Easter Island Culture & Ecology

Easter Island, Chile, South America | May 26 - June 1, 2024

We have returned from a wonderful trip to Easter Island.  We were a small group but we managed to collect over 20 kilos of microplastic from the beach at Anakena in less than 2 hours!  It is always a joy to meet new friends and make new memories..

Our group tour to Easter Island is carefully crafted to bring the fascinating history of this tiny South Pacific island to life. This tour includes 2 days in Santiago and 5 days of in-depth exploration of the many sites of interest on the island led by local guides who are knowledgeable regarding the archaeology and history of the island. Considered by many to be the “canary in the coal mine”, Easter Island is on the front line of the effort to recover from and clean up our unintended pollution. Our 5th day on Easter Island will take the group on an insightful exploration of the impact of the global overuse of plastic on this small island including an organized 1/2 day spent cleaning up plastic washed ashore from the South Pacific gyre on one of the island’s beaches for a first hand look at this global issue.

Trip Details and Highlights

  • 2 nights in Santiago, Chile  (1 inbound, 1 outbound)
  • 4 nights on Easter Island
  • 1 round trip (5 hour each way) domestic flight, Santiago – Easter Island – Santiago
  • Hotel on Easter Island in a centrally located location within easy walking distance of everything in the city
  • Professional, bilingual guides and Sirius Travel Scientist guides to help with specific science questions
  • Complete guided explanations of all visited sites
  • Educational materials regarding the island’s unique ecological situation
  • Lectures/talks during the trip
  • Carefully crafted cultural tour
  • A deep dive into the effect of the South Pacific Garbage Patch (or gyre) on the island with 1/2 day beach cleanup coordinated by the local non-profit ocean protection organization Te Mau o te Vaikava o Rapa Nui 
  • Meals as listed in itinerary
  • Airport transfers

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

May 26, 2024

Arrive Santiago (D)

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Welcome to Chile! Upon arrival at Santiago Airport (SCL) we will take you to check in at Hotel Atton el Bosque in the heart of the Las Condes area of Santiago.

In the afternoon your bilingual guide will lead you on a bus tour of Santiago’s most important historical sites including the downtown area surrounding the La Moneda Presidential Palace. You will also see the Mercado Central, one of Chile’s largest fresh seafood markets, and the many bustling stalls showcasing the tremendous variety available from the sea nearby. Continuing through the cobblestoned Lastarria neighborhood, you will pass by the Parque Forestal and the Bellas Artes Museum.

Accommodation: Santiago, Pullman Santiago el Bosque

Meals: Dinner

Day 2

May 27, 2024

Santiago - Easter Island (B, L)

Sunrise Over The Moai

Transfer from your hotel in Santiago to the airport and transfer from Mataveri Airport to your hotel on Easter Island. You will be picked up from Mataveri Airport and transferred to your hotel to leave your luggage there. (Regular check-in time at 16:00pm).
Transfer to local restaurant for lunch.

Half Day Ahu Akivi Ahu Akivi is special because it is the only platform whose Moai look to the ocean. Here you will learn of the possible explanations for this unique orientation as well as see the very first restored Ahu on the island. Ahu Akivi was restored in 1960 by Dr. Mulloy and his colleague Gonzalo Figueroa. It is the only platform on the island which was restored without the use of any machinery but instead using what is believed to be the traditional way of raising the Moai.

* Rapa Nui Entrance Fee is included

Accommodation: Hotel Otai or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

May 28, 2024

Full day tour, Easter Island (B, L)

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Full Day – Our first stop today could very well be one of the most amazing sites in the world. The volcano of Rano Raraku, also known as the statue factory, is the site from which 95% of all of the statues on the island were carved. Some were completely finished and left waiting on the slopes of the volcano for their transportation, while others are in various stages of completion still connected to the mother rock of the volcano. You will have the opportunity to hike to the top of the volcano and see the beautiful crater with its fresh water lake.

Next, we will visit the Ahu Tongariki, which is recognized as the largest monolithic monument in all of Eastern Polynesia. This amazing platform holds 15 of some of the largest statues on the island. With the surrounding sea cliffs and beautiful ocean background Tongariki is truly one of the most incredible sites on the island. Our last stop of the day is at Anakena, the larger of only two white sand beaches found on the island. It is also the legendary landing spot of the first king, Hotu Matua, and noted to be the center of the royal clan territory called the Miru.

Accommodation: Hotel Otai or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

May 29, 2024

Half day tour and cultural performance (B, L, D)

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Half Day Orongo Today you will visit two sites that are very important to the Rapa Nui culture: Rano Kau and Orongo. Rano Kau is one of the three principal volcanoes that created the island. It is approximately 2.5 million years old and has the largest caldera of any volcano on the island measuring at approximately 1.6 kilometers in diameter. Inside this beautiful volcano you will see one of three crater lakes on the island. This lake is covered with a type of bulrush reed which is also found in Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. Afterward you will visit the ceremonial village of Orongo, one of the most visually spectacular sites on the island. On one side of the village you see the beautiful caldera of Rano Kau and on the other you see the ocean and the mysterious islets of Motu Nui, Motu Iti, Motu Kao Kao. These islets, in addition to the village of Orongo, held the amazing ancient Tangata Manu or Birdman Ceremonies.

