2010 solar eclipse tour I - from A Classic Tour Collection by Mark Sukhija

Please mention MarksTravelNotes.com when contacting eclipse tour operators.

2010 SOLAR ECLIPSE TOUR – Peru & Chile including Easter Island.

Jun. 26 to Jul. 14 - 19 days visiting; Lima, Chiclayo- Sipan, San Jose De Moro, Trujilio- Chan Chan & Huanchaco, Cusco- Machu Picchu & Scared valley, Santiago, Valparaiso, La Serena- Elqui valley & Easter Island.


Board LAN Airlines flight late this evening for Peru.


Following your early arrival in Lima you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Casa Andina Private Collection, Miraflores. Rest of the morning is at leisure.

Afternoon tour of Pachacamac ruins. Pachacamac is the nearest archeological site to Lima. Pachacamac was an important religious center of the coast more than 1,000 years before the Inca Empire. Under the Inca reign, the site kept its importance and certain buildings - as Mamaconas (House of the selected women) - were built at that time. When the Spanish arrived, Pachacamac was the largest religious center and city on the coast. It was a complex of palaces and pyramid temples where people came to adore the god Pachacamac. In the museum of the site there is a wooden statue of Pachacamac. Hernando Pizarro (the governor's brother) came to Pachacamac in 1533 to claim the gold ransom for the release of Atahualpa. Not having found the gold, the Spanish killed the priests, destroyed the pagan images and plundered the temples. The ruins encircle a hill whose top is formed by the Temple of the Sun. This vast pyramid was built in 1350 using adobe bricks and was partially restored. Mamaconas is one of the principal buildings also restored. Here the "selected women" learned to weave the fabrics where the clothes of the Inca were made. This evening, attend a Welcome Dinner and a Folklore show. BD


Embark on a tour of Lima, the social and economic heart of Peru. Visit the beautiful Colonial Lima Cathedral. The building was commenced in 1635 by Francisco Pizarro a Spanish conquistador, conqueror of the Inca Empire and founder of Lima La Ciudad de los Reyes, capital of Peru. His is a truly extraordinary story as he ultimately led only 106 foot soldiers and 62 horsemen annexing the Inca supported by a reported 80,000 troops. This led to the downfall of the Inca Empire and the start of Spanish rule. Continue to the Convent and Church of San Francisco, constructed in the 17th century, noted for its architecture, a high example of Spanish Neoclassicism. Catacombs are built under the monastery and are said to connect to other catacombs beneath the cathedral and other church areas. The convent's library is world-renowned also the headquarters to the Museum of Religious Art. This afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on your own. BL


Transfer and board early morning flight to Chiclayo on the north coast, our base for exploring Sipan, the 1700-year-old archaeological site where hoards of gold and silver were discovered only a few years ago. On arrival, transfer to GRAN HOTEL CHICLAYO. Visit Sipan, the burial site of the Moche culture, a civilization that flourished on the north coast of Peru between 100 and 800 AD. The burial grounds, which are extensive, contain several royal tombs, the 1,700 year old funeral offerings, among them pieces worked in precious metals, stone, pottery, textiles and decorated in gold. The original pieces are exhibited in the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, located 17 kilometers from Chiclayo. This museum is a replica of the Moche Pyramid, under which the tombs were discovered. Finally, visit the vast archaeological complex of Tucume, situated 35 kilometers north of Chiclayo also known as the Valley of the Pyramids. It was originally constructed by the Lambayeque people between 1,000 and 1,400 AD and is home to the largest adobe structure in the world. BL


