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Easter Island and Atacama Desert in two weeks - early planning questions

Easter Island and Atacama Desert in two weeks - early planning questions

Oct 19th, 2019, 06:39 PM
  #1  
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Easter Island and Atacama Desert in two weeks - early planning questions

I would like to plan two weeks trip for late February/early March to Chile (Atacama desert/Easter Island). I hope it is not too later in terms of accommodations. I normally plan my trips well in advance, but this was a busy year, so I am behind.

We will have only two weeks. Can I fit comfortably Easter Island and Atacama in this amount of time.

From everything I read, I would need around 4 days full days on Easter Island (accommodate for rainy days), and about 5 full days in Atacama. If I add flying dates back and force to Santiago, it seems pretty tight.

What do you think? Is this doable?
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Oct 19th, 2019, 07:59 PM
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I wouldn't say you "need" 4 full days in Easter Island. We had 4 full days plus a half day there. We pretty much covered everything there is to do there (e.g., the "minor" / off the beaten path maoi, hiked to the highest point of the island, did several other hikes, a bunch of sunsets for photography). You could see all the major highlights comfortably in two full days. It's one of those places that most people probably will never visit again and it's a long way away from the rest of civilization, so people tend stay longer than they probably would stay other places because they want to feel like they're getting their money's worth. Also, flights do not operate daily, so that also keeps people there for longer.

Also, I don't think you need to build in extra time to accommodate for rain. Either it'll rain or it won't rain. No way to know. I'd visit for however many days you think you need.

Never been to Atacama, so I can't help you there. I wouldn't waste much time in Santiago; we didn't like it at all, and it's nothing you haven't seen already if you've traveled elsewhere in Latin America. But Easter Island is great, so enjoy.
LAX_Esq is online now  
Oct 19th, 2019, 08:08 PM
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Thank you, Lax!

We have been to Santiago previously on the way from Chilean Patagonia, so we only need a day or so to recover from the flight from Chicago. So, sounds like 3 full days should be enough on Easter Island. This is what I thought originally, until started reading forums. I will need check the flights. I thought they had daily flights from Santiago, but I could be wrong.


helen63 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2019, 08:51 AM
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The Atacama is a huge area, where do you plan on going? We have been a couple of times, once from San Pedro de Atacama to Iquique and then north to Arica and from there into Peru. SPdeA to Iquique alone was a 10 hour plus bus ride, so getting around will take up a large proportion of your 5 days.
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Oct 20th, 2019, 01:23 PM
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Crellston, I was just thinking of a shorter version for Atacana visit -staying in San Pedro de Atacama and do day trips to Moon Valley, Lagoons,geysers, etc
Not worth it?
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Oct 20th, 2019, 01:31 PM
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I would say your 4 full days on Easter Island is just about right. I wouldn't cut it shorter. San Pedro de Atacama is usually covered in a 3-4 day visit. You do need to look at booking flights now. February is the height of the high season because of the Tapati festival and flights get more expensive as you approach the dates you want. If you did Atacama first that might put you on Easter Island at a slightly better price.
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Oct 20th, 2019, 07:06 PM
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Thanks, Huentetu!

Yes, I know about the festival and vacation time in South America, so I would like to quickly book tickets, and the look at all details.

I would like to go after the festival.

Thanks for the tip! I will take a look at flights availability and prices tomorrow.
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Oct 21st, 2019, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by helen63 View Post
Crellston, I was just thinking of a shorter version for Atacana visit -staying in San Pedro de Atacama and do day trips to Moon Valley, Lagoons,geysers, etc
Not worth it?
If you haven’t been to Salar de Uyuni and the Bolivian side of the altiplano, then I would say it is definitely worth it, but five days would be too long for me. As you will have Santiago in the middle, have you considered a couple of days in Valparaiso? The only place in Chile I got around to blogging about https://accidentalnomads.com/2008/10...ls-and-horses/ easy to get to from the airport.
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Oct 21st, 2019, 02:11 PM
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We have never been to Bolivia, but I do not think we would go this time for various reasons. Perhaps 4 full days is enough then - I can see various tours for at least 4 days.

Yes, we are interested in Valpariso, and a wine region as well, but only have two weeks. If we have time, then yes, of course.
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Oct 21st, 2019, 02:11 PM
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thank you for a link to your blog!
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