Mysterious Easter Island, Chile

I visited Chile because I wanted to see the literal end of the world. Cape Horn is at the southernmost tip of the American continent.

Of course later on I got to see Antartica, which is even further south, but I’ve already written about that amazing experience.

What can I say about Chile? There are things to love about every country and Chile is happily enough, no exception. I loved star gazing at the Atacama desert, one of the clearest places on the earth.

The Atacama is the driest non-polar place on earth (as so many tour guides will tell you). It was amazing to watch the colors change during the day and during sunset, and I just had to take photos to prove this.  Walking around the Moon and Mars valleys almost felt unreal–the terrain is so different from anything I’ve ever seen.

Chile San Pedro de Atacama

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Chile Salar de Atacama

I loved seeing these birds and capturing the beauty of the birds, mountains and water on film.

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And of course, visiting Easter Island Rapa Nui was one of the highlights not just of this trip, but my whole life. It’s a flight that takes a little less than 5 hours from Santiago. There’s something magical and mysterious about these stone structures, whose provenance dates back to fourteenth century Polynesian seafarers. How on earth did they travel all the way there so long ago? And why aren’t any of them smiling? And why does the island have no trees?

So mysterious. I love things like this, I really do.

Rapa Nui is expensive, because of its relative isolation, and so we only stayed for two nights. But it was enough. My partner and I took a bicycle tour to see as many of the moai (the local name for the stone structures) as we could. While most structures are standing, some were lying down. Don’t ask me why, it’s part of the mystery. I’m glad that we went in September, when it was still cool enough to do a lot of walking and biking around.

We also got to do some snorkeling and swimming on Rapa Nui, where the water is very clear. Sailing and surfing is available as well, but we decided to skip that for now.

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Back on the mainland, I loved white water rafting in Cajon del Maipo, which is easily accessible from the nation’s capital, Santiago.

It would take a whole month to see and enjoy all that Chile has to offer, but even if I only had one week, I’m still so glad I came.

 

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