Chile Uncovered & Easter Island

Duration: 18 nights
Type: Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade: 3

Extend your Chile Uncovered holiday and spend three days exploring Easter Island. Visit this mysterious isle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and marvel at the moai – huge rock-carved statues of bizarrely-shaped human heads whose purpose have been lost in the mists of time.

What you’ll love

  • Visiting the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest non-polar desert 
  • Exploring the colourful port town and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valparaíso 
  • Sampling wines in Chile’s Casablanca Valley 
  • Admiring the El Tatio Geysers at sunrise 
  • Discovering the Puñihuil penguin colony 
  • Hiking around the snow-capped Osorno Volcano 
  • Journeying to Easter Island and marvel at the moai statues 

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks led by local HF Holidays Leaders
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Half-board (breakfast and evening meal)
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
  • Air-conditioned transport
  • Internal flights
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Depart UK and arrive early hours of Day 2

You’ll be picked up from the airport and spend the afternoon exploring the city.

You’ll discover both sides of Santiago de Chile – a vibrant, modern metropolis and a former capital. We’ll visit the presidential palace, La Moneda, as well as other sights like the cathedral and Palacio de la Real Audiencia clustered around the bustling Plaza de Armas.

Leaving the centre, we'll travel towards the soaring Andes, past the Cerro San Cristóbal, which towers over the city with a great white statue of the Virgin Mary crowning its summit. Continue through Vitacura, nicknamed ‘Sanhattan’ with its skyscrapers. There’s also the Parque Bicentenario Vitacura, where you can see Chilean flamingos and Patagonian blacktail swans, as well as indigenous plants.

Round off your afternoon with dinner in one of the restaurants in the Borderio/Bellavista area.

We’ll follow the Meseta route before climbing 500m higher into the spectacular Cordillera. The path climbs steeply to La Campana, a 1800m-high bell-shaped mountain that dominates the landscape around the sanctuary. The view from here will stop you in your tracks, and with a bit of luck you might be able to watch the condor flying its orbits.

You’ll have uninterrupted views of the Maipo River and surrounding mountains. And after a rest at La Campana, we’ll continue to Cruce de los Maquis, a stream crossing in a small native forest - its seasonal pool is ideal for a break. Then we descend back to the Meseta route and follow a different trail down to the river Maipo. The walk ends at the starting point.

Fly from Santiago to Calama and transfer to the hotel in San Pedro.

One of the best-known destinations between Calama and San Pedro is the Valle de la Luna. We’ll venture into the rugged beauty of the Atacama Desert at dusk. With the Licancabur volcano providing the backdrop, strange salt and rock formations in the middle of the valley’s barren sandy landscape really do look like a moonscape.

Then we’ll pass by the rock formation known as ‘Tres Marías’, winding up at a viewpoint where you overlook the Kari-Canyon and wide swathes of desert - you can even catch a glimpse at the Salar de Atacama. The setting sun bathes the landscape in a light that changes with every minute, providing a mesmerising play of colours.

Today we’ll head south through the desert to Salar de Atacama, one of the largest salt lakes in the world, visiting Toconao, a village with buildings made entirely of white volcanic stone. And we’ll see Laguna Chaxa - part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos - to get close to these unusual birds.

You’ll tour a traditional Atacameña farm and taste their homemade products including quince juice, fruit syrups, candied quinoa, and guanaco paté before lunch. Tonight we’ll have dinner at a local restaurant in San Pedro.

Come nightfall, there are few places in the world where the sky is as clear and the stars so bright as in northern Chile. We’ll visit the San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Observatory where an expert will highlight features of the southern hemisphere. You’ll also glimpse the distant stars and galaxies through a telescope.

The Guatin Valley is where two rivers converge with the thermal springs from Puritama and the clear melt water from the Purifica River in the Andes creating a unique ecosystem not to be missed. We’ll hike here, in amongst the candelabra cacti, some of which are up to 500 years old.

We’ll start in the canyon to see the bright red rocks and local flora before reaching an area near the Puritama thermal springs.

It’s an early start if you’d like to experience the El Tatio Geysers at sunrise. These natural fountains, which shoot up 33ft high, are in the mountains at 4,300m high. The sun’s first rays, mingling with the geysers’ boiling jets, contrasts against the rising steam from the surrounding summits – it’s a show to behold.

Afterwards you can warm up in the hot springs before returning to San Pedro.

You’ll be picked up at the airport and get going on a city tour of Puerto Montt, known as the ‘gateway to Patagonia’.

We’ll then continue to Puerto Varas, a small town located on the shores of Llanquihue Lake, looking out towards the Osorno, Puntiagudo, and Calbuco volcanoes. If there’s time after checking in at the hotel, we’ll take a walk through Cerro Phillipi park. 

We’ll set off on a full-day hike of Osorno Volcano. The journey by bus goes along the shoreside road of Lake Llanquihue for views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes before switching to a gravel road leading to the former refuge La Picada, our starting point.

We’ll hike along the lava slopes of the snow-capped volcano, enjoying constant views of temperate forests and volcanoes. After about an hour, you’ll catch your first glimpse of the turquoise-blue Todos Los Santos Lake, which lies deep below, framed by high mountains.

In the afternoon, we’ll reach the small settlement of Petrohue by the lake for our return transfer.

We’ll spend the day in Alerce Andino National Park, south-east of Puerto Montt. Half of the park is practically untouched Valdivian temperate rainforest, where around fifty small lakes are hidden and rocky peaks rise up. It takes its name from the alerce trees - giant conifers that reach for the sky and can be several thousand years old.

