Sometimes I feel there are but a few moments, a few exact moments, that really shape our fate in life. They’re those moments that, when we talk about them, we end by saying things like “And from there I never turned back.” Sure other things fall in place and contribute, but ultimately it’s that one moment, or small collection of moments, where a course of events or direction became not a matter of choice or chance, but something destined to happen.
For me one of those moments was arriving as a scruffy and relatively directionless 17-year-old to the top of Easter Island’s – or Rapa Nui as it’s known to locals – Rano Kau Volcano. Having had my mind blown by views of the crater lake at the volcano’s center and the endless blue ocean and walking the rim to the ruins of the ceremonial village of Orongo, I sat pondering the enormity of things, the beauty of the adventure I was on, and the perfection of that moment. And from there I never turned back. From there it seems to me it was simply a matter of fate and time that not only would travel and adventure become both my most beloved hobbies as well as my profession, but would also provide almost an overarching compass or value structure from which I would live my life. To put it lightly, Easter Island bit me with the travel bug, bit me bad, and I’m forever grateful.
With this in mind I’ve chosen this amazing and luxurious trip to Chile combining Easter Island travel and a flexible lodge-based adventure in Patagonia as my staff pick. There are few combinations as audacious, jaw-dropping, and unique as this. Travel to Easter Island is more than just seeing the Moai (or as many people refer to them, ‘the Easter Island heads’) and learning of their mystery. Along with cultural and archeological intrigue, it’s examining cave petroglyphs, enjoying light hikes around the volcano rims, snorkeling some of the world’s clearest waters, and discovering deserted beaches. It’s a long flight out and there’s much more to see and do than most people imagine, so I recommend at least a 4-day itinerary on Easter Island. By far the best accommodations and hotel on Easter Island is Explora Rapa Nui, followed by Hare Noi.
By combining stays with their Patagonia property, you receive discounts at the Explora properties. Not only can Knowmad get you discounted Explora stays, but we’ll perfectly seam together the complex travel involved in pairing these destinations. This trip also helps you feel the heartbeat of Chile with visits to the coastal city of Valparaiso and takes you to Chile’s lesser-known wine country.
A luxurious and unique combination of two of the Earths’ most far flung and different destinations – I can’t think of a better trip for me to find out what my next ‘aha moment’ is going to be.
Luxury Chile Tour: 12 Days in Chile – Patagonia, Easter Island + Wine Country
Trip Summary + Highlights
This dream trip pairs two of the most distinct, remote, and utterly beautiful landscapes the world over with Chile’s most fascinating city as well as off-the-beaten path wine country visits in one trip. And you’ll stay in two of the continents leading lodges while enjoying Explora’s experience-focused luxury lodges.
- Combine two of the world’s most beautiful, remote and strikingly opposite landscapes in one trip
- Stay at two of South America’s leading luxury adventure lodges at unbeatable prices and receive a 10% discount at Explora
- Unparalleled flexibility to choose from a vast array of excursions with a range of physical exertion
- Evenings back at Explora – consistently ranked as one of the top two lodges in South America and top ten world wide – with gourmet food and wine
- Meander the bohemian, colonial port city of Valparaiso discovering one of South America’s most vibrant arts and culinary scenes while feeling the heartbeat of Chile
- Enjoy private winery tours and special barrel tastings at hidden gem wineries in the Casablanca Valley
Luxury Chile Tour
DAY 1 • SANTIAGO
Upon arrival you’ll be taken into the capital to enjoy a half-day guided exploration of the city and to rest up.
DAYS 2-6 • SANTIAGO – PATAGONIA, EXPLORA SALTO CHICO LODGE
Flying in the morning you’ll arrive in Patagonia and embark on a scenic overland transfer into Torres del Paine National Park, crown jewel of Patagonia. After settling into Explora Salto Chico Lodge with its unrivaled location and views, you will discuss with your guide Explora’s wide range of excursions in Patagonia and chart out your time in this remote and beautiful land at the bottom of the Earth. From this wide range of excursions you can choose more casual driving safaris to demanding full-day hikes near glaciers, glacier boat expeditions to private catamarans on turquoise lakes, canters through vast grasslands with gauchos or more introductory horseback rides in striking scenery. Click to see Explora’s complete list of excursions.