The drive to Trujillo takes us through a diverse cultural landscape whose ancient monuments and cities pre-date the arrival of the Spanish. The archaeological site of San Jose de Moro was in continuous use for some 1,000 years. A ceremonial funeral site, it has yielded a wealth of complex Moche burial rituals and ceremonies. Continue to the museum at the Mochica excavation site at San Jose de Moro. On arrival in Trujillo, an elegant city situated on the coast, check in to The Libertador Hotel. The richness of the city’s colonial past is evident in the number of churches and mansions that remain from this era. This colonial ambience is enhanced by the attractive wrought-iron grills decorating many of the buildings. Afternoon tour of the Moche sites of Huacas Del Sol y Luna, an archeological complex of the Moche, a pre-Inca civilization in Northern Peru. The complex consists of 2 temples, the temples of the Sun and Moon. Significant archeological research has only been done at the complex since the early 1990s, the larger of the 2 pyramids, Huaca Del Sol, has not been excavated so far. The Huacas Del Sol y de la Luna (sun and moon) is adorned with colorful paintings, typical of the Moche culture. Each painting is nearly 6 feet tall and is found on the temples’ interior and exterior walls. BL


Visit the private Archaeological Museum of Jose Cassinelli, a remarkable collection of ceramics from the Moche and Chimu civilizations exhibited in an equally remarkable gallery. Later, travel to the Chimu site of Chan Chan, the largest mud city in the world and a UNESCO cultural heritage site built between the 10th and 13th centuries. The Chimu kingdom was finally conquered by the Incas around AD 1470, when its empire covered over 800 kilometers of the Pacific coastline. This vast site is divided into four main interest areas, with the main complex named Tschudi Palace; Next visit the temples of Huaca Esmeralda and Huaco Arco, Huaca el Dragon has some fascinating rainbow-shaped friezes. Continue to the seaside village of Huanchaco, where fishermen continue to use the ancient seagoing rafts designed by the Mochicas. Made from cigar-shaped bundles of tortora reeds the skiffs are known as caballitos or little horses and are ridden through the waves rather like surfboards. BL


This morning, fly to Cusco via Lima. Cusco was the first advanced trading post in the Andes, becoming a melting pot for the Inca and Spanish Cultures. Check in at Hotel Casa Andina Private Collection. This afternoon, embark on a walking tour of Cusco. Visit the Cusco Cathedral, one of the finest Colonial Cathedrals in the Americas. The design is constituted by a Latin - Cross base, the facade has a Renaissance style, very ornamental and houses the best manifestations of colonial goldsmith and wood carvings, as well as a valuable collection of canvases from the Escuela Cusqueña (Academy of Cusco). Proceed to the Inca Museum. Finally, visit Coricancha originally named Inti Qancha (Temple of the Sun) the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God. Its walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold and the courtyard was filled with golden statues. It is a fine example of Inca stonework incorporated into the structure of a colonial building. Major earthquakes have severely damaged the church but the Inca stone walls, built out of large, tightly-interlocking blocks of stone, still stands thanks to the sophisticated stone masonry. Nearby is an underground archaeological site museum containing a number of interesting pieces, including mummies, textiles and sacred idols. This evening, attend a dinner and folklore show in a local restaurant. BD

Day 8- JUL. 03: SAT – MACHU PICCHU EXCURSION by train- By Vistadome

The Vistadome train offers beautiful panoramic windows, unsurpassed scenic views and photographic opportunities. With glass surrounding on all sides, you feel as if you are part of the remarkable surroundings. Snacks and soft drinks served on board. BL

OPTION – By luxury train – BRIGHAM EXPRESS (Supplement applies)

Board the luxury Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. Its distinctive blue and gold livery and elegant interior upholstery in warm, inviting tones, consists of 4 cars - 2 dining cars, a bar/observation car and kitchen car. Brunch is served on board the train while you enjoy the spectacular scenery unfolding before you from the large windows or the observation car. 

Machu Picchu, the breathtaking Lost City of the Incas, is located on a natural saddle between high mountains. Terraced slopes fall away to the Urubamba River, which rushes around a hairpin bend far below the citadel. Since its fortuitous discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911, a whole host of theories as to its historical significance have emerged. What is in no doubt is how finely preserved the site is, not been discovered by the Spanish conquistadors nor disturbed by looters since its abandonment. Your guide will lead you on a full exploration of the ruins - staircases, terraces, temples, palaces, towers, fountains and the famous sundial. After the tour board the Hiram Bingham for pre-dinner cocktails accompanied by live entertainment Enjoy a 4-course, à la carte dinner, in the dining cars. Arrive in Cusco and overnight at Hotel.

