#28 best destination in the world

 

Ahu Tongariki

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  • Largest ahu on Easter Island
  • The statues (moai) were toppled during the island’s civil wars
  • In the 20th century, the ahu was swept inland by a tsunami
  • All the maoi face sunset during the Summer Solstice

 

Rapa Nui National Park

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  • National park on Easter Island, known for its 887 stone statues attributed to the early Rana Nui people
  • The island has been inhabited since 300 AD
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

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  • 448,280 acre park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and subpolar forests

 

Valle de la Luna

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  • Located in the Atacama desert
  • Includes various stone and sand formations that have been carved by wind and water
  • The range of color and texture resembles that of the moon
  • Considered one of the driest places on earth, as some areas have not received a single drop of rain in hundreds of years

 

Churches of Chiloé

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  • One of the most prominent styles of Chilota architecture
  • Made entirely in native timber and wood shingles to resist the Archipelago’s humid and rainy oceanic climate
  • Built in the 18th-19th centuries
  • The churches represent the fusion of European, Jesuit, and local native people’s culture, skills, and traditions
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

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  • 200 former saltpeter refinery town of communal pampinos culture
  • Situated in one of the driest places on earth, pampinos worked in the hostile environment for 60 years
  • The refinery produced the fertilizer sodium nitrate which transformed agricultural lands in North and South America, and in Europe which produced great wealth
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Sewell

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  • Uninhabited mining town located on the slopes of the Andes that constructed and exploited the largest underground mine in the world
  • Founded in 1906 to extract copper, the town was named after the company’s first president
  • In 1971, the mine was nationalized by the government and after 6 years they had moved families out of Sewell and demolished the buildings
  • In the 1980s, the government halted the demolition
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Sky Costanera

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  • Highest observatory in South America
  • Offers a 360 degree view of Santiago

 

Cerro San Cristobal

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  • Hill with a view, with a sanctuary at the summit, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception with a 22 meter statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Within the pedestal there is a small chapel in which Pope John Paul II prayed and blessed the city of Santiago in 1987

 

Santa Lucía Hill

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  • Hill that’s a remnant of a volcano 15 million years old
  • At its highest point is a viewpoint

 

Costanera Center

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  • Business and commercial complex that includes a six-floor shopping mall, three other skyscrapers, two high-end hotels and an office building
  • Tallest building in South and Latin America

 

Marble Caves of Chile Chico

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  • Solid marble bordering Lake General Carrera, a glacial lake that spans the Chile-Argentina border
  • Formed by 6,000-plus years of waves washing up against calcium carbonate
  • Only accessible by ferry
  • The best time of the year to visit the Marble Caves is September-February

 

Montaña Mágica Lodge

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  • In the jungles of Huilo Natural Reserve is a waterfall, hotel, and volcano that looks like it was built by hobbits
  • Very remote, the nearest airfield is 2 hours away

 

El Gigante and the Stone Moai of Easter Island

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  • Besides its barren remoteness, Easter Island is, of course, famous for its massive stone sculptures or “Moais.”
  • Weighs more then two full 737 airplanes
  • Built by Polynesian colonizers of the island, the early Rapanui people
  • Carved mostly from tuff and polished smooth by rubbing with pumice
  • Likely transported with wooden sledges, log rollers, and ropes
  • Built between 1250 and 1500 CE
  • The Polynesians used to sail back and forth across the great distances among the Pacific islands, but at a certain point they used up all the large trees and thereby lost the ability to make large canoes

 

Termas Geometricas

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  • Twenty-one slate covered pools with hot and cold thermal water in Chile’s lake district

 

Hand of the Desert

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  • Large scale sculpture of a hand located in the Atacama Desert
  • Constructed by the Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal at an altitude of 3,608 ft above sea level
  • Its exaggerated size is said to emphasize human vulnerability and helplessness

 

Punta Pite

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  • Group of cliffside stairways, bridges, and paths carved out of stone along a coastal hike
  • Built in 2006

 


 

Costs

Number of Days: 41 days

Best Time To Fly: March-April

Airline tickets: $2,461

Seattle -> Santiago (round trip) = $1,585
Santiago -> Iquique (round trip) = $43
Santiago -> Calama (one way) = $18
Antofagasta -> Santiago (one way) = $19
Santiago -> Temuco (one way) = $17
Valdivia -> Santiago (one way) = $31
Santiago -> Castro (round trip) = $251
Santiago -> Balmaceda (round trip) = $54
Santiago -> Puerto Natales (one way) = $55
Puerto Natales -> Santiago (one way) = $54
Santiago -> Easter Island (round trip) = $334

Food: $19/day x 41 days = $790

Rental car: $1,713

$46/day x 37 days = $1,713

Gas: $257

Entertainment: $203

Airbnb: $70/day x 37 days = $2,577

TOTAL: $8,001