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With such a rich and varied itinerary, geography and so many aspects to touring Chile, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about where to start preparing for your Easter Island tour. We are here to help. Below, you'll find some useful information that you'll need for getting ready for your Chilean adventure.
Chile is in the same time zone as Eastern Standard Time in the United States from mid-May to mid-August; from mid-August to mid-May, Chile is 2 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Easter Island is two hours behind EST from mid-May to mid-August; from mid-August to mid-May, Easter Island is in the same time zone as EST.
There are many great souvenirs to bring back with you from Easter Island, so make sure you have space left in your suitcase and pack light. You do not need formal clothing for this trip. You should bring mostly light and casual clothes with comfortable shoes. Chileans emphasize proper clothing in restaurants and public buildings, so shorts and sandals may be frowned upon in the city.
Visitors from the US and Canada no longer need to pay a reciprocity fee to enter Chile, however a passport valid for 6 months past the expected departure date is necessary. Before entering Chile, you'll need to fill out a tourist card that allows visitors to stay for 90 days and must be presented to Customs when leaving the country.
|ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFORMATION |
This tour starts and ends in Santiago de Chile (airport code SCL).
The tour starts in Santiago de Chile at 8:00PM, on Friday, February 21, 2020, and if you are not coming from the Santiago, Patagonia and Atacama Desert tour, you can arrange for your flight to arrive any time during the day.
This tour ends on Monday, February 24, 2020 in Santiago de Chile, and we will arrive in Santiago International Airport from Easter Island at 9:30PM. We are asking that you schedule your departing flight back home no earlier than 11:30PM. Most flights to US and Canada leave late in the evening or in the early morning hours, otherwise it is possible to stay an additional night at the airport hotel. If you need help with your flights to Chile, please feel free to give us a call.
The Easter Island tour group is limited to the maximum of 16 women + the tour director. The minimum group size is 6 women + the tour director. In addition to the tour director, the travelers will be assisted by professional local guides and bus drivers.
Chile does not pose any major health hazards. No special vaccinations are required, but we advise you to speak with your doctor for medical advice before traveling and to be up to date on routine vaccinations. There are no poisonous plants or animals in Chile, and in many large cities and towns the tap water is clean and safe to drink. If in doubt, drink bottled water, which is widely available.
The water in Chile is generally safe to drink though travelers with sensitive stomachs and pregnant women should drink bottled water wherever possible. We will be providing bottled water on all days when touring by bus, and in addition, you will find bottled water sold everywhere either as agua mineral sin gas (still water), or agua mineral con gas (sparkling water).
Pipes and sewer systems in older buildings are quite fragile: used toilet paper should be discarded in wastebaskets. Public toilets don't always provide toilet paper, so it's wise to carry your own - small packs are sold everywhere if you want to stock up. If places (usually malls, grocery stores, etc) offer toilet paper, then it may be located on the outside of the stalls in a communal dispenser - you will need to take the toilet paper before going into the stall. Please keed in mind that some public toilets may require payment, so you should always have some coins in the local currency with you to pay for them.
Chile is one of the safest countries in Latin America, with little political unrest, corruption, or violent crime. Foreigners in Chile are generally treated kindly, and a traveler's principal concerns are pickpockets and break-ins, which are on the rise in cities like Santiago. Never bring valuables with you while touring; passports, driver's licenses, airline tickets and cash or credit cards should be kept in the hotel safe or carried close to the body, and always keep a close eye on your belongings when in public. Police officers wear olive-green uniforms and are referred to as carabineros, or colloquially as pacos. Violent crime is virtually unheard of on Easter Island, and you'll find many people walking by themselves at night.
The major cities in Chile are comparable to their American and European counterparts - women are generally safe even when traveling alone, but exercise good sense and caution especially at night, as you would at home. The Chilean "machismo" is relatively harmless, and while men may leer or offer unwanted compliments, they will rarely approach you.
During the Easter Island tour, we will travel by bus and by air. To be able to fully enjoy the tour and participate in scheduled activities, you need to be able to walk, at a leisurely pace, up to 5 miles throughout the day, frequently on uneven, rocky surfaces and uphill. You should be able to stand unassisted for up to 30 minutes, climb stairs, get in and out of vehicles without assistance and manage your own luggage without assistance. Overall, this trip is not strenuous, although it is filled with outdoor activities.
Because of its location, Chile encompasses several climatic zones. Easter Island has a subtropical climate, warm and humid in summer and mild in winter. The average temperature in February ranges from 75 °F to 65 °F and it is breezy.
Chile's cities have Internet access available in internet cafes, hotel lobbies and in some public places. To avoid high global roaming charges, it is possible to purchase local SIM cards or prepaid SIM and phone packages to use while in Chile. You may want to contact your cell phone provider to inquire about coverage; cell phone service on Easter Island is typically limited to Hanga Roa. We will have free Wi-Fi in all hotels, where we'll be staying during the tour.
Chile's electricity standard is 220 volts/50Hz. Electrical sockets have two openings for tubular pins, not flat prongs, so you'll be using type C plug, the same as in Europe. You can purchase adapters from most travel stores.
The official language of Chile is Spanish, and few Chileans outside of the tourism industry have more than a basic understanding of English. Chilean Spanish is known for its rapid-fire delivery and heavy use of local phrases and slang. Chileans use the more formal "usted" habitually - waiters, doormen, and anyone with whom you are not intimately familiar should be greeted with usted if you would like to try some Spanish. Chile also has a strong native South American heritage, and many indigenous languages are still used by small groups of the population. The official language of Easter Island is Spanish, but most of the native residents speak Rapa Nui, a Polynesian language closely related to Tahitian. Basic English is spoken by most people working in the tourist industry.
The Chilean currency is the peso, written as CLP. The peso is indicated with "$", while equivalent amounts in US dollars are preceded by "US$" or "$US". American dollars are rarely accepted. It is easiest to obtain cash from local ATMs, often found as Redbancs, advertised on a maroon-and-white sticker and compatible with a variety of networks including Visa/Cirrus and Mastercard/PLUS. Traveler's checks are accepted at larger hotels but few other places, though they can be changed in most cities and towns. Visa, American Express, and MasterCard are widely accepted. When traveling in remote regions, always take enough cash with you.
All guides', drivers' and restaurant gratuities are included in the tour's cost. When exploring on your own, 10% is the customary tip for restaurants; porters, chambermaids, etc can be tipped CLP$1,000 per night (about $1.50 USD). Taxi drivers do not receive tips.
While hunting for souvenirs in Chile, keep an eye out for items made by the indigenous Aymara and Mapuche tribes; zampoñes (flutes), kultrunes (ceremonial drums), and palos de agua (rain sticks). The main things to buy on Easter Island are shell necklaces, feather ornaments, woodcarvings, miniature stone moai, and other crafts. Please consider that items made from coral damage the island's reefs, so purchasing these trinkets supports an unscrupulous practice.
Jewelry ranging from copper bangles to stunning lapis lazuli and Mapuche silverware is among the most popular items for visitors to buy in Chile. Lapis lazuli is only found in Chile and Afghanistan, and you can find the semiprecious blue stone set in silver as a number of different adornments, generally priced less expensively than in the US and Europe. It is always best to buy lapis lazuli from a reputable jewelry store, and always look for the deepest color stones, which are considered to be of superior quality. In Santiago, the area surrounding Patio Bellavista offers high quality stones and a variety of styles ranging from the simple to the ostentatious.
Chilean wine is considered to be among the finest and best value of the New World wines. Do be careful about how many bottles you pick up during your stay; there are strict customs limitations on how much you can take home.