Easter Island is best known for its moai, the giant, mythical statues that were erected all around the island on ceremonial platforms. They were later knocked over (on purpose, though why is not known), and later still, starting in the 1960’s, archaeologists took pains to re-erect them on reconstructed ahus (platforms). And this is the vision that most people have of Easter Island. But before they could be moved into place, stood up, knocked over and stood up again, they first had to be carved. And that is where the quarry, Rano Raraku comes in.
Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile with commercial air service is the jumping-off point for trips to Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, and cruises around Cape Horn stop here, as do longer South American cruises. You can also start a cruise to Antarctica from Punta Arenas. All this means that you might spend a couple of days in this city before heading to your next destination. And since you will have planned for the unpredictable Patagonian weather, you’ll be ready to participate in some of the following outdoor activities nearby.
The south of Chile, particularly the area near Puerto Montt is often compared to Switzerland, both due to the presence of azure and turquoise lakes, and due to the German influence visible in some of the architecture, especially in nearby Puerto Varas and Frutillar. There are waterfalls, snow-topped volcanoes, long (or short) boat trips, and visits to picturesque towns that hug the shores of the areas many lakes.
On Easter Island, a five hour flight from continental Chile, is an island with a vibrant Polynesian culture with many similarities to Hawaii, Tahiti, and even New Zealand. But the thing that really sets it apart, aside from being the most isolated populated island in the world, is the giant stone statues it is known for, the Moai (say moe-I).
El Calafate, in Argentine Patagonia, has an old-west feel to it, with wooden buildings and strong winds. But what draws so many people here, such that it needs its own airport? It’s the glacier. The Perito Moreno Glacier, located in Argentina’s Glacier National Park. Which has a spin-off attraction, the Glaciarium, a museum about glaciers. […]
For many people, visiting Antarctica, the seventh continent, the white continent and whatever other nicknames you can come up with for this majestic piece of land at the bottom of the world, is a dream come true. You know going into the trip that you’ll see penguins, glaciers and icebergs, and every tone of […]
Bariloche, the picture-perfect city in the Lakes Region of Argentina, which sits along the shores of the vast Nahuel Huapi Lake, is Argentina’s adventure tourism capital. That means that not only can you walk past quaint colonial architecture, visit museums (including the chocolate museum), taste chocolate at more than a handful of specialty chocolate shops, try spit-roasted lamb together with a glass of Argentine Malbec. You can also get out into the clean, fresh air of Bariloche, and enjoy it from above. Below are three hills around Bariloche, with a little something for everyone, whether you’re a skier, hiker, walker, or simply someone who enjoys a great view.
Patagonia is many things to many people. A land of gauchos, wide open spaces, wild rivers, soaring granite spires, heavy winds, changeable weather, a gigantic sky. It’s also a great place to check out wildlife that you’d be unlikely to see at home, other than at a zoo. There are birds and sea mammals, cormorants, brown-browed albatrosses, sea lions and fur seals, dolphins, and a little something for the biology geek in all of us.
When travelers talk about Patagonia, they tend to think of wide-open spaces, towering granite spires, milky turquoise lakes and the occasional glacier. But that’s not all Patagonia has in store for you. One of the richest spots for wildlife sightings in all of Argentina is accessed from the city of Puerto Madryn, in a part of the country that could be referred to as northern coastal Argentine Patagonia. Here you’ll see whales, sea lions, penguins, and several other types of animals you may not have heard of.