Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) is undoubtedly one of the most remote and mysterious places on Earth. A five-hour flight from Santiago, this far-flung island of volcanoes, grassy pastures and a smattering of sandy beaches is renowned for its enigmatic Moai statues, which stand proudly across the land. Some 400 figures, carved out of volcanic rock and reaching up to nine metres in height, were created by the Rapa Nui people: but how they achieved this remains a mystery. There are many theories as to why these distinctive statues exist, but ultimately, no-one really knows – only adding to their appeal.
As well as unearthing the cultural history of the Rapa Nui, when you visit Easter Island you’ll be surprised at all the activities on offer. Hiking, horse riding and cycling are fantastic ways to see the island, and you can also dive and snorkel the seas. An Easter Island holiday is not complete without experiencing the culture of present-day Rapa Nui: visit the local villages and be entranced by the Rapa Nui’s traditional dances. Easter Island, with its heritage, landscape and utter seclusion, really is one of the world’s most extraordinary destinations.
Another Chilean gem is Robinson Crusoe Island, soaring out of the Pacific Ocean almost 700km west of Chile’s coast. An island of rugged mountains and craggy cliffs, Robinson Crusoe Island is quite unlike the tropical beaches portrayed in Daniel Defoe’s infamous novel – but it is spectacular in many other ways. Declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, thanks to its highly endemic ecosystem, this is a truly exciting destination for wildlife enthusiasts.