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Eclipse Tour #54 “Ring Solar Eclipse”- Easter Island

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September 29-October 3, 2024. SOLD OUT. Waitlist Only.
Max People : 200
Tour Details
The annular eclipse as photographed in India December 2019 by Paul Maley


Join Ring of Fire Expeditions 55th solar eclipse expedition to famed Easter Island and witness a fabulous 6 minute 25 seconds ring eclipse of the Sun.  This expedition will be led by Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society and will be his  85th solar eclipse.  

What kind of eclipse is this? Just to be clear, this is an annular eclipse.  That is, the Moon is farther away than normal from the Earth and it will not completely cover the Sun. At central eclipse there will be a complete ring of sunlight surrounding the Moon. Some 94% of the Sun’s disc will be covered. The eclipse path width is 261km/162miles and we just happen to be lucky enough to get underneath the Moon’s shadow on Easter Island. The sky will not get completely dark but don’t let that dissuade you. It can be a photographic dream to capture Baily’s Beads (lunar mountains interacting with the Sun’s limb) at the start and again at the end of the eclipse.  For those engaged in extreme photography it may even be possible capture the inner corona or a prominence, though doing this is not for the faint of heart.  For your safety any photography and visual observation must be carried out at ALL TIMES with a proper neutral density filter. We will be providing ‘partial eclipse glasses’ to everyone.


Your adventure will take you first to Santiago, Chile and then on to Easter Island. Located at 3,700 km off the South American continent and surrounded by the clearest, deepest waters on the planet, Easter Island, also called Rapa Nui, has been the cradle of a unique and enigmatic culture that continues to endure today. The island’s language, music, and numerous traditions are kept alive by the island’s inhabitants, while the enormous carved stone Moai are testimony to their mysterious past.

Rapa Nui would have been occupied around the year 600 AD by a group of settlers believed to have come from the Marquesas Islands in the eastern Pacific. This original colony of the island is sanctified in myth, whose protagonist is Chief Hotu Matu’a, the first king and founding figure of the Rapa Nui culture. The milestones of this prehistoric age are the development of Rongo Rongo, an indecipherable writing system, and a devotion to ancestors symbolized by the Moai, whose construction would have started around the year 1000 AD, and would eventually total more than 900. Constructed of volcanic stone and located in large ceremonial altars, named Ahu, they allegedly possessed mana (supernatural power), and were a fountain of well-being, prestige, and legitimacy of the ruling class.

Day 1SEPTEMBER 29 (SUNDAY) - Arrival and transfer to hotel

You will be greeted at the gate as you exit the plane, and assisted at immigration and customs, to then proceed on to baggage claim. This process limits the time you will spend in the airport on formalities and waiting in queues.

Upon your arrival at Santiago International Airport, you will be met by a representative from our ground operator and transferred to your hotel in, the Ritz-Carlton in Santiago city. Your driver will assist with check-in. NOTE: CHECK-IN TIME IS NOT UNTIL 3:00PM. If you wish an earlier check-in you will need to pay for an additional pre-night. 

The Ritz-Carlton in Santiago offers a luxury hotel experience in the heart of El Golf, one of the city’s prestigious neighborhoods. Nestled between sandy Pacific beaches and snow capped Andes Mountains, the Ritz-Carlton, is a sophisticated retreat delivering personalized service.

Grand in size and style, the lobby at the Ritz-Carlton reflects the elegant details and the decor that throughout the property highlights local Chilean culture. Hotel amenities include soothing spa services, the pool at the Santiago hotel’s rooftop Health and Fitness Center that overlooks magnificent views of the city and Andes Mountains, as well as exquisite dining at one of four distinctive restaurants.

Ritz-Carlton Santiago. Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Hotels.


Afternoon sightseeing tour “Barrios”

This fascinating tour is an exploration of Santiago’s thriving barrios. In Chile, the term ‘barrio’ simply refers to a neighborhood with a character and identity of its own, and Santiago has plenty to choose from.

