Easter Island Overview
Why Easter Island: This is one of the most unique places on earth, due to its isolation and the spectacular archaeological remains of a mysterious lost civilisation.
Culture: Easter Island is best known for its gigantic stone monoliths, known as moai, that dot the coastline. In addition to the statues, the islanders possessed the Rongorongo script, the only written language in Oceania. Easter Island is also home to many petroglyphs (rock carvings), as well as traditional wood carvings, tapa (barkcloth) crafts, tattooing, string figures, dance and music.
When to Go: A mild year-round climate provides ideal conditions for exploring the island on foot or by bicycle. Expect more rainfall from Apr – May. The island is best visited as a stopover between Chile and Australia.
Combine With: The Chilean mainland, which offers diverse cultures and a wealth of varied landscapes, from the surreal salt flats and lakes of the altiplano (high plains) and the Atacama Desert to the glacial lakes and snow-capped mountains of Patagonia.
Getting There: Fly from Santiago, Chile to Hanga Roa on Easter Island.
Why Chile: When it comes to awesome scenery and untouched wilderness, Chile is hard to beat. From dry deserts to lush forests, gentle lakes and glimmering icefields, this country has it all.
Culture: Chile’s rich, diverse culture is influenced as much by its indigenous and European peoples, as the varied landscape. Art, literature, folk music, dance and festivals are all central to Chilean society.
When to Go: Chile’s climate varies with latitude. The Atacama is dry and sunny, hot in summer and cold at night in winter. Central Chile has a pleasing Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and wet, mild winters. Southern Patagonia receives plenty or rain, with cool, windy summers and cold winters.
Combine With: Neighbouring Argentina, particularly when visiting the Patagonia region. Chile also combines well with Peru, where you can visit Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu or experience the Amazon rainforest at a secluded eco-lodge.
Getting There: Qantas and LAN fly from Australia via New Zealand to Santiago.