Transfers and tour of Machu Picchu included in both options.


Today, tour the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The citadel, at the entrance to this gorge, now in ruins, controlled a route which connected the Inca Empire with Paucartambo, on the border of the eastern jungles. Set high above a valley floor patch worked by patterned fields and rimmed by vast terracing, the stonework and panoramas at Pisac's Inca citadel are magnificent. Next, visit the market town of Pisac and the Inca Ruins that lie above. Pisac is a great place to buy local artifacts. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday there is a large artisans market where many local craftsmen come from the surrounding hills to sell their goods. Finally, proceed to Ollantaytambo, an attractive little town located at the western end of the Sacred Valley and is the best surviving example of Inca town planning. The town is divided in canchas (blocks), which are almost entirely intact. Each cancha has only one entrance (usually a huge stone doorway), leading into a central courtyard. The houses surround the courtyard. Return to Cuzco for overnight at the hotel. BL

Day 10- JUL. 05: MON – CUSCO/LIMA/SANTIAGO - Chile

After Breakfast, fly to Lima, making a further connection with our international flight to Santiago. Meeting assistance on arrival and transfer to SHERATON HOTEL. B


Our city tour takes us through the main streets of Santiago's civic center with its varied architectural styles. Pass the neoclassical Moneda Palace built in the 18th century and current seat of the Government; Plaza de Armas or Main Square with its cathedral; Museum of National History and the Central Post Office. Continue to the Parque Forestal, based on Paris's Champs-Elysees, the Fine Arts Museum and Santa Lucia Hill, where Santiago was founded in 1541. Continue to the bohemian area of Bellavista to climb the San Cristobel hill for a panoramic view of Santiago with the Andes Mountains in the background. The tour concludes with a visit to the handicraft village of Los Graneros del Alba. This afternoon, travel to Valparaíso. Enjoy the scenery in the Curacaví and Casablanca valleys and the coastal mountain range. Arrive at Valparaíso the main seaport of Chile and see cluster of houses built along the hills. On one of the hills is “La Sebastiana”- the former home of the Nobel Prize winning poet- Pablo Neruda with a vast collection of his possessions. Pass the National Congress building, driving along Pedro Montt Avenue, to see the Italian Park, Victoria Square and the Cathedral. On Brasil Avenue, view the British Arch, Regional Government Building and the statue to Lord Cochrane. Continue, passing through the Chinese Quarter, monument to the heroes of Iquique, Prat Quay, and the historic elevators of the Port of Valparaíso, former Customs House and El Membrillo Cove. After the Tour dinner will be at a local restaurant. Return to Santiago and overnight at the hotel. BD

Day 12- JUL 07: SANTIAGO/LA SERENA- Elqui Valley

A short flight brings us to La Serena. Travel overland to Granja Asis, located a few minutes from La Serena at the beginning of Elqui Valley, opportunity to ride a horse or walk, to see the panoramic view of natural landscape and the crops on the hillside of the Elqui River. Continue towards the Distilling Plant of Pisco located in Vicuña’s surroundings: guided tour and tasting. Stop at Vicuna downtown to see the main square, Bauer Tower and Cathedral. Depart Vicuña for Elqui Valley, home to many international observatories. After settling in at our unique astronomical hotel - ELQUI DOMOS where the rooms consist of geodesic domes in a two storey plan. The first floor is a living room and bathroom. Upstairs there is a bedroom with a detachable roof to view the night sky. We will visit one of the world's major astronomical observatories, probably the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, where the telescopes are as large as 4 meters in diameter. The Cerro Pachon site with the Gemini South Observatory's 8 meters telescope is a possible visit. It is subject to availability and confirmation. Alternate observatories will be arranged. BLD

NOTE: ELQUI DOMOS has a total of 7 rooms (singles and double) and will be allocated on first come first serve basis. After 7 rooms are booked remaining participants will be accommodated at MISTEROS DE ELQUI HOTEL (Cabins)


