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.
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.
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
Overnight at The Ritz-Carlton Santiago
We are flying to Easter Island since that is a really unique place from which to watch the annular solar eclipse!
You will be staying 3 nights at the Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa.
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.
Tonight and on successive nights you can try to photograph the southern night sky from the hotel property.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flights (The flights listed below are for reference only and will likely be changed as we get closer to the trip dates)
|30 Sep 24
|Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport to Mataveri International Airport
|3 Oct 24
|Mataveri International Airport to Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport
*Not included in program (quoted separately)
|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
|29 Sep 24 to 30 Sep 24
|The Ritz-Carlton Santiago
|8x Deluxe Room
12x Deluxe Room
|30 Sep 24 to 3 Oct 24
|Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
$7303. PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY.
$8103. SINGLE ROOM.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THE EXPEDITION
We cannot confirm you unless both the registration form [one for each person] and payment are all received.
PASSENGER HEALTH AND RESPONSIBILITY
Passengers when signing up for the tour confirms that