Another early start as we head south of Puerto Varas towards Pargua to catch the ferry to Chiloé. Our first stop is the Bay of Caulín, where you’ll spot black-necked swans and other birds during summer. Then it’s over to Ancud, the northern-most town and former capital of the island, for an insight into life here and a tour of the fortifications and harbour.

We’ll continue along the northern coast to Puñihuil. And ff the weather’s kind, we’ll take a boat tour to one of the rocky outcrops in the sea where Humboldt and Magellanic penguins nest during breeding season from October to March. There’s a variety of seabirds to spot from the boat too, including kelp goose, cormorants, and gulls as well as otters and sea otters.

We’ll take a morning flight from Puerto Montt to Santiago and transfer to our hotel.

On the way, we’ll visit Viña William Cole (or a similar vineyard) for a biking tour through the vineyard followed by lunch and a wine tasting. Afterward, we’ll continue to the coastal city of Viña del Mar and our hotel.

A walking tour will illuminate the history of Valparaíso whilst getting around the harbour and the rest of the city on foot and public transport. Firstly, we’ll take the metro to the main square and the port from where we can reach the district of Playa Ancha to explore the Paseo 21 de Mayo and learn about the British immigrants who lived there.

The historic funicular railway will bring us back towards the city centre to take the trolley bus to the main square, Sotomayor. We’ll visit the Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción UNESCO World Heritage sites and stroll along Paseo Dimalow before catching the funicular Reina Victoria.

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Hotel Providencia in Santiago. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or explore the city at your own pace.

Catch a flight from Santiago to Easter Island and check in at Taha Tai Hotel. Free time to settle in and explore.

Our first day on Easter Island (Rapa Nui to the indigenous Polynesian inhabitants) is an introduction to its intriguing history and culture. We’ll visit several restored ceremonial platforms known as ahu and enjoy our first encounter with the moai at Ahu Tongariki – the largest ahu of them all.

Scattered across the island, the moai are huge, rock-carved statues of bizarrely-shaped human heads that are believed to have been erected between 1250 and 1500. Some moai stand up to 10 metres tall. Over the centuries, they have witnessed the Rapa Nui people survive civil war, famine, environmental collapse, slave raids, and contact with colonial powers. Fast forward to today and Easter Island is now a protected national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

A highlight of the day is the chance to explore Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater on the lower slopes of Terevaka – the island’s highest point. For over 500 years Rano Raku served as a quarry for the volcanic stone used to sculpt the moai. You can still see incomplete monolithic figures waiting to be freed from the rock.

Today’s Easter Island adventure takes us to Ahu Akivi, one of the few ahus not located by the sea. The seven moai figures here align with the spring and autumn equinoxes, testament to an advanced knowledge of astronomy once possessed by the Rapa Nui people. We’ll stop by Puna Pau quarry and visit Hanga Poukura, an unrestored ahu on the south coast.

Rounding off in Orongo, we’ll drive to the rim of Rano Kau volcano for panoramic views over the sea, the town of Hanga Roa, and the Motu isles in the distance. These small islands were the focus of the so-called Birdman Cult that began in the post-moai era. Rival clans would face off in a swimming contest to the Motu, to climb and steal the first swallow’s egg of the year. The winning clan was allowed to nominate Rapa Nui’s king for the following year. The tour ends with a transfer to your hotel.

After breakfast, we return to the airport for the flight back to Santiago. Check in at the hotel and there’s free time to enjoy a final night in the Chilean capital.

Transfer to Santiago airport for the return flight to the UK.

Chile Itinerary Maps

Panamerican Hotel Providencia, Santiago - Chile

In the heart of the lively Providencia quarter, the hotel is within easy reach of many shopping and gastronomic options. Welcoming rooms and a pleasing garden with a pool and terrace offers an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. The hotel restaurant offers delicious fare with a strong focus on typically Chilean dishes.

Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas, San Pedro de Atacama - Chile

Located in the magic splendor of the archeologically capital, San Pedro de Atacama desert area in the northern Chile, Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas offers its guests the best in comfort and ambiance

Holiday Inn, Santiago Airport - Chile

A sleek, contemporary design and a convenient location  

Cabaña del Lago Hotel in Puerto Varas - Chile

Set on the shores of Lake Llanquihue and offering panoramic views of Puerto Varas and the volcanoes in the surroundings.

Hotel Pullman San Martin, Viña del Mar - Chile

Located by the sea, just a few steps from Acapulco Beach. Enjoy the beautiful sunset on the terrace, plus the infinity edge pool while sipping a delicious drink after your day walking.

Hotel Taha Tai, Easter Island - Chile

The Hotel Taha Tai was built on the sea shore from which it adopted its name. The hotel is located a mere 5 minutes from the urban centre of the town Hanga Roa. The hotel also has a bar and restaurant from which it is possible to enjoy the island amazing sunsets.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   


  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC


  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised prices listed below show the lowest economy flight price option for that departure. On holidays where we offer local UK airports, details will appear in the “Important Information” section below and available alternative flight options will be offered when you book. Seating upgrades may be available on request and at an additional charge, please call 020 3974 8865 for a quote.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

04 Mar - 23 Mar 2024

18 nights

Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
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23 Sep - 12 Oct 2024

18 nights

Flight from London Heathrow Airport

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Double Call to Enquire
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Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

04 Mar - 23 Mar 2024

18 nights


Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

23 Sep - 12 Oct 2024

18 nights


Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes
18 nights
Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade:

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020 3974 8865

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