Lunch at local restaurant and free time to shop before meeting for dinner.

In the evening, transfer to dinner show Te Ra ́Ai.

Accommodation: Hotel Otai or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

May 30, 2024

Half day tour and beach clean up (B, L)

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Plastic Tongariki

Beaches act as natural nets for the trash populating the oceans gyres. Plastic that reaches the sea is transported by currents into the gyres and some of it ends up in the sand on islands that lie close to the gyres.  Easter Island’s beaches are no exception and they are covered with both micro and macro plastics. We at Sirius Travel  have the following goal: to raise awareness that leads to change. We feel that with education and personal experience, our travelers can take what they see and learn on Easter Island back home to help those unable to see the issue first-hand understand its extremity.

After breakfast we will meet with members of Te Mau O Te Vaikava, a non profit organization based on Easter Island that is working hard to establish and maintain a protected marine area around Rapa Nui (Easter Island) that will prevent aggressive industrial fishing and preserve the wildlife resources in the area.  This group is also actively providing education about and clean up of the plastic that is inundating the island and threatening the wildlife.  In coordination with Te Mau O Te Vaikava (and if your group wants to include this), we will participate in a beach cleanup for part of the afternoon as a way to understand first hand what the islanders are coping with.  All profit from this day will be donated directly to Te Mau O Te Vaikava on behalf of our travelers.

Lunch at local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel Otai or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

May 31, 2024

Easter Island - Santiago (B)

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Transfer Hotel – Mataveri Airport You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Mataveri Airport for your 5 hour flight back to Santiago. In Santiago we will transfer directly to the hotel to check in.


Accommodation: Santiago, Pullman Santiago el Bosque

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7

June 1, 2024

1/2 Day Tour Santiago (B)

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1/2 day walking tour of the markets. After lunch you will head to the Santiago airport (SCL) in time for your return flight back home.


  • Scientist guides
  • Professional, bi-lingual guides
  • Domestic flight from Santiago – Easter Island – Santiago
  • All ground transportation
  • All overnight accomodations
  • Airport transfers in Santiago and Easter Island
  • Lodging
  • Meals (as described in itinerary)
  • Planned lectures and general science discussions throughout the tour.
  • Local tours as described in the itineraries
  • Park entrance fees
  • Private transportation in a comfortable vehicle.
  • Activities as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Water provided on day tours.

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Alchoholic beverages (unless specifically included)
  • Tips for drivers and guides (recommendations will be sent before the tour begins)
  • Meals not specified in the itineraries
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips in restaurants.
  • Activities and meals not mentioned in the program.

Other Information

Trip cancellation, health, and accident insurance is required and can save you money if you are forced to cancel or alter your trip. We recommend TravelGuard trip insurance (www.travelguard.com) and we recommend that all travelers purchase their insurance within 7 days of their initial reservation to take advantage of any pre-existing condition clause.

Depending on your country of origin, visas may be required to enter Chile. U.S. citizens entering Chile must have a passport in good condition, valid for the period of your stay. U.S. citizens traveling to Chile for recreation, tourism, business, or academic conferences do not need to obtain a visa prior to their arrival in Chile if traveling with a tourist passport. Passports are required to be valid for the duration of stay and must have at least one blank page left (amendment pages do not count). Chile has very strict entry/exit requirements for minors (under the age of 18 years old), especially minors traveling with only one parent – please review the requirements before choosing to travel with a minor.  Visa and passport fees are not included in the price of this trip. We recommend checking your passport expiration immediately and make plans to renew before February, 2021 if necessary.  We always recommend reviewing the visa and passport requirements for travel to Chile for your country of origin.  (US citizens may find their information here: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/chile.html)

No vaccinations are required for travel to Chile for US citizens at this time (please note, COVID-19 vaccines may be required for entry to Chile by the time we travel).  Precautions should always be taken seriously and pre-trip education on what to eat or to avoid should be planned. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC website.

It is every traveler’s responsibility to consider all appropriate medical advice regarding whether or not they are fit to take this trip prior to booking their reservation. We recommend that all interested travelers check with their healthcare provider before signing on.

Children 11 and older are welcome on this tour but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they are under 18. There is no child pricing for this tour.  Please note that Chile has very strict entry/exit requirements for minors (under the age of 18 years old), especially minors traveling with only one parent.  Please review the requirements before choosing to travel with a minor.  (US citizens may find their information here: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/chile.html)

If you are traveling alone, you may save quite a bit of money by opting to share a room. We will match solo travelers of the same gender so that they can share a double occupancy room with two beds. We will do our best to match travelers but if we cannot find a match for you then you will be required to pay the single occupancy price.