- Dates: Sep 22 - Oct 05, 2024
- Duration: 14 days, 13 nights
- Trip Level (1-4):2
- Arrive: Santiago, Chile
- Depart:Santiago, Chile
- Priced From: $9,640
This tour departs in
- Experience three nights of superb stargazing in the remote desert community of San Pedro de Atacama.
- Visit Paranal Observatory, the largest optical-infrared astronomical observatory in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Discover the geothermal fields around the Tatio Geysers, watching powerful jets of steam emerge from the desert floor.
- Enjoy five days of exploring among the mysterious stone figures of Easter Island (Rapa Nui), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Take advantage of a spectacular Easter Island setting — and the best weather prospects — for viewing the annular solar eclipse on October 2, 2024.
In the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, an arid expanse stretching from the Andes to the Pacific coast, the vast night skies offer some of the clearest stargazing on Earth. And a few thousand miles to the west on Easter Island, the massive stone statues that dot the rugged landscape provide an evocative backdrop for viewing an annular eclipse and the memorable “Ring of Fire” created when sunlight flares around the Moon.
TravelQuest has woven these two remarkable experiences into a single, astronomy-themed journey: our Atacama Desert and Easter Island Annular Eclipse, designed to showcase the annular solar eclipse on October 2, 2024.
Setting out from Santiago, Chile’s historic capital, you visit the coastal gems of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, then head east through the Atacama toward the Andes, exploring a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years. As night falls along the way, there will be plenty of occasions to marvel at the splendid southern skies. Then top it all off with a visit to the prestigious Paranal Observatory, the largest optical-infrared astronomical observatory in the Southern Hemisphere, where you’ll rendezvous with the world-class instruments that link us to the heavens above.
Then you’re off across the Pacific to Easter Island, where nearly 1,000 moai — the towering, enigmatic human figures hewn by hand from volcanic stone — were somehow dragged for miles to ceremonial platforms where they watch over the windswept landscape. Enjoy guided visits to all the key archaeological sites as our experts fill in what is known of Rapa Nui history, culture and beliefs. And amidst the desolate beauty of this isolated setting, join your TravelQuest astronomer to witness over 6 minutes of annularity — a one-of-a-kind eclipse experience.