The downtown barrios of Brasil, Yungay, and Paris-Londres are of huge historical, political, and cultural importance. The revitalized Barrio Lastarria – perhaps the most fashionable area in the city at present – is packed with cafés, boutique hotels, small stores, and a lively restaurant scene. It is also home to the iconic creations of architect Luciano Kulczewski. Across the river, Barrio Bellavista is bohemian, sophisticated, tidy, and chaotic all at once, and is regarded as a seat of political and cultural revolution. Elsewhere, Barrio Italia is one of the true gems of Santiago. Known for its design stores and antiques restorers, it is also home to trendy cafés and a wide variety of restaurants, from full-on vegan, Spanish and Italian, to gourmet soup. Santiago’s barrios are not exclusive to the downtown areas however. For example, the elegant Barrio El Golf is home to embassies, multi-national companies, expats, and the country’s most expensive real estate. This tour offers contrasts galore and a unique insight into Santiago’s barrio life.

Welcome Dinner at the Hotel Restaurante

Day includes:

  • Private transfer to The Ritz Carlton Santiago
  • Dinner

Day excludes:

  • Early check-in

Overnight at The Ritz-Carlton Santiago

Easter IslandSEPTEMBER 30 – OCTOBER 3, 2024

We are flying to Easter Island since that is a really unique place from which to watch the annular solar eclipse!

Eclipse track with Easter Island’s location being the red dot inside the gray path to left of center. Courtesy X. Jubier.


You will be staying 3 nights at the Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa.


Hanagaroa Hotel exterior


The ever present bar in the Hangaroa Hotel

Hangaroa Hotel is a place where one encounters the simplicity and beauty of nature. It is an invitation to renew the soul and at the same time respecting nature and culture. Made of noble and natural materials, such as cypress logs, clay and volcanic rock, offering visitors a dip in Rapa Nui habitat. The cave inspired guest rooms and organic spaces are equipped with the latest technology that controls the consumption of water and electricity, minimizes noise and electromagnetic fields, ambient tempera taste of each guest. Among the services that the hotel has are three different restaurants, Vaikoa, Poerava and Kaloa, as well as a pool, spa, theater, ballroom, and meeting rooms.


Your accommodations in Kainga type rooms


Omelet station at Hangaroa


Tonight and on successive nights you can try to photograph the southern night sky from the hotel property.

DAY 2SEPTEMBER 30 (MONDAY) - Arrival to Easter Island

After breakfast, you will have a private transfer from your hotel to Santiago Airport for your flight.

Arrival to Easter Island, welcome by your Hotel representative and be transferred to the hotel

Afternoon excursion ” The Legend of the Bird Man”

The invitation on this day is to discover the place where the Bird Man competition (Tangata–manu) used to be celebrated.  It took place every year in the spring time on the cliffs of the Rano Kau volcano and the ceremonial village of Orongo.  We cannot forget that history will be present the entire time during our tour, one of the witnesses of that history is Rano Kau. This fresh water crater is one of the main volcanoes (not active) on our island and has a privileged view of the Pacific Ocean. We will be able to see the interior of the volcano. We will also visit the Orongo ceremonial village which is of great importance on a cultural and spiritual level given its relation with the Tangata Manu competition. The village has a total of 54 houses out of which most of them were restored in 1974.   Nowadays, this village has a path that will allow us a direct view to the restored houses along with its cave art and petroglyphs.  Next, we will head out towards Vinapu; this ceremonial center is one of the most important on the island and one of the most mysterious since its big slabs built out of basalt (volcanic rock) fit perfectly on the back of its ahu or platform, which impacts with its similarity to the ancient constructions of the Incan Empire in Cuzco.  In the image below you can see a group of statues set atop an ahu.

Day includes:

  • Breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel
  • Lunch  & dinner at Hotel in Easter Island

Included activities:

  • PM – Half-day excursion “The Bird Man Legend”
Milky Way as seen against a moai backdrop. Photo courtesy of Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa.


It is New Moon during this period so you should be able to consider setting up a photo like the one above against a dark sky background.

Day 3OCTOBER 1 (TUESDAY) - Easter Island

Our guide will pick you up at your hotel for your full day and start to understand and know the history and colonize process of the island and first inhabitants of the island. On this day you will visit; Ahu Akahanga, Rano Raraku, Ahu Tongariki, Ahu Te Pito Kura and Anakena beach (one possible site for eclipse observation if you wish to go there INDEPENDENTLY).  On this white sand beach, palm trees and crystal blue sea, stands one of the most beautiful ahu (platforms) on the island: the Nau Nau. Its seven moai have endings like tattoos and clothing. In Anakena was where the first inhabitants landed, according to legend, Hotu Matuía. Also here, stands, Ahu Ature Huki, apparently older, with a statue of anthropomorphic aspect.

