunity to encounter these mystical talismans up close and disentangle history from legend. Who created these statues? How? Why? And what happened to them?
Fly to Santiago, Chile's historic capital
Fly to Santiago this morning. Upon arrival, a panoramic tour reveals the city’s colonial and contemporary highlights. You’ll have a chance to stroll down the famous Alameda, the city’s bustling main avenue, and explore the Plaza de Armas, surrounded by the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral, the stunning white Central Post Office, and the National History Museum — itself an historical monument. Enjoy your included dinner at a local restaurant.
Fly to mystical Easter Island
Today, you'll head to the airport for your flight to Easter Island. After checking into your hotel, embark on a tour of Hanga Roa, the island’s main town and capital. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening. Cultural Discovery: You’ll visit a family museum to learn about the Rapa Nui people from a local resident.
Touring the island’s architectural hot spots
Spend a full day touring the island’s famed moai and archaeological hotspots, starting with Ahu Vaihu, the site of an 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 — there are even 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 may go for a refreshing swim with moai in sight — Ahu Nau Nau is known as the island's most intricately carved statues. Lunch will be provided during the tour.
The epic sights of Orongo and Ahu Vinapu
You’ll head south of Hanga Roa for this morning’s tour. Straddled between the Rano Kau crater and cliffs above the Pacific is Orongo, the ruins of a sod-and-stone house settlement. Who knows what mysteries you’ll solve at your next stop, the archaeological site at Ahu Vinapu? Following leisure time for lunch, reconvene for an afternoon touring Ahu Akivi, the seven scout moai of Rapa Nui legend. Stop in Puna Pau on the way back to examine the red scoria rock used to make topknots for some of the moai. Tonight, weather permitting, you'll enjoy rustic picnic dinner at Tahai overlooking the endless 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 furthest location from any other post office on the planet, where you can 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.
Fly overnight to the U.S.
Enjoy your last morning in Santiago at leisure after breakfast at the hotel. This afternoon, we’ll check out of our hotel and transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to the U.S.
Before your Antarctica exploration, why not cross another incredible natural wonder off your bucket list, and add another country (Brazil) to your passport? Travel to spectacular Iguassu Falls National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of 275 thundering falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Second in size only to Victoria Falls, this series of cataracts once prompted Eleanor Roosevelt to take pity on her country’s most famous falls, saying “Poor Niagara!” as she gazed upon mighty Iguassu. The falls are all impressive, but the most spectacular is the Devil’s Throat, the 2,300-foot-long spectacle that separates Argentina and Brazil.
Your Price Includes:
Fly to Iguassu, Brazil
You’ll board an overnight flight to Iguassu, Brazil, arriving on Day 2.
Arrival in Iguassu and afternoon exploration
Welcome to Brazil! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, upon arrival a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your centrally located hotel. Settle in, relax and perhaps explore the stunning grounds, then join your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel.
Behold the Devil’s Throat and take a thrilling Macuco Safari boat ride
Begin your explorations today on the Brazilian side of the falls, taking in spectacular panoramic views. Start with a walking tour with magnificent views of Devil's Throat, where torrents crash into a narrow canyon from three sides. You'll have free time to enjoy lunch on your own before your next wet and wild adventure: a Macuco Safari Boat Ride.
First, a 4x4 vehicle will bring you through the dense rainforest where you’ll view flowers, birds, and butterflies. As you pass through the undergrowth, your jungle guides will point out orchids, palm trees, bromeliads, and centenarian trees. Then, board special speedboats bound for Iguassu’s gorge, where falls thunder in from three sides and where you can snap some amazing photos. Then, get ready to get wet! Your experienced river pilots, who know these waters extensively, will give you a thrilling ride through some of the rapids, guiding you right up next to the splashing cascades. (Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, casual clothes, and prepare to get soaked! If you prefer not to get wet, a dry option is also available.)
Tonight’s dinner will be a treat: a delicious meal with a lively Samba Show.
Explore the Argentinian side of the falls with lunch
After breakfast, experience the Argentinean side of the falls from the Upper Trail, where we’ll enjoy an eye-popping vantage point as we literally walk across the water! After lunch in the park on our own, enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Join the base tour in Buenos Aires
Later this morning, you’ll transfer to the airport and fly to Buenos Aires to join the base tour.