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For the Annular Solar Eclipse on wednesday, October 12, 2024 it’s less about the time of day or altitude of the eclipse, and more about the fact that totality will occur over the beautiful Chilean Easter Island. Easter Island’s most dramatic claim to fame is an array of almost 900 giant stone figures that date back many centuries. The statues reveal their creators to be master craftsmen and engineers, and are distinctive among other stone sculptures found in Polynesian cultures. There has been much speculation about the exact purpose of the statues, the role they played in the ancient civilization of Easter Island and the way they may have been constructed and transported.
Morning arrival in Santiago and transfer to hotel on your own. Rest until the noon time. Next, let us introduce you to the classic city we know and love on this 6-hour tour exploring the city’s most popular sites along with some of our personal favorites. Chile´s rich cultural heritage comes to life as we visit the iconic symbols of the city, including La Plaza de Armas (the main square), La Moneda (the government palace), the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral and the spectacular Cerro Santa Lucia, where the city was founded in 1541. We’ll also visit the Orient Sector, the most modern area of the city, with its impressive high-rise buildings and classy boulevards before we offer you a choice of the activities designed to enhance your Santiago experience. Later we take a walking tour through the Mercado Central, Chile’s largest fresh seafood market where you can try some of the local cuisine on offer. On completion of the tour, you’ll be returned to your hotel and have free time to further explore the city at your leisure. A short seminar on Astronomy before dinner. Overnight in Santiago.
After breakfast we will drive up to San Cristobal Hill and surroundings. First, we’ll travel west toward the soaring Andes, past the Cerro San Cristóbal, an outpost of the mountains which towers over the city with a great white statue of the Virgin Mary crowning its summit. We will ride the cable car, located at the Pedro de Valdivia Norte entrance to reach the summit. This afternoon, we will pay a visit the National Astronomical Observatory at Cerro Calan of the Universidad de Chile and cradle of the Chilean Astronomy. An old story claims that Bernardo O’Higgins, a leader who freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence, wrote on his deathbed a letter to Chilean president Manuel Bulnes requesting that his estate be sold to fund an astronomical observatory on Santa Lucía Hill in the center of Santiago. Gilliss went to Chile after establishing the U.S. Naval Observatory, the first in the States. After finishing the Santa Lucia Hill Observatory in 1852 Gilliss went back to the U.S. but left a staff behind to manage it. He later sold the site to the Chilean government, and it was renamed the National Astronomical Observatory of Chile. In 1929 the University of Chile took over management of the National Astronomical Observatory. A few decades later, in the 1960s, when the observatory was moved about 10 miles east to Cerro Calán, the Soviet Union sent astronomers and telescopes to help establish the new location. They withdrew after the 1973 coup, when the Soviets severed all diplomatic relations with Chile. The National Astronomical Observatory contains a number of exceptional telescopes including a 47-inch Millimeter-wave Telescope (identical to one located at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and an 18-inch Cassegrain reflector from the Japanese government. Though it’s generally thought to have been completed in 1962 when the observatory moved to Cerro Calán, it’s been in operation for over 160 years. In the evening evening A special cocktail will be held at Cerro Calan while observing through Cerro Calan telescopes. Overnight in Santiago.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer from hotel to Santiago Airport to take flight to Rapa Nui. Arrival and transfer from Rapa Nui Airport to the hotel. Half day tour in the afternoon to Tahai Ceremonial Complex, one of the most interesting places on Rapa Nui due combination of archaeological remains of great historical importance with a landscape of great beauty located in front of the Pacific Ocean. The archaeological site of Tahai is one of the oldest settlements on the island whose earliest remains date back to 700 AD. It seems that these lands were occupied by the Marama clan, and perhaps the Miru clan, to raise its political and religious center. According to tradition, Tahai was the last place of residence of Ngaara, the last ariki mau or high-ranking ruler, who died and was buried here. The occupation of Tahai by the first settlers was not fortuitous. In this place they had comfortable access to the sea to go fishing and a regular supply of fresh water from underground springs. The site of Tahai is a wide area extended a little over 250 meters from north to south and about 200 meters from east to west. In this section, the terrain descends in a gentle slope from the interior until reaching the coast, where a small inlet called Hanga Moana Verovero is formed. This site is a good example of how the ancient inhabitants modified natural environment to adapt it to their needs. To achieve the final result that is now observed, they had to level and fill the land with thousands of cubic meters of earth and stone. Back to hotel and overnight.
