A month in the sun
GO ASK JOAN:Your travel questions answered by JOAN SCALES
I am in my early 60s and planning a trip to Easter Island. I will be travelling to see the Moai statues which will be the main purpose of my trip. I would like to travel in a group. Easter Island seems generally to be an add-on to a trip to Chile. I might be able to join a trip in Santiago which could work out cheaper as it would be shorter, but I might regret not seeing some of Chile when in that area. – SK, Dublin
It would be a pity to go all the way to Chile and not see something of the country, and on most itineraries, Easter Island is an add on. Easter Island, due to its remoteness, is also an expensive destination to get to.
The principle reason for going to Easter Island is to see the almost 900 Moai monoliths, and most people would only spend a few days there.
Explore.co.ukhas an 18-day tour of Chile which is moderately paced and includes many places such as Santiago, the Atacama desert, walking in the Valley of the Moon, Punta Arenas, the Torres del Paine National Park and Easter Island.
The price is from €4,610, plus flights, which would be about €1,000.
In Ireland, the South America experts are Nuevo Mundo, tel: 0818-204488, and while they do not have a specific tour to Easter Island they can certainly advise on travel there and how to join a tour.
There is a company in Santiago, run by an American couple, that arranges all types of tours, including to Easter Island, if you were prepared to go it alone. Contact them on
Could you supply us with the website addresses of alternative accommodation options besides airbnb.com. - RMM, Dublin
Airbnb began as a website for finding hosted accommodation in lots of cities around the world, a grown up version of Couchsurfing. It now also has listings for self-catering accommodation in individual apartments and properties directly booked with the owners.
Other self-catering sites include the international homeaway.comand holidayslettings.com, vacationrentalpeople.comand recently, flipkey.comby Tripadvisor. For US rentals try vrbo.com. For Spain and Italy, see rentalia.com. For Australia see stayz.com.au.
An Irish site is holidayhomesdirect.ie.
For villa-type accommodation, see jamesvillas.co.ukand villarenters.comand Irish site privatevillas.ie. The website booking.com, which was mainly a hotel booking site, now has a good selection of self-catering apartments.We would like to spend a month or so in the sun, maybe the Canary Islands, but are finding it difficult to locate suitable accommodation. We would like an apartment on a resort with pool. We are on a budget. – GP, Cork
Lanzarote would probably be a good destination from Cork, as there are direct Aer Lingus flights three times per week. Lanzarote also has a good selection of accommodation and this particular property may be ideal for you.
Sun Park Living is at Playa Blanca and is for people over 50 who want a quiet resort and to stay for a month or more. It is an aparthotel complex with fully furnished one-bedroom apartments and the Sunrockers Cafe. It also has the feel of a community, with many Europeans staying for long periods.
There are activities available such as painting, walking, computer and Spanish classes, and the entire complex has free wifi. Sun Park Living also welcomes people on their own.
Prices are £499 (about €612) per month per unit all year round. You can book a trial week for £279 (about €342). Reservations can be made online at sunparkliving.comand payment is made on arrival.
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