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Tips please - Chile The Atacama to Patagonia and EI add on
Post: #1

I've just been reading through the reviews trying  to glean tips for this holiday and  I have a few questions I would like to ask if anyone could help please.

Clothing - Layering seems to be order of the day + wet gear and footwear being hiking sandals and/or walking shoes with good grip, but what about evenings, how much opportunity is there in the busy schedule for smart casual, what would you recommend to take?

Toiletries - Good to see hair dryers are provided in all hotels but what about toiletries such as shower gel etc? The Icon in Santiago is the only hotel that mentions hair dryers and toiletries.

Money - It seems that most people mentioned they spent around £500, was that altogether or £500 cash plus use of cards? Excluding things like souvenirs what would you say is the average every day spend for coffee stops, evening meals etc?

Jewellery - If I buy anything this would be it. I know some of you bought jewellery, how do prices compare to the UK, I'm particulary interested in silver rather than gold, and where was the best place to buy?

Suitcase - Ladies, what size case did you take? Strange question I know, I'm looking to buy a new suitcase as I don't think either of the ones I've got (different sizes) will withstand the rigours of yet more baggage handling and there appears there will be rather a lot of  that on this holiday.

Any answers you can give to my questions and any other tips you can give would be greatly appreciated.

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Post: #2
Hi Avocet
I can't comment on the Chile leg of the tour (Bob Gray is your man for that), but I have been to Easter Island twice now (and am going back again in 2020). You'll find an edited version of my 2016 blog on the Chile Tour home page, or the full review if you put 'Easter Island' into the search function at the top of the page.

Toileteries - I'm not sure what date you are travelling but as far as I know, JY are still using the Iorana Hotel on Easter Island. I have also stayed here twice and can confirm that they do have some shampoo, conditioner and soap in the rooms but not shower gel. They also have hairdryers and fridges and you get the remote controls for the air con unit and the TV in your welcome pack on arrival (you won't have much time to watch TV though!) You can also get extra towels for the pool from reception.

Clothing - again I can't comment on Chile but on Easter Island it can be very windy and when it rains, boy does it rain, but usually only for about 30 minute bursts. When it is sunny, there is very little cover and the UV factor can go up to 11+ (i.e. the Highest rating) so make sure you have plenty of sun screen.

Money - Rapa Nui can be expensive and the range of food limited because everything is flown in. I don't know if your included tours have lunch provided (some of the private tour guiding companies do but not all of them) but in Hanga Roa there are a number of good restaurant and café options and out at Rano Raraku (the Moai quarry) there is a brilliant café that does the best hot sandwiches.

Jewellery - There is a craft market next to the church and a number of souvenir shops around the capital, Hanga Roa and at the tourist sites selling jewellery, but the one I recommend is at Rano Raraku in the same building as the café I mentioned above. It is a little artisan market and there is a gentleman there who hand makes the most beautiful silver and lapis lazuli jewellery (Third stall on the left with your back to the café) . It's totally unique and his prices are very reasonable (you may also be able to get a better deal if you pay in cash in pesos rather than using a credit card)

You will have an amazing time on this incredible island. Happy to help with any other questions
All the best
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Post: #3
Many thanks Mandy for all your helpful tips for Easter Island, everything has been duly noted, I hope I have time to visit the jewellery stall you mention at Rano Raraku and maybe grab one of those hot sandwiches, as yet I don't have a day by day itinerary.

I have read your full review and I am sure I will enjoy every minute on Rapa Nui, it's obviously a special place for you.

Once again thanks

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