AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Magical Easter Island & Atacama

Magical Easter Island & Atacama

Magical Easter Island & Atacama Overview

This 13 day holiday combines the Chilean capital, Santiago; the mysterious Easter Island and the wondrous Atacama Desert.

Magical Easter Island + Atacama Desert


Day 1 (Wednesday) - Fly overnight from the UK to Santiago
Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

Fly overnight from the UK to Santiago. A vibrant, bustling city exploding from the foothills of the Andes, Chile’s stylish capital city is filled with traditional markets, museums, art galleries, fine restaurants and theatres. With a backdrop of the magnificent snow-capped Andes, Santiago also has one of the most spectacular natural settings of any city.

Day 2 (Thursday) - Free day in Santiago
Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

After a morning arrival in Santiago, you are met at the airport and taken to your hotel. The afternoon and evening are free for you to recover from your flight or explore Santiago at your leisure. Perhaps visit the 16th-century San Francisco Church and traditional markets of the old town, or explore the shopping malls and trendy restaurants in the bohemian Bellavista district. The city also has plenty of green parks and beauty spots; the views from atop San Cristobal hill are particularly stunning.

Day 3 (Friday) - Take the optional Vineyard and Valparaiso excursion, or enjoy a free day in Santiago
Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch included on the Vineyard & Valparaiso excursion.

Spend a second day getting to know Santiago or take the full-day optional Vineyard & Valparaiso excursion, which takes you to the fascinating city of Valparaiso, where a series of funiculars transport you to the upper levels of the city for spectacular views. Also visit an idyllic vineyard in the Casablanca Valley, which produces some of Chile’s finest wines, for lunch and a wine tour. Return to Santiago in the late afternoon.

Day 4 (Saturday) - Fly to Calama and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama.
Breakfast at the hotel.

Fly from Santiago to Calama and then transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, high in the desert at 2,400 metres above sea level. The highest and driest desert on earth, the surreally beautiful Atacama Desert is a striking combination of glistening salt basins, unique rock formations, fiery red canyons, turquoise thermal lakes, rising geysers and golden red sunsets. In the afternoon set out for your first desert excursion, a visit to the Valley of the Moon, a dramatic lunar landscape of barren hills and plains. Climb a sand dune to watch the colours of the surrounding mountains change from gold to red as the sun sets. Please note that if you stay in the Hotel Altiplanico, the excursions will be as in this itinerary below. If you stay in the Hotel Tierra Atacama, there is a menu of excursions, so you can choose which excursions you would prefer to take. Not all excursions operate every day from the Hotel Tierra Atacama.

Day 5 (Sunday) - Explore the Atacama Desert; visit the Atacama Salt Lake and the Altiplanic Lagoons.
Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included whilst visiting Socaire.

After breakfast, drive to the Atacama Salt Lake, where the salt crystals stretch out for miles and flamingos gather to nest. Then drive through the Andes to the beautiful Altiplanic Lagoons of Miscanti and Miñique, stopping on the way to appreciate the panoramic views. At 4,500 metres above sea level, the lagoons are located in a stunning landscape of mountains and volcanoes, with unique flora and fauna. Walk along the lagoon shores before continuing to the town of Socaire for lunch, where a traditional farming lifestyle still thrives.

Day 6 (Monday) - Explore the Atacama Desert; visit El Tatio geysers
Breakfast at the hotel. A packed lunch is included on the tour of El Tatio Geysers.

Begin the day with an early 4am start for a 90-minute bumpy drive to El Tatio geysers. At 4,300 metres above sea level, these are some of the highest geysers in the world, and the water and steam jets create an incredible sight in the early morning light. You have breakfast here before visiting the village of Machuca, where ancient llama caravans used to rest. You return to San Pedro in time for lunch and a relaxing afternoon.

Day 7 (Tuesday) - Travel to Calama and fly to Santiago.
Breakfast at the hotel.

Depending on your flight time, you have a final morning in San Pedro before you catch your transfer back to Calama for your flight to Santiago.

Day 8 (Wednesday) - Fly to Easter Island.
Breakfast at the hotel.

Take a five-hour flight from Santiago to Easter Island. The most isolated inhabited island on earth, Easter Island is home to the enigmatic Moai, the monolithic stone head statues mysteriously created by an ancient civilization. On arrival, you are greeted by a traditional reception with flower necklaces before transferring to your hotel. You have the rest of the day free to explore the town of Hanga Roa.

Day 9 (Thursday) - Explore Easter Island; visit the Ranu Raraku volcanic crater and Anakena sandy beach.
Breakfast at the hotel. Packed lunch included on the island tour.

The day begins with a scenic drive along the coastal road, past stoic Moai and beautiful ocean views, to Ranu Raraku, a volcanic crater which served as a quarry and supplied the stone for about 95% of the island’s Moai. Almost 400 Moai are still found in this area. Descend the volcano to the restored Ahu Tongariki, where 15 Moai, including the largest on the island, can be found. After a packed lunch, continue to Anakena, a beautiful white coral sandy beach with coconut palms, where you can swim in the Pacific. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 10 (Friday) - Explore Easter Island; visit the ceremonial centre of Orongo and the unusual site of Ahu Akivi.
Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to the Rano Kau volcano and visit the interesting ceremonial centre of Orongo. This was the centre of the birdman cult, where an annual race was held to bring back the first sooty tern egg from a nearby islet. There are also many petroglyphs here. In the afternoon, visit Ahu Akivi, an unusual site where the seven moai gaze out across the ocean rather than facing inland. Spend the evening relaxing at your hotel and enjoying your last night in one of the most unique places in the world.
Day 11 (Saturday) - Fly from Easter Island to Santiago.
Breakfast at the hotel.

Depending on your flight time, have a final chance to enjoy the island before you catch your transfer to the airport for your flight back to Santiago.

Day 12 (Sunday) - Final day in Santiago, fly overnight to the UK.
Breakfast at the hotel. Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

Depending on your flight time, perhaps spend your last day shopping for souvenirs in the marketplaces or visit one of the many museums. Transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight to the UK.

Day 13 (Monday) - Arrival in the UK.
Your flight arrives in the UK.

Date of Departure & Approximate Holiday Prices

Prices are in £ per person
July, 2021 - £3499
November, 2021- £3399
January, 2022 - £3399
February, 2022 - £3399
March, 2022 - £3399

Single Supplement - £650 

Please visit our website or contact us for more details.

Find out more about the Easter Island & Atacama Holiday