Viator’s team of travel insiders is obsessed with finding the best things to do everywhere we travel. From traditional tours to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, everywhere from Australia to Zimbabwe, we spend our time scouring the globe for the best tours and activities around the world. Whether traveling for work or pleasure (or both!) our staff members […]
Days on Easter Island often start early, with bus tours to the sun-streaked sunrise at Tongariki or breakfast at your hotel, as birds twitter among local plants like bright red and pink wild ginger. But if you find yourself with spare time, there are several points of interest within walking distance of Hanga Roa, the main town on Easter Island. Here you can find legends, history and archaeology.
If you’re planning a trip to Santiago, you likely know that you can easily get to some of the country’s best-known wineries from the capital city of Chile. The city is well-located for access to the Maipo, Colchagua, Casablanca and Aconcagua valleys, and often serves as a base for wine lovers who like to spend their days in the vineyards and their nights in the big city. But one of those valleys, Casablanca, lays right along the fertile fringes of national Route 68, the road that connects Santiago with coastal Valparaíso and Viña del Mar — which makes those two cities great jumping-off points for visiting wineries as well, as they’re essentially equidistant from Santiago and the coast.
Eyes of the moais were made of a different kind of stone, as were the topknots, which some people mistakenly refer to as “hats.” This red scoria, of which the topknots were made, was quarried at Puna Pau, a seldom-visited archaeological site close to Ahu Akivi, which is where the standing moai are farthest inland are located. It’s thought that the eyes and topknots were placed on moai only once they were erected, which explains why the moai at the Rano Raraku quarry are lacking in both details; since they were never transported to their final ahus (ceremonial platforms), they were not completed.
Santiago, Chile, is uniquely located between the mountains and the ocean and, as such, has access to several important wine-making valleys, including Colchagua, Santa Cruz, Alto Maipo, the Central and Aconcagua valleys. And while Chile is perhaps best known for its red wines, particularly the “rediscovered” variety of Carmenere — which represented an unknown reserve for the French grape after it was decimated by Phylloxera in France — it is also becoming more popular for white wines, particularly Sauvignon blanc as it is grown at lower altitudes and even toward the coast.
Perhaps one of the most surreal experiences when visiting Chile’s Easter Island is taking a trip to Rano Raraku Quarry – the “birth place” of many of the island’s “Moai,” the famous monolithic human figures built by natives between 1250 and 1500 CE. At the quarry, they were carved out of the volcanic tuff (compacted volcanic ash) and then transported around the island. Many theories exist about how the Moai were moved into position, but regardless of which you support, it is an impressive feat of engineering to think that they all started on the lower slopes of an extinct volcano, and were transported to their resting places in the various sites around the island. Here are some of the best things to explore at the quarry: