Island visits with Chilean Special Journeys

By: Mary Attick
This item appears on page 42 of the September 2018 issue.

Have you ever wanted to travel to a very remote place but thought it was a good idea to have someone help with the plans? Well, my husband, Fred, and I did. Our desired destinations were Robinson Crusoe Island and Easter Island.

We chose Chilean Special Journeys, or CSJ (Palacio Concha, Av. Concha y Toro 44, Barrio Concha y Toro, Santiago, CHILE; phone, in the US, 888/345-6077, www.chileanspecialjourneys.com), from an advertisement in ITN. We could not have chosen better!

For our trip, Feb. 27-March 15, 2018, we paid a total of $7,100, which included four nights in Santiago, three nights on Robinson Crusoe Island, four on Easter Island, flights to and from both islands (in business class both directions for Easter Island), two nights at an airport hotel between those flights, two days of guide service and one overnight in Valparaíso and all airport transfers.

The stays on Robinson Crusoe and Easter islands included breakfasts, lunches and guide service.

The owner of CSJ, Scott Jones, is American by birth but Chilean by heart and residence. Because Fred couldn't walk far or do much climbing, Scott arranged tours adapted to our needs.

On Robinson Crusoe, we stayed in a guest house very close to the pier where the small boat docks after the flight and the transfer to town. We were there four days, and we were busy but not overworked.

The guest house provided breakfasts and lunches, and we were able to walk to many restaurants. The only challenge was deciding which one! Lobster and octopus were available and delicious. We were able to relax on our private porch and watch the activity on the main street and the dock.

On Easter Island, one of the owners of the guest house picked us up at the airport and was also our guide.

The couple who owns the guest house, Ramon and Josie, were interesting because they have several generations of local history in their ancestry. Everyone there knows Josie because her grandfather was instrumental in helping to raise some of the fallen moai in the early 1900s. What wonderful stories they told!

We visited all of the moai and the quarries. We also attended a dance performance. Ramon knew the best places to get the best photos at the right time of day.

Scott really understood our needs and made the trip both interesting and easy. We travel a lot, and this was one of the best-planned and easiest trips.

Mary Attick

Lititz, PA