Visit Pisco Elqui downtown and Gabriela Mistral Museum in Montegrande. One of the most important areas of Chile called “Norte Chico” (little North). Blue skies, clean air, wide prairies cultivated with local fruits such as papayas (famous for its nutritious properties), cherimoyas and vine grapes. After Lunch, return to La Serena and tour Coquimbo City, visiting Guayacan, La Herradura Bay, English neighborhood, La Recova Market. At La Serena stop at the Monumental Lighthouse, a 28 meters high structure built in 1951, the city’s symbol. The city has 3 architectural periods: Colonial (some churches and the traditional Spanish way: Main Plaza on the heart and squares around), Mining (started in 1825 with the discovery of silver mines and later with copper, houses and churches with neo-classical style and Italian and north American influence) and the Neo-colonial period in 1948 by Republican President Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, The latter style is found mainly today, on La Serena’s gardens, avenues and houses, with a copy of the Californian colonial style. Proceed to La Recova, a popular market where vegetables and local fruits, restaurants and handicrafts shops can be found. Returning to the hotel, we will drive through the beautiful Francisco de Aguirre Boulevard, where many reproductions of historical marble statues between the trees of this popular park can be seen. Fly back to Santiago and stay overnight at the airport. HOLIDAY INN HOTEL. BL


Morning, fly to Easter Island, which was declared by UNESCO in 1996 UNESCO as `Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad’, home to old culture of Rapa Nui. Meeting assistance and transfer to the hotel. Evening, walk though the town and dine at a local restaurant. VAI MOANA HOTEL. BD


After breakfast, travel to Rano Kao volcano bordering the coast. The route ascends its slopes to the summit, where we will observe the impressive crater 1.6 kilometers across and more than 200 meters deep. Along the crater is Orongo, a magnificent ceremonial city with a major concentration of enigmatic petro-glyphs depicting ancient deities of Easter Island’s culture. Overview of the 3 islets: Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao kao and sea birds. Next visit Vinapu, noted for its stone carvings, extraordinary resemblance with those found in the American Andean cultures. Return to the hotel where rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

The recently discovered dwarf planet Makemake (a plutoid, along with Pluto, Eris and Haumea) derived its name from a Rapa Nui deity. Our lecturer will describe his studies of Pluto and Haumea. He will also provide an eclipse orientation and a survey of past eclipse observations.

This evening climb atop a nearby hill or you may enjoy a horse ride (optional - extra cost applies) to view the sunset followed by a BBQ dinner.BD

Day 16- JUL. 11: SUN – ECLIPSE DAY

Visit the ruins of Vaihu Temple; it is preserved just as it was left after the ancient wars. The highlights are the red hats of the Moais, which were thrown to the sea. Continue to the abandoned quarry of the Rano Raraku Volcano, construction site for all the Moais on the island. Next, visit the recently restored Ahu Tongariki including the largest group of maois destroyed by tsunami in 1960. Lunch will be at our eclipse viewing site next to Maois. Prepare for eclipse viewing and return to the hotel for a Polynesian Luau Dinner. BD


Morning visit Ahu Akivi (7 Moai), the Ana Tepahu caves and Puna Pau. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the town on your own or to do more sightseeing.BD


Fly back to Santiago and connect with your flight to New York.


LAND TOUR COST- (Based on a minimum of 10 persons)

$ 7478.00 per person sharing

Single room supplement- $ 2590.00

Includes: Hotel accommodations as listed or similar with private bath/shower

Meals as listed- American Breakfast daily + 8 Lunch and 7 Dinners

Accompanied by professional tour Director

Transfers and sightseeing tours as listed

Local English speaking guide

Entrance fees, guide fees, driver allowances etc.

Special Welcome Dinner with Peruvian folklore show

Andean Cuisine Dinner, Inca ceremony & folk show in Cusco

Specialty restaurants, enjoy local cuisines & more

Exclusive Eclipse viewing site, entertainment and much more


Machu Pichu- Day trip by Hiram Bingham luxury train- $ 360.00 per person

Easter Island- Horse ride and sunset - $ 250.00 per person

AIRFARES: From New York – JFK

Economy- Including internal Peru & Chile flights- $ 3955.00 per person

Call for Business and First Class Fares.