At Explora Salto Chico the focus is adventure and an expedition tailored to your interests, while returning to a centrally located lodge of understated elegance.
Explora may be substituted in this program for a custom, private adventure in Torres del Paine, or any of our other recommended lodges in the park such as Awasi Patagonia, Tierra Patagonia, EcoCamp Patagonia, Patagonia Camp, etc.
DAY 6 • PATAGONIA – SANTIAGO
Depart the rugged beauty of Patagonia, flying back north to Santiago where you will spend the evening and relax prior to beginning the next leg of your trip.
DAYS 7-10 • SANTIAGO – EASTER ISLAND, EXPLORA RAPA NUI (EASTER ISLAND)
Today you fly four hours into the Pacific to Easter Island, the world’s most isolated inhabited island. While staying at Explora you’ll meander through the picturesque countryside dotted with volcanoes, learn about the mysterious Moai statues erected by the original Polynesian tribes who inhabited the island, relax on deserted, white sand beaches, explore volcanic caves with petroglyphs, and walk the rim of a seaside volcano. Upon arrival, chart out your explorations of the island with a top guide ensuring a perfect Easter Island trip. If you have time, we recommend considering 4 nights rather than 3.
DAY 10 • EASTER ISLAND – SANTIAGO – VALPARAISO
Departing Easter Island in the afternoon you’ll arrive in Santiago where you’ll be met and taken an hour and a half to charming accommodations in Valparaiso.
DAY 11 • VALPARAISO
Walk cobblestone streets while discovering the eclectic charm of Valparaiso, the ‘San Francisco of Chile,’ which was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage city for its historic architecture. Visit an enigmatic cemetery with elaborate, above-ground tombs from colonial times, and finish the day with a boat tour of the bay.
DAY 12 • CASABLANCA VALLEY WINE COUNTRY – ONWARD
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Valparaiso before being picked up and taken into nearby wine country for tours and tastings at both a boutique winery and an award-winning international exporter. Enjoy an elaborate wine country lunch while taking in this unique slice of Central Chilean culture. Following your day you’ll be taken to the airport for your onward overnight flight home, as this will conclude your Chile tour. *Biking in wine country is also an option
IS IT FOR ME?
Utilizing Explora lodge’s flexible inclusive adventure concept coupled with private explorations of Chile’s most fascinating city as well as wine country, this adventure is for anyone looking to discover Chile’s extremes and two of the most striking juxtapositions of landscapes possible in the world while maintaining a very high level of accommodations and guided explorations throughout.
Inquire with a Knowmad Trip Specialist at 612-315-2894 or [email protected] for the most up-to-date pricing information.
Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime to Chile? We’re happy to plan your custom trip to Easter Island, Patagonia and wine country or, if this particular trip doesn’t strike your fancy, give us a call us at 612-315-2894 to start planning your perfect adventure.
Big Views, Jordan
Jordan is a Co-Founder of Knowmad Adventures, a world-leader in high-quality custom trips and itineraries in Patagonia. He has won Travel & Leisure’s prestigious A-List Top Travel Specialist for Patagonia, Chile, Argentina and Peru four consecutive years. In addition to helping you put together a flawless custom Chile and Argentina trip, Knowmad Adventures guarantees best pricing at any of the Patagonia lodges. Give him a call at 877-616-TRIP or email [email protected].
“Travel brings me incredible experiences and challenges, highlighting the world’s natural beauty while connecting me with inspiring people. I am convinced that travel makes us better people, and better people make a better planet.” Read Jordan’s biography and more about the Knowmad team.