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Posts Tagged ‘Easter Island’

Experience histories and mysteries in Easter Island and Peru

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

Mark Machu Picchu’s 100th anniversary on Friendly Planet’s new South America tour

Machu Picchu

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu, also known as the lost city of the Incas. American historian Hiram Bingham is credited with bringing South America’s most iconic archeological site to the world’s attention in 1911. And travelers have been flocking to Peru ever since to see the Inca’s architectural masterpiece.

Machu Picchu’s history is quite remarkable. It 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.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this milestone then to see it in person, along with South America’s iconic natural wonder, Iguazu Falls. For the first time ever, Friendly Planet Travel is packaging two of South America’s most significant destinations together on the nine-day Jewels of South America tour.

The distance between Iguazu Falls and Machu Picchu has historically made it difficult to link them together inexpensively on one tour. But we’re now able to thanks to LAN Airlines new flight route between Lima, Peru and Iguazu, Brazil. LAN also introduced a new flight route from Peru to Easter Island, which lets us offer a four-day extension to the island for the first time.

Iguazu Falls

The Jewels of South America tour begins on the border of Argentina and Brazil at Iguazu Falls. The Falls consist of 275 inlets and cataracts cascading down 250 feet, framed by multiple rainbows and mist that rise up to 500 feet in the air.

The next afternoon, jump over to the Brazilian side of the Falls. Walk along the pathways through the sub-tropical rainforest into the canyon on the Falls for an incredible, up-close view. That evening you depart for Lima, Peru where you travel through the magnificent Urubamba River Valley to the picturesque Andean village of Chinchero. By train you proceed to Machu Picchu. It is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular and enigmatic archeological sites in the world.

Continue to Cuzco for a walking tour of the capital of the Inca Empire that is located 11,000 feet above sea level. Spend your last day in Lima, the City of Kings and the country’s capital where you enjoy an authentic farewell dinner.

If want to spend more time in South America, we have two extensions you can take advantage of. You can start your tour early with a four-day, pre-tour extension in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Also known as the Paris of the South, Buenos Aires is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own flavor, but everywhere the people are warm and welcoming.

Easter Island

Or opt for the four-day, post-tour extension to Easter Island, Chile. It is one of the most exotic, isolated islands in the world and is best known for the incredible moai built out of volcanic rock.

Packaged in the price, from just $1,899, are roundtrip flights from Miami via LAN Airlines, including fuel surcharges; all intra-South America flights and transfers; accommodations in superior hotels with private bath; daily breakfast and one farewell dinner; comprehensive guided sightseeing tours including entrance fees; and professional, English-speaking tour directors and guides.

See for yourself why travelers agree that among all the glorious and inspiring sites of South America, Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls stand out as jewels of the continent. Book the Jewels of South America tour for $1,899 by Dec. 15.

For the full itinerary, visit our website. And if you have any question write to me or call 1-800-555-5765 and speak to our reservations team.