After breakfast, departure for a half day tour to Akivi. This Archaeological Center Roihi district was the first scientifically restored in the 60s, is a ceremonial place, particularly interesting not only for its location but also for its legend known about its seven moai. Then visit Puna Pau, site located east of the town of Hanga Roa, in a small crater of red scoria. From there he got the pukao or hats that crowned the moai. On the way,we can see the path by which the carrying, finding some of these hats inconclusive. “Ancestral Curanto” for lunch, either in continental Chile and in Rapa Nui, the curanto is a traditional food which consists of cooking food using hot stones and in this specific case (Rapa Nui) banana leaves are used to keep the heat and take care of the food. This exotic dish, besides being a delicacy for the palate, is an experience that is lived with locals whith an unique atmosphere created around the fire. This dish can carry fish, meat, sweet potato, banana and sorted vegetables.
After lunch, we’ll travel toward Ahu Ahu Vinapu comprises (two temples) in ruins, one of them appreciating the extraordinary similarity in the carving of the stones with the ruins of the Inca people. Scholars have reinforced the theory that the first inhabitants of the island may have come from the Americas. The trip continues along the coast to the Rano Kau. Next to the crater, this ancient Orongo where the largest concentration of petroglyphs. There are images of the birdman Tangara Manu, the creator god Make Make and Komari, fertility symbols. From the edge of the cliff you can see the three islets Motu Iti, Motu Nui and Motu Kao Kao. Return to hotel and overnight.
After a relaxed breakfast, get ready for the journey to your selected annular eclipse-viewing site, where you’ll will enjoy a cocktail while standing in the moons shadow and observing the Annular Solar Eclipse. As the eclipse ends celebration party will be held and you will be served Chilean Champagne and Pisco drink. This evening we will have a mini cocktail party to celebrate this great annular eclipse that will be followed by dinner. Overnight in Easter Island.
Duration: 3h, 28m, 40s
Duration of annularity: 5m, 48s
Partial begins: Oct 2, 2024 at 12:23:48 pm
Full begins: Oct 2, 2024 at 2:04:23 pm
Maximum: Oct 2, 2024 at 2:07:17 pm
Full ends: Oct 2, 2024 at 2:10:11 pm
Partial ends: Oct 2, 2024 at 3:52:28 pm
Times shown in local time (EASST)
After breakfast transfer from hotel to Rapa Nui Airport. Flight from Rapa Nui to Santiago. Arrival and transfer from Santiago Airport to your hotel. Rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Overnight in Santiago.
After breakfast departure for Valparaiso. The historic city of Valparaíso is Chile’s oldest port. It is also home to the country’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies, which moved here from the capital in 1989, when Chilean democratic governance was re-established. The city’s many hills are covered with a multi-colored panorama of painted houses crowding every nook and cranny, ensuring a spectacular backdrop to your visit. During your tour, you will see the historic city center, whose fine 19th-Century architecture provides good reason for its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Then, you will travel to a view-point overlooking the city via one of Valparaíso’s signature funicular elevators, two dozen of which were built at the turn of the 20th Century to connect the upper and lower sections of the city. You will also visit the parliamentary building and Plaza Sotomayor’s memorial to the heroes of the War of the Pacific. Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch we will visit the La Sebastiana Museum. La Sebastiana is Pablo Neruda’s house in Valparaíso, now open to the public as a museum. High up on Cerro Florida, it offers a marvelous view of the sea and an interesting insight into the life and work of this eccentric poet and diplomat. Pablo Neruda bought this place in order “to live and write in peace” and furnished every corner according to his taste and preferences. He sometimes celebrated New Year’s Eve here. Pablo Neruda called La Sebastiana “a house that seems to be floating in the air but stands firmly on the ground”.