Day includes:

  • Breakfast  at the Hotel
  • Picnic Lunch during tour

Included activities:

  • Full-day excursion “Arrival of Hotu Matua”
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Eclipse briefing


Safe watching of the entire eclipse must be done using a proper filter. Here Mia Lindholm uses ‘partial eclipse glasses’ to view properly. Debbie Moran photo.


We will observe at the hotel where 6 minutes, 23 seconds of annularity can be seen from that location. However, if you wish to go INDEPENDENTLY (on your own) to another location where perhaps moai might be framed along side the Sun, annularity is reducted to 5 minutes 50 seconds. 


Bob Hammarberg took this impressive shot with a point and shoot camera in December 2019 as partial phases began.


Note that you will have complete access to your hotel room, bathroom, etc. at the hotel. If going to any other location facilities will not be available. Be aware that any Moai sites are public and cannot be privately reserved. Therefore there will be other eclipse watchers at these locations. Since this is not a total eclipse there is no real advantage to being near a moai at that time since the sky will not be dark. A maximum of 94% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon during central eclipse.


Hotel pool area. Courtesy Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa.


Outside eating area and sea view at Hangaroa


The eclipse begins at 11:23 am local time with the Sun at an elevation of 56 degrees above the northeast; the maximum eclipse occurs at 1:07 pm when the Sun is at 66 degrees elevation above the north. The partial phase ends at 2:52 pm with the Sun 55 degrees above the west-northwest horizon. You will have plenty of time to set up in the morning, check exposure times and focus and take test images of the Sun using your neutral density 5 filter. Remember, you cannot look at the Sun without a proper solar filter to protect your eyes.


An image as the Moon’s limb approaches that of the Sun at tangency. Paul Maley photo.


Enlarged image of the two limbs in contact. The gaps in the arc are caused by lunar mountains. When the valleys are deep enough you can capture Baily’s Beads at each of two contact points–2nd contact (beginning of the annular phase) and 3rd contact (end of annular phase). Remember that the sky never gets fully dark so you must observe properly and with a safe filter at any time. Although it is often possible to notice the sky lowering slightly in brightness as annularity approaches. Paul Maley photo.


Day includes:

  • Full Board

Included activities:

  • Day at leisure for Eclipse to observe the entire eclipse process


During the entire eclipse process you can attempt to project the partially eclipsed Sun onto the ground. Jan Hellemans photo.


Day 5OCTOBER 3 (THURSDAY) - Departure from Hanga Roa, Chile

Morning tour that will introduce you to the connection on the ancient Rapa Nui people with the universe and starts. The excursion include ceremonial centers and tell the history about the last period of the moai construction. This excursion included: Ahu Akivi, Ana Te Pahu and Puna Pau.

At scheduled hour’s transfer from your hotel to Mataveri Airport for your domestic flight back to Santiago.

You will be met and assisted when disembarking your flight, you will be escorted to baggage claim to transfer your luggage and assisted with check-in for your connecting flight.  Or continue to Santiago for an extension.

Day includes:

  • Breakfast
  • Private transfer to Mataveri Airport
  • Airport assistance with connecting flight

Day excludes:

  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Late check-out

Journey Overview

Flights (The flights listed below are for reference only and will likely be changed as we get closer to the trip dates)

Date Details Departure Arrival
30 Sep 24 Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport to Mataveri International Airport 09:30 am 01:00 pm
3 Oct 24 Mataveri International Airport to Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport 03:35 pm 10:05 pm

*Not included in program (quoted separately)


Date Time Details
29 Sep 24    Santiago International Airport to The Ritz Carlton Santiago Hotel
30 Sep 24    The Ritz Carlton Santiago to Santiago Airport
30 Sep 24    Mataveri Airport to Hanga Roa Eco Village & Spa
3 Oct 24    Hanga Roa Eco Village & Spa to Mataveri International Airport


Date Destination Accommodation Details
29 Sep 24 to 30 Sep 24 Las Condes The Ritz-Carlton Santiago 8x Deluxe Room
12x Deluxe Room


