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CHILIS INDIGENOUS CULTURES

(13 Days / 12 Nights)

This new small-group roundtrip (maximum of 8 passengers) invites to the fascinating world of the indigenous families and peoples of Chile. They allow us to participate in their traditions, rituals, and worldview; not without experiencing the amazing natural wonders that sourround their communities. We do visit religous sites and experience inspiring ceremonies – in the world of caves and Moais on the Easter Island, on centuries-old paths in the Atacama desert and picturesque landscapes at the Budi-Lake, the southernmost Salt-Lake in the world.


Day 1 - SANTIAGO & RUKA MAPUCHE
(Lunch)

Transfer to our Hotel in the city center.
After arrival at the Hotel begins our citytour. Before visiting the most significant atractions of the city, beneath others, the gouvernment building Palacio de la Moneda, the Plaza de Armas and the San Francisco Church, we will visit a small community of the biggest ethnic people in Chile –the Mapuche.

Nowadays a majority of the Mapuche do live in the capital of Chile and the closer sourroundings. We will reach Peñalolén, approximately 30 minutes from the city center. In the visitor center "House of wisdom of the People of the Earth" we gain an insight view in different aspects of the Mapuche Culture, the building technique of the Ruka (typical Mapuche house), the history, the Mapundungun language and into their music. A delicious lunch will get us a good picture of the culinaric specialities we will enjoy afterwards at the Budi Lake.

Overnight in the Hotel Galerias.


Day 2 - SANTIAGO – EASTERISLAND
(Breakfast, dinner)

In the morning transfer to the airport.
(Dinner)
Arrival on the Easter Island, where we will be welcomed on the traditional way with a flower-lei and receive an introduction into the costums and traditions of the ethnic group on the island by our tour guide. When we get to the Hotel we will enjoy a welcome drink with our host-family Tuki, who will give us some hints how to behave responsibly on the island towards the culture of our local environment.
We will have the afternoon for free, in order to recover from the long flight and to get to know the city of Hanga Roa.

Accommodation in Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 3 - AHU AKAHANGA, TONGARIKI & CURANTO RAPA NUI
(Breakfast and dinner)

In the morning we will depart for a half day tour to the most important groups of the famous Moai-figures. First of all we will visit the Ahu Akahanga, approximately 13 km from Hanga Roa on the southcoast of the island. This ceremonial center is a holy place for the Rapa Nui people, where according to their believes the first settler and King of this Polynesian island Ariki Hotu a Matu'a, is buried.
Afterwards we will continue to Rano Raraku, a territory which was once selected to create the majority of the tremendous Moai. We will continue along the North coast to Ahu Tongariki, the most important ceremonial site of the Easter Island, where we will find 15 figures. The highest one has 14 meters including his Pukao (Hair dress).
Our excursion ends at the periphery of Hanga Roa, the capital, where we will prepare a traditional Rapa Nui- Curanto together with the Tuki Family. Nowadays the Curanto is a typical food on the Island Chiloe, as well and counts as an argument for the theory that there was an early settlement on Chiloe from the Polynesian islands. After having prepared the work intensive food we will enjoy this wonderful dish, and celebrate a small ceremony for success on our following travel days.

Accommodation in Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 4 - AHU AKIVI, ANAKENA BEACH & POLYNESIC CUSTOMS
(Breakfast and lunch)

Today's excursion will lead us to Puna Pau a crater of red bed ash, approximately 15 km from Hanga Roa. The red Stone is the material used to fabricate the "Pukao", the headdress of the Moai figures.
From Puna Pau we will continue to Ahu Akivi – the only seven Moai which show into direction of the sea and according to the records representing the first seven settlers who arrived on the island. They where sent by the King Hotu Matu'a to the Easter Island before his own travel. Afterwards we will visit the famous beach of Anakena, famous for its warm turquoise waters and the coral sand.
In continuation we will visit the area of Poike near Rano Raraku volcano. Here we will find the caves of Hanga Tu Hata and start the most interesting and extraordinary part of our day program: From the coast we will collect mussels and catch fish in the way the Rapa Nui did since centuries in this place. Together with the Tuki Family we will prepare our catch afterward on the traditional Polynesian way, roasted on fire which is covered with stones. Together we will enjoy the food we hunted and prepared by ourselves.

Accommodation in the Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 5 - TEREVEKA & TRADTIONAL DANCES
(Breakfast and Dinner)

Today we will get onto the top of the Ma-unga Terevaka Volcano, which is with 512 meters the highest point on the island. If desired there will be provided horses for this excursion. From here we have a 360° round view on the biggest ocean on the planet. On the horizon we can clearly recognize the curvature of the earth.
During the afternoon we will have free time.
To end a day full of new experiences, our host family will prepare a farewell dinner. On the traditional manner there will be served recently yielded fruits, besides other delicious local dishes and products. As usual during family-visits and according to their traditions there will be presented rhythmic Rapa Nui dances and music.
In the end our hosts will hand over to us a handmade present as a souvenir and for the farewell.

Accommodation in Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 6 - CALAMA – SAN PEDRO – AYLLU COYO
(including dinner)

Arrival at the airport Calama and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, a varicolored and unusual village, 2.300 meters above sea level and surrounded by a wonderful green oasis. Around San Pedro there are many small villages with indigenous Atacameño communities (or Lick-Antay communities as it would be in the original Kunza language.) These villages are called Ayllus – in Kunza this expresses the organized structure of neighborly help, based on the estate rights of their ancestors and focused on the importance of communitarian cooperation.
In San Pedro we will find a variety of small and cozy restaurants and we will have some time to eat lunch or a snack. Subsequently we will drive about 5 km to the southwest in order to visit the community Ayllu of Coyo. After arrival we will visit two Atacameño-Families, who will lead us through their tracks and paths, showing the local irrigation system and livestock breeding. They will also show us the typical Atacameño handicraft production. The sale of their products is hard through the import of foreign goods (usually Bolivian and Peruvian) on local markets.