NOTE: Airfares are based on current tariffs and subject to change by the airlines without notice. Taxes and fuel surcharge is extra- currently at (Jun. 2009). $ 250.00


DEPOSITS: Land- $ 1000.00 per person

Airfare - $ 1000.00 per person if buying International air on LAN. Or $2000.00 per person for those making their own international air or flying on other airlines. Higher costs for Internal Peru and Chile will apply if not flying internationally on LAN. Check at the time of booking.

Deposits are due at time of booking. (Prefer by Jul. 10 to guarantee airspace)

$ 2000.00 due by Dec. 15, 2009 ($1000.00 each for Land and Air)

$ 2000.00 due by Feb. 15, 2010

Balance/Final payment due on or before Mar. 15, 2010

Airfare deposits/payments are non refundable.

Cancellation Policy- LAND TOUR

Upto- Dec. 14, 2009 –$ 500.00 per person

Upto Mar. 14, 2010- $2500.00

Mar. 15 or later- 100%

Note: Easter Island prices are subject to change


3 nights/ 4 days- San Pedro de Altacama- $ 794.00 per person sharing. Single room supplement- $ 650.00. Airfare Roundtrip from Santiago- appox. $350.00 per person. Includes- Seat in bus transfers and tours, Hotel with Breakfast & 2 box lunches.

DAY 01


Arrive Calama airport, meeting assistance and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. Enroute you will see the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountain Range) and the Licancabur Volcano in the background. Arrival to the hotel San Pedro de Atacama. Overnight.

DAY 02


Tour the Archaeological Museum Padre Le Paige, with studies of Atacamenian Culture over the last 11.000 years. Afterwards visits to the town church, the Main Square, the house of Pedro de Valdivia (conqueror and founder of Santiago), and Pukará de Quitor. In the afternoon, excursion to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), famous worldwide for its “lunar” appearance, salt caves, the Tres Marías (Three Mary’s) rock formations, and dunes that will grant the chance of witnessing a spectacular sunset. Overnight at the hotel. B

DAY 03


Full day excursion visiting the village of Toconao with its interesting liparita stone buildings, continue on to the Atacama Salt Flat where the Los Flamencos National Reserve is located, and three of the most beautiful flamingo species live. Visit the Altiplanic lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques located over 4.000 meters (over 13.000 feet) above sea level. Return to the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. Overnight at Hotel. BL

DAY 04


Early morning departure to the Tatio Geysers to experience this spectacular demonstration of volcanic activity. Visit to the village of Caspana with its fertile terraces, architecture in liparita stone and characteristic mud-roofs. The trip continues to Lasana Pukará, testimony of the native culture; passing through Chiu-Chiu, with its important historical legacies, including one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in Chile. Arrival to Calama in the afternoon. Transfer to the airport for the departure flight.

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Further reading

2010 solar eclipse - Easter Island - Travel information on Easter Island

2010 eclipse tour operators - Tour operators providing tours to the eclipse in Easter Island, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands

2010 solar eclipse - Cook Islands - Travel information about the Cook Islands

2010 solar eclipse - Tahiti - Travel information about Tahiti (French Polynesia) and the 2010 eclipse

2010 solar eclipse tour from Journeys Worldwide - recommended - Details of the Journeys Worldwide journey to Easter Island for the 2010 total solar eclipse

2010 solar eclipse tour II - from A Classic Tour Collection - An 11-day tour to the 2010 solar eclipse in Easter Island from A Classic Tour Collection

2010 solar eclipse tour III - from A Classic Tour Collection - An 8-day tour to the 2010 solar eclipse in Easter Island from A Classic Tour Collection

2010 Total Solar Eclipse - Easter Island - Information on and about the 2010 Total Solar Eclipse in Easter Island

2010 total solar eclipse path - Path of the 2010 total solar eclipse across the Pacific Ocean

Auckland - boats on the Hauraki Gulf - Boats sailing in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland in New Zealand

Chile Tourism - Official website of the Chile National Tourism Service

About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook