Friendly Planet Travel Debuts New Luxurious Easter Island and Machu Picchu Tours



Known as the world’s most remote inhabited island, Easter Island is endowed with magnificent archeological sites and treasures. Similarly, Machu Picchu is isolated in its high-altitude ancient Inca setting, making this “lost city” one of the world’s most breathtaking and culturally dynamic sites. Now, unlock the mystery of these world-class historical sites with Friendly Planet Travel’s surprisingly affordable price of $3,599—airfare included—allowing savvy travelers who love great deals as much as they love great destinations to put Easter Island and Machu Picchu at the top of their must-do vacation list.

Friendly Planet Travel’s luxurious Exotic Easter Island and Machu Picchu package takes travelers on a spectacular South American journey to discover the massive and mysterious Moai stone statues that stand guard over the Polynesian island, while also visiting Lima, Peru’s capital city, Cusco, the archeological heart of South America, and Machu Picchu, the mysterious lost city of the Incas.

“Our new program to Easter Island and Machu Picchu combines two exotic and fascinating destinations; luxury accommodations; plenty of adventure, history, art, and archaeology-focused sightseeing; and many meals, all elegantly wrapped in one incredibly affordable package,” says Peggy Goldman, President of Friendly Planet Travel. “Easter Island is normally out of reach for most travelers due to its extreme geographic isolation, limited transportation options to the island and, as a result, high cost. But thanks to our very aggressive pricing, our tour makes the island accessible and affordable by allowing travelers to take advantage of LAN Airlines new direct flight from Lima, which then serves as the gateway to the magnificent lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. Despite the affordable price, this is a deluxe program based on carefully selected hotels and small groups of eight to 16 travelers for a more intimate traveling experience. The Friendly Planet tour is priced at nearly half what similar programs to the region cost, and departures from four convenient LAN Airlines gateway cities –MIA, JFK, LAX and SFO, are the same price. We’re really excited about this extraordinary, luxury-for-less opportunity, and we believe our travelers will be too.”

Friendly Planet Travel’s Exotic Easter Island and Machu Picchu tour includes round-trip airfare from four gateways via LAN Airlines (Miami, New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco); fuel surcharges, airline taxes, and fees; all intra-South America flights; land transportation and transfers; Vistadome train to and from Machu Picchu; and nine nights in deluxe hotels. The tour also includes daily breakfast, two lunches, and three dinners; a comprehensive touring program, including entrance fees; and professional, English-speaking tour guides.

This exotic trip begins on the mysterious and remote Easter Island, a tiny speck in the southeastern Pacific Ocean that actually belongs to Chile. Travelers enjoy luxurious, well-located hotel accommodations at the island’s newest deluxe spa resort, the Hangaroa. Volcanic mountains form a rugged backdrop to a surprisingly sensuous experience of spas, snorkeling, fresh seafood cooked on open fires, and mesmerizing music and dance that tell the stories of the island’s early Rapanui people.

At the UNESCO World Heritage Site, travelers spend time exploring Hanga Roa, the small town and capital of Easter Island, before traveling south to visit the impressive Rano Kau volcano and Terevaka volcano. Visitors will then head to the small seaside village of Ahu Tahai to discover the oldest collection of Easter Island’s iconic, monolithic human stone Moai statues that can weigh up to 100 tons.

The tour continues with an excursion to the volcanic crater of Rano Raraku, which served as a quarry that supplied the stone for the Moai statues on the island, and where nearly 400 Moai in various stages of completion are located. Along the way, stop at Ahu Akahanga, the necropolis of King Hotu Matua, surrounded by 13 majestic Moai decorated with red stones and hieroglyphs. Next, the tour visits Easter Island’s largest ahu, or cave, Tongariki, known for its famous 15 massive Moai that were almost totally destroyed during the island’s tribal civil wars. The tour then continues north to discover the “navel of the world,” Ahu Te Pito Kura, the site of the largest Moais on the island, including a picnic on one of only two white sand beaches on the island-Anakena beach.

The second half of the tour brings travelers to Peru to visit ancient Inca cities and enjoy the hospitality of the extraordinarily friendly Peruvian people. In Lima, travelers enjoy a city tour of both modern and historic Lima; a special visit to the Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum, famous for its fine gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru, including an infamous collection of erotic art; and accommodations at the beautiful, well-located, brand new five-star Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores.

Travelers then fly from Lima to Cusco, and continue by coach to Ollantaytambo, located at the foot of spectacular Inca ruins which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley. They explore the incredible temple area and incomplete complex, still under construction from the time of the conquest by Spain, then overnight at the Aranwa Sacred Valley hotel, nestled among the hills of the Sacred Valley.

Travelers make their way to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, via Vistadome train traveling through the lush Urubamba Valley and arriving in the late morning, allowing plenty of time to explore one of the most spectacular and enigmatic archaeological sites in the world. The Machu Picchu complex, the most recognizable symbol of the Incan Empire, consists of giant walls, terraces, and ramps constructed from precisely cut rock formations. This impressive architectural feat, in combination with its breathtaking natural setting amidst mist-covered green mountains above the rushing Urubamba River, makes for a visually stunning, mystical, even transformative, experience.

Travelers depart Machu Picchu, again by Vistadome train, and travel to Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire and the final stop on this journey through Peru. An included city tour explores the main sites of Plaza de Armas and the magnificent 16th century cathedral, built on the ruins of the Koricancha, an important Inca temple to the Sun God. The tour also includes the village and markets of Chinchero, with its women’s cooperative where alpaca wool is dyed, spun, and woven into colorful textiles and tapestries. While in Cusco, travelers stay at the gorgeous, high-end Aranwa Cusco that offers friendly service and deluxe accommodations.

Friendly Planet’s 11-day Exotic Easter Island & Machu Picchu tour is available for $3,599 on the departure dates of Nov. 10, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, if booked by Oct. 3. For $100 more, travelers can depart on Jan. 5, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, Feb. 23, Mar. 2, Mar. 9, and Mar. 16, if booked by Oct. 3.

Friendly Planet Travel, www.FriendlyPlanet.com