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Travellers Choice agents shake it up in Chile

January 19, 2017 Photo Gallery No Comments Email Email

Travellers Choice agents visiting Easter Island and Chile’s Atacama Desert recently on an exclusive famil were fully expecting to see spectacular scenery and unique cultural artefacts. What they didn’t anticipate was the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit 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,” says 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.”

Hosted by Adventure World and LATAM Airlines, the luxury famil travelled from Chile’s capital to San Pedro for three days exploring the spectacular Atacama Desert, renowned as the driest (non-polar) place on earth.

Celia Mackenzie from Endeavour Travel & Cruise in Queensland says the environment was a dramatic combination of salt flats, volcanoes and steaming geysers.

“The wildlife was also extraordinary,” she says “One day we went up as high as 4820 metres 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 lush Catarpe Valley of the Salt Mountain Range. Water from glacial snow makes the resort an oasis, and it’s spa was recently named one of the 10th best in Latin America.

The journey also included Easter Island and a trek around its majestic moai, hundreds of which dot the island, each with its own distinctive features.

Mackenzie says 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 seven meters high. In total they are probably around 21 metres tall and they are really imposing.”

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