Satiago - Eastern Island - Tongariki - Rano Kau
Transfer to the airport for the flight to the Easter Islands (originally named "Te Pito Te Henua" = navel of the world). Reception at the airport and transfer to Hanga Roa, a small township where Easter Island's 2.500 people live. Overnight in a family-style Hotel.Day 2. Ovahe - Anakena (5 hr. Riding)
Early in the morning, we start the horse riding tour throughout the island that during 6 days will lead you through over hundreds of years of history. Cross the island and head to the north to Ovahe beach, site of a small bay nestled beneath a cliff of volcanic rock with pure and golden sands and magnificent clear water. Spend some time there swimming and relaxing. Later, you shall reach Anakena beach, the legendary landing place of Hota Matua, the founder of the island. Overnight camping.Day 3. Perousse-Poike - Tongariki (4 hr. Riding)
Start the horse-riding tour by following the coast road along the Bahia de la Perousse onwards to the eastern part of the island where we will find the largest Moai ever transported. It is named Ahu Te Pito Te Kura (navel of light) and over 9.8 m/ 32 ft in length. Ahu means sacred place and describes the rectangular stone platform on which the Moai statues were erected. Next, we ride towards Poike Peninsula where once a mystical war took place among the so called "long-Ears", who carved the Moai, and the newcomers known as "Short Ears", who were kept in an inferior class and helped in manual labour. Although there are many contradictory versions of the legend it is said that the Short Ears rebelled and slaughtered all the Long Ears. The tour continues southwards to visit Ahu Tongariki, recently restored after a tidal wave washed the statues dozens of metres away from their original setting in 1960. Continue horse-riding to Rano Raraku where we will set up camp.Day 4. Rano Raraku- Vaihu (4 hr. Riding)
Optional trekking to Rano Raraku. This might be the most impressive site on the island: 70 standing sentinels, embedded up to their shoulders in grass on the south slope of the volcanic crater Rano Raraku. These lead the way to the quarry or "nursery" inside of the impressive crater rim. Here the Moai (enormous, 100 tons basalt statues) were cut from volcanic tuff, and some 150 figures, still left there, in all stages of completion, are mute witnesses of the mystery that suddenly stopped all work. After lunch, continue on horseback to Aka Anga, settlement of the last clan, the clan of the Miru; and direct descendants of king Hotu Matua, The legend says that the head of the king is buried there. Visit to the houseboats where they used to live, some remains of their houses and nearby caves. Camping near Vaihu.Day 5. Rano Kau - Orongo - Vinapu (4 hrs riding)
The tour today continues to Vinapu where we find Ahu Tahira Ahu, one of the first Ahus constructed. Tahira is a key element in Thor Heyerdahl's theory that the islanders came sailing from South America. Here you will find a wall of perfectly carved and fitted stone blocks that is strikingly similar to the work of the Tihuanaco culture (Bolivia) and the Inca walls in Cuzco (Perú) Later we continue to Rano Kau volcano, the largest on the island, whose enormous crater is now a fresh water lake with floating green fields of totora reeds. This site offers an exceptional view of three tiny and craggy islands; Nui, Motu and Kao-Kao where the bizarre "bird man" ritual took place. Here we also find the ruins of the village of Orongo, perched in this sublime location, which shows 48 oval buildings built out of overlapping stone slabs. Over the cliffs you see an amazing string of "bird man" petroglyphs. After lunch, ride back to Hanga Roa. Overnight in a Hotel.Day 6. Easter Island - Santiago
Morning free to relax before transfer to the airport to take the flight back to Santiago.
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