Accommodation with an Atacameño Family.

   


Day 7 - MOON VALLEY & ATACAMA SALTLAKE
(breakfast, lunch and dinner)

During forenoon we will visit the impressing Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna). It is about 18 km west of San Pedro and part of the national Reserve Los Flamencos, which is administrated by the community of San Pedro. This surreal place, one of the most spectacular of the Atacama Desert, is called this way because of its unique geological formation, which resemble the moon landscape strongly. Here we will explore this beautiful landscape and visit these strange sculptures created by nature out of Salt and Clay.
After lunch we will visit the Lakes Laguna Tebenquiche and the Laguna Céjar (Receding Lagoon), which are in the northern part of the Atacama Salt Lake. The Salt Lake was created Millions of Years ago through the upheaval of the Andes cordillera and the Domeyko cordillera. It is fascinating to observe the octagonal Salt crusts in the middle of the driest desert of the world. Here we can also observe 3 different kinds of Flamingos which do nourish themselves with the Salt Brine of the Lake.
To conclude the day we will have an extraordinary pleasure at the Laguna Céjar: because of the high concentration of minerals we will be able to swim in the water without moving.

Accommodation with an Atacameño Family.


Day 8 - TRADITIONS UND CUSTOMS OF THE ATACAMEÑOS
(breakfast and lunch)

Today we will concentrate completely on the traditions and culture of the Atacama people. In the morning we will experience a unique event, the traditional caravan. This hike with Lamas enables us to experience this antique manner of locomotion in the desert from hundreds of years ago, meanwhile our guide explains us a lot about this symbolic animal of the Andes.
Afterwards we will visit the community Ayllu Vilama in the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt cordillera) with an old watermill, which is used by the villagers since over a century. Here we can also interactively cooperate with the member of the community and do some of their daily work. On our way back we will enjoy views on the Cordillera de la Sal, an impressing mountain chain with folded Sedimentary Rock and Salt deposits.
In the evening we will participate in a cosmic event: Members of the Atacameño Community will introduce us into the world of the Andean astronomy, and the antique systems of the Lickan Antay for orientation in the desert. We will get to know techniques to use the cosmic energy in order to regulate our own energy of life.
Our last night we will stay in San Pedro in a quiet, stylish and cozy Hotel at the border of the village.

Overnight in Hotel Altiplanico ****


Day 9 - SAN PEDRO – CALAMA - TEMUCO
(Breakfast, dinner)

After breakfast we will say goodbye to our hosts and we will be transferred to airport in Calama from where we will take a flight to Temuco in the northern part of the region of the Lakes passing by Santiago. Transfer from Temuco or Valdivia Airport to the Budi Lake. We arrive at the community Llaguepulli, which is the touristic center of the Lake with a broad spectrum of activities and accommodations. After the initial welcome by the people of the community, we receive an interesting introduction about the world view of the Mapuche people, about their believes and their custom. One of the most attractive elements is the dance and the music of the Mapuche and in a place which allows getting to know the local people will be presented traditional dances, in which we are invited to participate. At the end of the day there is a very special place which invites us to rest – a traditional Mapuche Ruka.


Day 10 - COMMUNITY LLAGUEPULLI – PLAYA PUAUCHO

(Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

After breakfast we will visit a garden with medical plants, where we can appreciate some secrets of the more and more valued Natural Mapuche Medicine. We will be impressed by the large variety of plants and herbs in their garden, whereby every single one has its clearly defined purpose. We will also listen about the "Machi", who can cure diseases with their wisdom where traditional medicine does not work anymore. Not all communities do have a Machi, because they are not being selected or elected. They are discovered for having special abilities and being gifted persons for this function. In the following we will learn about the Mapuche women art of cooking and the results we will enjoy during lunch. In the afternoon we will depart for an excursion to the Puaucho beach, where we will visit the place where the ship "Joven Daniel" wrecked during the Tsunami after the great Earthquake in the year 1960. On the way we drive by the mountain Tren Tren, a fundamental place in the context of the mythology of the creation of our planet. According to the Mapuche people, the earth was born by the confrontation between Tren Tren (the snake which gives origin to the ground) and Cai Cai (the snake which gives origin to the sea). The Mapuche tradition does also say that there are regular disequilibria between the two forces, which have to be restored. Return to Llaguepulli, dinner and

Overnight in Ruka Mapuche.


Day 11 - ART WORKSHOP – LLEUFU ISLAND
In the morning we do have the opportunity to work hand in hand with the craftspeople, elaborating typical products made of drapery and with techniques of staining. They show us the different ancient ways of working materials and in the end we can take our self-made handicraft home as a souvenir.
We say goodbye to the family and depart with course to the Llepu Island. The trip will show us the western coast of the Budi Lake, where we will find an extraordinary variety of birds. In many opportunities we can get close to the Lake in order to observe them well. After lunch in the restaurant of Mrs. Norma, we continue by boat to the Llepu Island. During the boat tour we can appreciate numerous families of black-necked swans and other birds as for example the Kingfisher.
Upon arrival on the Llepu Island we will visit a small museum and we will walk a bit in this beautiful place where only 17 people do live. With a bit of luck we can enjoy the famous Waikil for dinner, a delicious fish, which does only exist in this lake.

Accommodation in the rustic Hostel Piuke Leufu.


Day 12 - BUDI LAKE – TEMUCO
(Breakfast)

After breakfast we return by boat to Collieufu and in the following the transfer will bring us back to Temuco. End of the program and flight back home or continuation in the region of the lakes or the Patagonia
 

 

 
         
         
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