Atacama DesertChileEaster IslandRapa NuiTravellers

first_imgAtacama DesertChileEaster IslandRapa NuiTravellers Choice A recent famil started with a bang for Travellers Choice agents with a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hitting the Chilean capital, Santiago, on the day they arrived.“We were sitting in a cellar at the Casas del Bosque Vineyard enjoying a wine tasting when the floor began moving,” said Elaine Williamson from Jetaway Travel in Melbourne.“We were just looking at each other, rocking on our feet from side to side. Thankfully the locals weren’t in the least bit panicked because it’s a fairly common occurrence.”The luxury famil was hosted by Adventure World and LATAM Airlines and moved from Santiago to San Pedro for three days of exploring the spectacular Atacama Desert, known as the driest (non-polar) place on earth.Celia Mackenzie from Endeavour Travel & Cruise in Queensland said the environment was a dramatic combination of salt flats, volcanoes and steaming geysers.“One day we went up as high as 4820m to an area that was like a moonscape covered in pink flamingos. The different kinds of landscapes and rocks were just out of this world.”The group stayed at the luxurious Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa in the Catarpe Valley of the Salt Mountain Range. Water from glacial snow makes the resort an oasis, and its spa was recently named one of the 10th best in Latin America.The journey also included Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and a trek around the hundreds of majestic moai that dot the island, each with its own distinctive features.Mackenzie said the moai were even more impressive than she imagined.“You can only see the top third of most of them, but they still stand more than 7m high. In total they are probably around 21m tall and they are really imposing.”last_img

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