30 Sep 24 to 3 Oct 24 Hanga Roa Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa 8x Kainga
12x Kainga

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Price Includes

  • Welcome and assistance service at Santiago airport
  • Accommodation inclusions as per the itinerary
  • All transport as mentioned on day of arrival and day of departure
  • Meals as shown in the daily itinerary
  • Entrance fee to National Parks where required
  • Eclipse briefing and solar eclipse observation
  • “Eclipse glasses” for observing the eclipse
  • No formal dress code: dress code is always ‘eclipse casual’

Price Excludes

  • Airfare of any kind — you will need air to/from Santiago, Chile SCL to your home town; also air from Santiago to Easter island and back; Direct Travel Groups Team (reservations@directtravelgroups.com) can assist.
  • Domestic air tickets between Santiago, Chile and Easter Island- prices to be quoted separately around November 2023
  • Early check-in or late check-out charges (hotel check-in time is usually 300pm)
  • Wi-fi charges if not provided free by each hotel
  • Pre or post night accommodations, tours, and any transfers if you are not specifically informed that they are included
  • Pre or post hotel expenses including any hotel services, meals not included, incidental expenses, etc. for which payment is required prior to checkout.
  • Any video or still camera fee being charged at a venue
  • Passport, visa, personal expenses
  • Laundry services
  • Medical services and fees
  • Trip cancellation and delay, medical evacuation insurance which is mandatory (passengers are required to secure this from Direct Travel or approve international insurance if you are a foreign national)
  • Drinks, tipping, excess baggage charges
  • Any item not specified in the WHAT IS INCLUDED section
Cost, Registration, & Payment

Pricing Information





Payment Information


  1. A deposit of $1750  is required per person upon registration. Cancellation fee is $500.00 per person up until January 1, 2022.
  2. January 2, 2022: second deposit is due of $2000 per person. Cancellation fee is $2000.00 per person up until June 30, 2023.
  3. June 30, 2023: full payment for the tour is due in full. Cancellation fee is 100% per person after June 30, 2023.


IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES you may pay by one of these methods: 1) credit cards, or 2) wire transfer. A USD$50 fee is charged if a wire transfer is used for each payment.  No checks or money orders can be accepted! Please contact Direct Travel Groups Team reservations@directtravelgroups.com  to make arrangements.

Registering for the Tour


  1. Click HERE to REGISTER and make payment. One registration form must be submitted for each person in your party.

We cannot confirm you unless both the registration form [one for each person] and payment are all received.


Passengers when signing up for the tour confirms that

  • that they are in good health and well able to undertake the trip and the contemplated activities;
  • that they will effect travel insurance sufficient to cover any limitation of liability against them
  • that they accept the risk that they may suffer from travel
  • that they have disclosed any physical or mental disability requiring special attention (including the use of a wheelchair) or treatment at the time when the reservation for thetrip was made;
  • that no passenger will be permitted to embark or continue on a voyage while their mental or physical condition is, in the opinion of any representative of Direct Travel, such as to render them incapable of caring for themselves, or whereby they become objectionable to other passengers, or they become a hazard to themselves or others. Neither Direct Travel nor our ground operator will not be responsible for any expenses resulting in such persons being precluded from completing the trip;
  • that the passenger accepts that a medical certificate certifying fitness for travel may be required at the carrier’s request and if any passenger has had surgery less than twelve (12) months prior to sailing that passenger must submit a letter from a qualified physician stating that he or she is fit to travel and the carrier reserves the right to deny passage if a passenger requires care and attention which the carrier cannot adequately provide and this decision may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
  • The carrier reserves the right to refuse or deny participation in activities or programs either aboard the Ship or off Ship which are sponsored or promoted by the carrier to any passenger who has a past or present medical condition that may present risks if the passenger participates in those activities and any decision in this respect may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
  • Any charges incurred by passengers for medical reasons including but not limited to physicians, surgeons, hospitals, off Ship accommodation, medication, diagnostic facilities, air ambulance evacuation or ground ambulance shall be the sole responsibility of the passenger;
  • for the safety and comfort of passengers smoking is not permitted on the tour
  • and the passenger agrees to indemnify the carrier from and against all claims, costs, charges, fines or penalties arising as a result of any claim made against the carrier in this respect.

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