Patagonia & Easter Island: Exploring The Uttermost Ends Of The Earth

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14 days, from £5995
Wild Frontiers
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Description

Our world holds few images more evocative than the mysterious monolithic human figures known as moai which date back over 800 years and which are found on the remote Pacific island of Rapa Nui, more commonly known as Easter Island.

This trip not only spends 4 nights on the island allowing ample time for exploration - much of it on foot - of the island's cultural and natural beauty, but it also visits the vast lands of Patagonia which is home to the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park. With its granite towers, glacial lakes, roaming herds of guanaco as well as occasional sightings of the elusive puma, this park is often voted with good reason as being the most beautiful in the Western Hemisphere.

Over the border in Argentina we'll also spend 2 nights staying on an authentic estancia and after watching the gauchos herd their cattle, we'll visit the awe-inspiring sight of the nearby Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few glaciers in this part of the world not to be receding. In addition to these natural wonders, there will also be time to take in the sights and sounds of Buenos Aires, home to the colourful houses of La Boca, tango, Eva Peron and some of the best meat on the planet.

It's an oft used cliche but this trip truly is a trip of a lifetime and showcases the very best of South America's southern giants - Argentina and Chile. Don't miss out!

Highlights:

- Enjoying the sights and sounds of Argentina's vibrant capital, Buenos Aires
- Staying on an authentic Patagonian estancia
- Gazing in awe at the Perito Moreno Glacier
- Exploring the stunning scenery of Torres del Paine National Park
- Unravelling the mysteries of the moai statues of Easter Island

Tour Includes:

- Full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides (DAYS 1 - 8 only) and thereafter local guides only
- 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches,8 dinners (typically in local restaurants where available)
- Drinking water throughout
- All transport (minibuses, domestic flights and boats)
- 13 nights' accommodation (8 in comfortable hotels, 2 on a working estancia and 3 in a National Park lodge)
- All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
- A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through WF office)
ALL OUR SMALL GROUP TOURS HAVE NO LOCAL PAYMENTS, HIDDEN EXTRAS OR COMPULSORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS.

Itinerary


 Days 1-2: Tour starts in Buenos Aires (Argentina)


 Day 1: The tour starts at lunchtime and this afternoon we'll focus in on two of the city's most iconic districts - La Boca and San Telmo - both of which have strong associations with Tango. Day 2: This morning we'll explore Palermo of La Recoleta, the famous cemetery where Eva Peron is buried as well as the Teatro Colon This evening we'll attend a tango show in one of the nearby theatres.



 Days 3-4: Buenos Aires - Calafate


 Day 3: With a morning's flight to Calafate, we'll head west towards the Andes as we make for our base in the region - an authentic and characterful working estancia (ranch). Day 4: This morning we'll visit the world famous Perito Moreno glacier, one of the world's most photographed. Later we'll return to our estancia for a further afternoon to observe and perhaps even participate in some of the daily ranch activities.



 Days 5-7: Calafate - Torres del Paine National Park (Chile)


 Day 5: Leaving Argentina this morning we'll cross the border to Chile and make for the nearby Torres del Paine park whose glacial scenery is considered to be amongst the finest in the world. Day 6: We plan this morning to make for the Salto Grande cascade, with its view of the famous Los Cuernos. In the afternoon we'll take a boat trip out to get up close and personal with Glacier Grey. Day 7: Today we plan to do a full day's trek (approx. 18kms, 7hrs) to a classic viewpoint of the imposing granite towers of Torres del Paine whose soaring peaks stretch into the sky to altitudes in excess of 2600m.



 Day 8: Torres del Paine National Park - Punta Arenas - Santiago de Chile

Reluctantly leaving the park today we'll head south via Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas from where we'll catch a flight to the Chilean capital of Santiago de Chile.


 Days 9-12: Santiago de Chile - Easter Island


 Day 9: A flight of approximately 5hrs takes us west across the Pacific to one of the remotest inhabited islands anywhere in the world. We'll take an orientation walking tour around the main town of Hanga Roa. Day 10: Over the next 3 days we'll explore the whole island, predominantly on foot, focusing in on a different region each day. Today we'll visit the Ahu Vaihu and Akahanga temples, the Rano Raraku volcanic and Anakena beach. Day 11: Today we'll visit the Ana Kai Tangata cave, the Rano Kau Volcano and the Orongo ceremonial village, once the venue of the Birdman ceremony performance, at which the next king (selected for a period of one year only) was chosen. Day 12: On our last full day on the island we'll make for its highest summit which at offers spectacular panoramic views. Later we will head to the nearby archaeological complex of Tahai for sunset.



 Days -14: Easter Island - Santiago de Chile


 Day 13: We plan a sunrise visit to Ahu Tongariki - the largest moai site of Easter Island - including the largest moai ever erected, weighing in at over 86 tonnes. The rest of the morning is free before our afternoon flight back to Santiago. Day 14: The tour ends with breakfast at the hotel but for those who wish there will be time to explore some of the city's sights this morning before those on the suggested group flights are transferred back to the airport.