At Friendly Planet, we’re crazy about exotic destinations, so you can imagine my excitement about our latest package. We’ve bundled together two of the world’s most wondrous sights — the massive, mysterious moai statues on Easter Island in the South Pacific, and the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu, high in the Peruvian Andes. And we’re doing it in major style, too.
Check out some of the images of the wonderful places we’ll be staying, as you browse pictures of the fascinating and exotic destinations themselves. Having just returned from both Easter Island and Peru, I can personally vouch for the transformative nature of this trip. You will definitely have an amazing time.
Here are some photos that I hope will give you an idea of what Easter Island and Peru have to offer, and maybe entice you to join us, too.
Ahu Tongariki is the largest ahu on Easter Island. An ahu is a stone platform, and it holds up moai. Moai are stone figures made to represent the living faces of deified ancestors. Toppled during civil wars and by a subsequent tsunami, the moai were restored in the ’90s. With the heaviest weighing around 86 tons, their remarkable creation remains one of the biggest mysteries of Easter Island.
More moai sit at Rano Raraku on Easter Island, a volcanic crater that supplied the stone from which about 95 percent of the moai were carved. Today, 397 moai remain at this World Heritage Site.
Even though Easter Island is technically a part of Chile, it finds itself influenced by its Polynesian roots. Here people enjoy singing and dancing to the music of their culture.
A Rapa Nui warrior does a traditional Kari Kari dance with other dancers in Easter Island. Often these type of ceremonial dances tell the stories of the island’s early Rapanui people.
The Rapanui are the native Polynesian inhabitants of Easter Island, and most speak Spanish. With under 5,000 occupants on the island, you’re sure to get to know and interact with these friendly people.
Many claim that Easter Island is the most remote inhabited island in the world, and the culture remains pristine.
Machu Picchu, also known as the lost city of the Incas in Peru, remained hidden from the outside world in the mist-covered green mountains above the rushing Urubamba River for centuries. The complex consists of giant walls, terraces, and ramps constructed from precisely cut rock formations. Current historians believe it served as a country retreat town for Inca nobility.
The weaving village of Chinchero is worth a trip from Cusco. Mama and baby are adorable, but what you can’t see is that the mama is spinning alpaca wool with her hands while her baby rests comfortably on her back. The Chinchero women are master weavers, and you can buy gorgeous, handmade alpaca goods directly from them.
“Love Park” is located in Cusco, Peru. It’s a sweet little park that is completely encircled in this decorative mosaic tile. Check out the couple sitting in the curve of the wall.
Here’s proof that my husband Ilan and I traveled to Machu Picchu. You can’t actually get the feeling of being up so high, among such majestic mountains, without actually being there yourself. But I hope the image gives you an idea. It is spectacular, and probably one of the singularly great travel experiences of my life.
This is just a sample of the sights you’ll experience on your own if you book a seat on our Exotic Easter Island and Machu Picchu tour. For full details, check out the full itinerary of this tour