- See the majestic moai statues on an atmospheric sunset tour
- Relax with the kids on Easter Island's Anakena Beach
- Discover the island's fascinating volcanoes, history, and legends
- Tour the highlights of Chile's cosmopolitan capital, Santiago
|Arrive in Santiago, Afternoon at Bicentenario Park
|Fly to Easter Island, Sunset Moai Tour
|Orongo Village & Volcano Tour
|Anekana Beach Day
|Rano Raraku Volcano & Ahu Vaihu Ceremonial Site
|Explore Easter Island, Fly to Santiago
|Santiago City Tour, Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Santiago, Afternoon at Bicentenario Park
Welcome to Santiago! Chile's vibrant and fun capital makes the perfect start to your family getaway. Your driver will meet you at the airport and transport you to your city center accommodation. Once you've settled in, take the kids out for some fresh air after your journey at the expansive Bicentenario Park. This 67-acre (27 ha) green space in Santiago's center is popular with local families—with multiple play areas and flamingoes and fish to feed (food can be purchased from the on-site dispensers), it's easy to see why.
Once you and the kids are ready to see more of the city, head to the Casacostanera shopping mall. An elegant complex with a boutique feel, you'll nevertheless find many of the major brands. Take the opportunity to buy anything else you need, browse, or grab a few souvenirs. The mall is home to several great restaurants featuring both local and international cuisine, so stop here for dinner before heading back to your accommodation for the evening.
Day 2: Fly to Easter Island, Sunset Moai Tour
Get the kids up bright and early this morning—your driver will take you out to Santiago Airport to catch the morning flight to Easter Island, known to locals as Rapa Nui. Your flight arrives there early in the afternoon, and you and the kids will receive a memorable welcome of flower necklaces and refreshing drinks from the locals. This small island (63 sq mi/ 163 sq km) is easily explorable with kids—once you've settled into your accommodation and had a bite to eat, head out for a wander. As well as the beauty of the hills and beaches, the kids will love the friendly horses that graze freely over the island.
In the evening, you'll meet your guide for a short drive to two nearby ahu (ceremonial platforms), Ahu Tahai and Ahu Akapu. Take your time marveling at the large, solemn moai statues for which the island is famous, and choose which of the two sites from which you'd like to see the sunset. The sun sets directly behind the statues at Ahu Tahai, making it a more popular and busy destination, so if isolation and atmosphere are more important to you than the perfect sunset photo, opt for Ahu Akapu—whichever you choose, this will be a family evening to remember.
Day 3: Orongo Village & Volcano Tour
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Anakena Beach Day
Relax and have some family fun with a classic beach day. Your driver will take you from your hotel to Anakena Beach, the island's most extensive stretch of sand. Usually white, the coral sand can gain a beautiful pink hue depending on the light. You can easily set yourselves up here for the day: although the beach is 11 miles (18 km) from town, it has bathrooms, snorkel rental facilities, and some good places to eat. Let the youngsters paddle in the gentle waves and build sandcastles to their hearts' content while you sunbathe or join them in the water.
This is the island's best spot for snorkeling, so if the kids are old enough, head out together to spot Easter Island butterflyfish, colorful wrasse, and sea turtles. Take some time to visit Ahu Ature Huki and Ahu Nau Nau, the two moai platforms, and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at the restaurant. Later in the day, grab some additional snacks and drinks and enjoy them in the shady picnic area. Browse the craft stalls near the car park and pick up a few souvenirs before heading back to your accommodation.
Day 5: Rano Raraku Volcano & Ahu Vaihu Ceremonial Site
Take a guided tour of some of the geographical and cultural highlights of the island today. First up is Vaihu, an unrestored ceremonial site that memorializes the widespread demolition of the moai due to interclan fighting during the 18th century. Continue to the Akahanga region, where legend has it that the first king, Hotu Matua, is buried. From here, your guide will take your family to one of the island's most stirring sights, the Rano Raraku quarry. Here over 900 statues were carved—the kids will be fascinated by many partly-completed moai that can still be seen, illustrating the stages of construction and transport.
Next, proceed to Ahu Tongariki, the island's largest ahu, where you can see 15 magnificent restored moai. The tallest (30 ft/ 9 m) is also the largest to have been successfully transported, with a weight of 86 tons. Early settlers called Easter Island "The Navel of the World," and this name is also given to your next stop-off, a strange rock formation consisting of a round boulder within a rock perimeter. It's believed that Hotu Matua brought the boulder with him when the island was settled and that it's the source from which life springs. After some time exploring the neighboring ahu, your guide will take you back to your hotel.
Day 6: Explore Easter Island, Fly to Santiago
Day 7: Santiago City Tour, Depart
It's the last day of your family trip today, but take the time to enjoy the contrast between the isolation and quiet of Easter Island and the vibrancy of busy Santiago as you visit the city's highlights on a tour tailor-made for families. Fit in as much as you can, depending on the time of your flight.
Visit sites that epitomize Chilean history and culture, like the presidential palace of La Moneda and the Plaza de Armas, the town square known as Chile's center. The whole family will love the lively atmosphere, with an abundance of music and tasty street food. Be sure to try kid-friendly treats like sopaipillas (fried dough sweetened with honey) and mote con huesillo (a sweet peach drink).
Next, spend some time in Santa Lucia (the beautiful grounds of Castillo Hidalgo are a highlight) and San Cristóbal, where you'll find a 46-foot (14 m) statue of the Virgin Mary and panoramic views over the city. You then have the choice of taking the kids swimming in the municipal pool or visiting the Santiago Zoo. To round the tour off, head to Araucano Park, where the kids can play while you enjoy a coffee. There are plenty of great restaurants in this area, so dine here before heading back to your hotel and onward to the airport for your flight. Safe travels!