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Chile and Easter Island - February 2007

This travelogue describes my trip to Chile, including Easter Island in February 2007.

Usually people ask me why I wanted to go to a particular place. In the case of Easter Island, it was pretty obvious. My friends and colleagues weren't surprised that I wanted to see the famous giant stone heads. They were, however, surprised that: 1) it was actually possible to do so and 2) that Easter Island is part of Chile. I also explained the timing of the trip to coincide with part of the Tapati festival - an annual celebration of Rapa Nui cuilture. (Rapa Nui is the local Polynesian name for what we call Easter Island and Chileans call Isla de Pascua. I will use the names interchangeably here, depending on the context.)

As for the rest of the trip, I didn't really do enough research before getting my tickets to Santiago, thanks to American Airlines frequent flyer miles, and buying tickets to Easter Island on Lan Chile. I hadn't realized quite how much there is to see on the Chilean mainland and hadn't left nearly enough time. Realizing that I had time for just a few days in one direction, I was forced to choose either north (the Atacama desert) or south (Chiloe, a large island in the Lake District). The former offered desert scenery and archaeological sites, while the latter has penguins. My decision was really driven mostly by the time constraints. I felt that I could see Chiloe with just a few days, while would need more time in the north. With that resolved, I bought my Lan Chile tickets to Puerto Montt.

This worked out quite well, overall. For details, read on.

Introduction, Santiago and a Day on the Coast

Rapa Nui: Moai or Less

Chiloe: Penguins and Wooden Churches

Back to Santiago, the Trip Home and Concluding Remarks

Copyright 2007 Miriam H. Nadel

last updated 23 February 2007
Send comments to mhnadel@alum.mit.edu