16342
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Easter Island: The Majesty and Mystery of Rapa Nui
Alongside an archaeologist, dig into one of the world’s most enduring mysteries as you explore Easter Island and its ancient moai. Plus, share a traditional meal with a local family!
Program No. 16342RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
4,498
Flights start at
875
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10 days
9 nights
20 meals
7 B 6 L 7 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight

Evening: Depart on overnight flights from the U.S.

DAY
2
Arrival in Historic Santiago
Santiago
L,D
Hotel Plaza San Francisco

Morning: Arrivals. Rooms are guaranteed for early check-in.

Lunch: At the hotel

Afternoon: Explore historic Santiago and surrounding neighborhoods on a guided visit with stops at the city's historic center, Plaza de Armas, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Pre-Columbian Art Museum and the Presidential Palace. Continue to Saint Christopher Hill, with its iconic, 46-feet-high statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception for great views of Santiago (weather and smog permitting). Drive through the neighborhoods of Providencia, Las Condes, and Vitacura, then stop at Pueblito Los Dominicos, a charming local handicraft market (time permitting).

Dinner: Late dinner (Chilean-style timing) at the hotel

DAY
3
Fly to Easter Island
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
B,L,D
Hotel Otai

Activity note: Non stop flight from Santiago to Rapa Nui (approximately 5 hours) Local time time in Easter Island is two hours behind mainland Chile

Breakfast: Aboard plane

Morning: Check out of hotel; depart for Arturo Benitez Airport. Lan Chile flight departs Santiago on morning flight for Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Food typically served on flight. late morning: Arrive Easter Island, transfer to hotel and check in

Lunch: Hotel Otai

Afternoon: Free afternoon to rest and relax after flight

Dinner: Welcome Dinner- Hotel Otai

DAY
4
An Introduction to Rapa Nui, Rapa Nui Dance
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
B,L,D
Hotel Otai

Activity note: Walking and standing during study trip to Ahu Tahai, uneven terrain. Hat, sun screen and/or umbrella suggested.

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast - Hotel Otai

Morning: Begin with a welcome and overview class of Rapa Nui. Discover the Padre Sebastian Englert Archaeological Museum on a guided visit of museum and its artifacts, including the only intact white coral moai eye, as well as displays of local geology, flora and fauna; maps; illustrations of house types; and many other elements of Rapa Nui culture. Padre Sebastian Englert was a missionary priest who lived on the island nearly 35 years and studied the people, the culture and the carvings. White numbers are still visible on some of the moai and pukao that are part of the system he developed while inventorying the islands artifacts. The new museum and associated facilities were built with a grant in aid from Japan.

Lunch: Hotel Otai

Afternoon: Head to Tahai for an introduction to the famous monoliths of Rapa Nui: Ahu Vai Ure topped by five moai; Ahu Tahai (A.D. 680); and Ahu Ko te Riku (A.D. 12th century, a 15½-feet-high, 20-ton moai that is topped by a pukao (red scoria top knot). At Hanga Kio`e, a small bay just past town, view two more ahu restored by Dr. William Mulloy, part of a larger site that includes Ahu Akapu with its solitary moai and Dr. Mulloy's gravesite.

Dinner: At a local Rapa Nui restaurant

Evening: Cultural Event: Rapa Nui folkloric traditional dance, featuring island dancers accompanied by musicians playing traditional instruments.

DAY
5
Ahu Vaihu, Tongariki and Rano Raraku
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
B,L,D
Hotel Otai

Activity note: Walking up and down the quarry of the moai. Tracks and stairs while climbing. Climbing shoes, no flat soles, are recommended. Walking sticks in case you need extra support

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast- Hotel Otai

Morning: Choose to explore Hanga Roa village either on a guided visit or independently. Then set off to the archaeological site of Ahu Vaihu. Constructed of finely crafted stones, Ahu Vaihu is located at the small bay of Hanga Te`e. The ahu has 11 toppled moai whose pukao (top knots) are lying where they fell, and a circle of rocks on the ground, used for paina ceremonies to honor the dead. Continue down the South Coast along the wind- and wave-carved shoreline, past many collapsed ahu, toppled moai and fallen stone fences to Rano Raraku.

Lunch: Picnic lunch in the National Park Picnic Area.