Your Annular Eclipse tour ends unless you take the following extension to San Pedro de Atacama, and as the Valparaiso tour ends you will make your own way to the Santiago airport for your return flight back home.
As you finish your daily excursion to Valparaiso on the 4th of October you will be transferred to tour hotel for an overnight in Santiago.
This morning we fly from Santiago to Calama. Transfer to San Pedro and a take a City tour in San Pedro. Set in an oasis inside the San Pedro de Atacama Desert at 2440 m.a.s.l. and 1.670 kilometers away from Santiago de Chile, San Pedro de Atacama town is a very crowded village. It is full of tourists due its proximity to the Hito Cajones/Abaroa border crossing, gateway to the biggest salt flat in the world: the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia. San Pedro de Atacama town is also close to the Paso Jama border crossing with Argentina. The town of San Pedro the Atacama is small, with no buildings over two floors, no paved roads and offers varied tourist services. The town is surrounded by mountains and feature an eternal blue sky. Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama and tonight also Satrgazing with telescopes in the desert.
This morning we will visit the ALMA Observatory. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an international partnership of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan, together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA -the largest astronomical project in existence- is a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile.
In the afternoon, we will head to Chaxa Lagune, Lunch in Socaire. We will have a tour of Salar de Atacama: A Salt Lake of huge proportions (3000 sq km/1,158 sq ml), its surface is covered by a thick layer of light-coloured salt crystals, caused by the evaporation of the lake’s water. The world’s largest lithium deposits are found here, but the salt pan is also home to several flamingo species, including the Andean, Chilean and James flamingo, who feed on the microorganisms found in the saline lagoons. These beautiful birds and other species can be observed in their natural habitat at the Salar de Atacama’s Chaxa Lagoon, which is part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Late in the afternoon we will drive to Valle de la Luna. Dinner and Astronomy Talk at Hotel followed by Star Gazing from our hotels terrace. Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama
Those who wish to experience the El Tatio Geysers have to get up early, to ensure a timely arrival at the geyser field at sunrise. The fountains located over 4300m/14,108ft, shoot up to 10m/33ft high. The sun’s first rays reflecting countless colors as they mingle with boiling jets coming from the geysers create a strong contrast with the rising steam and the surrounding summits. After the spectacular show there, you have the choice of recovering from the morning chill and warming up in natural pools created by hot springs.
The tour begins in the very early hours of the morning in San Pedro, to ensure a timely arrival at the geyser field at sunrise. The return drive to San Pedro takes place around midday. After lunch, we will continue to Moon Valley. One of the best-known destinations between Calama and San Pedro is the Valle de la Luna. This tour into the rugged beauty of the Atacama Desert begins at dusk. With the Licancabur volcano providing the backdrop, strange salt and rock formations in the middle of the valley’s barren sandy landscape really does look like a moonscape. After a tour past the bizarre natural rock and salt shapes, you will ascend a lookout point on a giant sand dune where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley and the Licancabur volcano. Then, you pass by the bizarre rock formation “Tres Marías” and end the excursion at “Coyote´s rock” (“Piedra del Coyote”). From the top of this rock, you overlook the Kari-Canyon and wide parts of the desert, you can even catch a glimpse at the Salar de Atacama. The setting sunbathes the landscape in a light that changes with every minute, providing a mesmerizing play of colors. The return drive to San Pedro is after sunset. Astronomical Observation of the Sky with telescopes. Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama.
You will be transferred to Calama Airport for a flight to Santiago to catch your flight back home.
Cancellations must be in writing by email, fax, or mail.Cancellation Penalties are as follows: