James ArmitageJames has travelled down the length and breadth of this extraordinary country, but has found that his heart lies in the quiet and remote Carretera Austral, a stunningly wild and beautiful frontier part of the nation.
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The island is rightly a UNESCO World Heritage site that is dotted with hundreds of bizarre moai statues, some of which are set on plinths, whilst others lay abandoned on the hillsides. Punctuated by a dormant volcano at each tip, Easter Island is a fascinating, yet mysterious destination whose history is often subject to wild speculation and curious folkloric legends.
Today Easter Island is widely regarded as one of the most significant outdoor museums in the world with over 600 mysterious stone moai figures guarding the coastline. Take the opportunity to hike, horse ride or join a tour to the highlights of the island such as Rano Raraku quary, Orongo ceremonial site and Ahu Tongariki. On another note, why not relax on one of the palm fringed beaches given that the island is a Polynesian paradise!
Lesser known, the tranquil Juan Fernandez archipelago encompasses Robinson Crusoe Island, a veritable lost paradise which owes its name to the story of the shipwreck of Alexander Selkirk, immortalised in the famous novel by Daniel Defoe – just one of the countless unique settings that Chile has to offer.
Explore the length of this filament of a country, full of vast and varied landscapes, from the lunar-like Atacama Desert in the north to the finger-like granite peaks of the Torres del Paine National Park in the south, with time spent amongst the snow-capped volcanoes and hot springs of the Chilean Lake District.
Follow in the footsteps (or flippers!) of famed French explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau while diving past a submerged Moai statue, coral and endemic fish.
Rise early and hike to a vantage point to watch the sunrise make dramatic silhouettes out of the extraordinary Moai.
Contemplate the Eastern Polynesian carved stone Moai statues, the mysterious monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people.
Hire a two-wheeler and pedal around the island with total freedom, stopping to admire its famous stone statues and volcanic landscapes.
Below is some of the wonderful accommodation to include on your journey.
A family-run hotel centrally located in the town of Hanga Roa on Easter Island, Gomero Hotel is a quaint property with air-conditioned rooms and a swimming pool. Surrounded by tropical gardens, and featuring a friendly bar and restaurant, the property is just 15 minutes away from the coast and within easy access to the sights of the island.
Perched on a hill in the Te Miro One region of the enchanting Easter Island, Explora Rapa Nui is nestled within 25 acres of private land and boasts privileged views towards the infinite blue Pacific Ocean. Its 30 restful rooms, each humbly decorated with pops of colour and luxurious touches like jetted bathtubs, feature spectacular views and are designed to take full advantage of the stillness and spaciousness of the surrounding landscape. It offers a collection of cosy living areas, a spa and an outdoor swimming pool,and the restaurant follows the gentle curve of the architecture and absorbs panoramic views of the landscape, serving light dishes accompanied by superb Chilean wine.
Bordered by native banana and pineapple trees and boasting far-reaching Pacific Ocean views, Altiplanico Rapa Nui is a traditional boathouse-style property nestled within four acres of private land and gardens. In addition to the painted motifs that grace the outside of the property and typify authentic Easter Island aesthetics, guests have access to a series of small archaeological sites that were discovered during its construction and a circular swimming pool with views to the horizon. Connected by a network of garden trails, the 17 bright and spacious gable-roofed bungalows boast alfresco showers and private terraces that are encompassed by shrubs and flower patches to emphasise the feeling of seclusion.
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
James put together what proved to be a fabulous itinerary in Chile. We were slightly concerned that with 11 flights in 3 weeks we might be overdoing it, but the experiences in each location more than justified the travel, and James's first-hand experience proved invaluable.
Paul created an itinerary that perfectly suited our interests, and we were particularly impressed with the properties that he selected for us. Thank you for recommending we visit the Atacama Desert, which we hadn’t even thought of visiting, but which turned out to be the highlight.
Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.
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