Afternoon: Climb the mountainside path to view the quarry from where the massive moai were carved out of the hard basalt. Moai, in all stages of production, cover its southern flank. Continue to Tongariki, the largest ahu (temple platform) on the island. Demolished in 1960 by the tremendous force of a tsunami, Tongariki has recently been restored by Chilean archaeologist Claudio Cristino and Sergio Rapu with the help of Japanese archaeologists and the Rapa Nui people, so it once again supports its 15 moai.

Dinner: Hotel Otai

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Ahu Vinapu, Anakena, Ahu Nau Nau and Poike Ditch
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
B,L,D
Hotel Otai

Activity note: Optional swimming at Anakena beach during lunch break. Study field trip demands some walking and standing to appreciate stone structures. hat, sun screen and/or umbrella suggested.

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast-Hotel Otai

Morning: Class: The People of Old - Rapa Nui Ancient Culture. Later in the morning, set off for an exploration of archaeological sites, beginning at Ahu Vinapu, whose construction has raised many questions due to its similarity to the pre-Columbian structures found in Cuzco, Peru.

Lunch: Tunu Ahi Barbeque Lunch at Anakena Beach.

Afternoon: Discover Anakena, a beautiful, sheltered, white sand beach surrounded by swaying palm trees. This beach, the largest in Rapa Nui, is where Hotu Matu`a is said to have beached his canoe and lived in one of several caves while waiting for his boat-shaped house to be completed. Take a swim or stroll the beach before going up the hill to Ahu Nau Nau, a complex archaeological site where, in 1978, Study Leader Sergio Rapu, in reconstructing the ahu, first recognized that the coral fragments unearthed in the sand were the inlaid coral eyes of the moai. With this discovery and the subsequent investigation of other moai came the realization that all Rapa Nui's moai, once they were placed on the ahu, were given eyes. Barbecue lunch at Anakena then depart for Poike Ditch where according to legend the Long Ears and Short Ears had their famed battle.

Dinner: At a local Rapa Nui restaurant

DAY
7
Parque Nacional Rapa Nui, Rano Kao Crater, Orongo Village
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
B,L,D
Hotel Otai

Activity note: Excursion to Ana Kai Tangata cave requires climbing even and uneven stone steps to reach and exit cave. Field trip to Orongo demands some walking on even and uneven terrain, also climbing few steps and standing during explanations. Light wind breaker recommended.

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast-Hotel Otai

Morning: Choose to relax or attend Sunday mass at the historic Rapa Nui Roman Catholic church, where the choral hymns are sung in the Rapa Nui language. The hand-carved wooden statues and designs used on the vestments are wonderful examples of the use of culturally related symbolism in liturgical art.

Lunch: Hotel Otai

Afternoon: Drive to Parque Nacional Rapa Nui, where you visit two of the truly great sights of Rapa Nui -- Rano Kao crater, a fresh-water lake, and Orongo Ceremonial Village where, until 1853, the infamous Birdman Festival was held in the spring of each year. Located on the southwestern point of the triangle, the park provides spectacular views of the whole island. Then, head to Ana Kai Tangata, which can be translated as place-men-eat, which could mean a place where men took shelter for meals. The cave is known for its ancient paintings of sooty terns flying across the roof.

Dinner: Home Hosted Dinner

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
B,D
Hotel Otai

Activity note: Walking and standing during optional study trip to lava tubes, uneven terrain. Hat, sun screen and/or umbrella suggested

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast- Hotel Otai

Morning: Class: Wrap up session

Lunch: Lunch is on your own to explore local eateries

Afternoon: The afternoon is free to explore independently or visit Rapa Nui’s the top knot quarry with your study leader.

Dinner: Cultural Event: Rapa Nui Umikai (Farewell Dinner) at Hotel Otai

DAY
9
Flight to Santiago, Connections to US
In Flight
B

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast- Hotel Otai

Morning: Free time - Prepare for Departure Transfer to airport – Check in for flight to Santiago, Chile.

Afternoon: Fly to Santiago, Chile- Meal served on board.

Evening: Arrive Santiago, Chile airport. Independent connections to final destinations. Overnight flight to US.

DAY
10
Arrive US
In Flight

Morning: Early morning arrival in US (location depends on individual's gateway airport). We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!