LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Journey into the unknown


South America's 'Explora' takes you on a luxurious journey to the most remote regions on and off the continent.

You've always considered yourself an adventurer, an intrepid traveler who dares to go where few men have gone before... such as Easter Island. But let's face it. You'd rather not endure the hardships such travel often entails. Then again, why should you?

Explora is the world's first and leading travel group to offer luxurious tours and accommodations in some of the most remote and unexplored regions of South America. Based in Chile, it is famous for its tours around Patagonia and Atacama. This year, it has decided to go even further, taking travelers to explore Easter Island as well. True to its sprit of adventure, the 'Travesias Explora' are conducted by 4X4 vehicle, on horseback, on foot, or by mountain bike. True to its promise of luxury, each expedition also comes with guides, drivers and a personal chef.

Explora's founder, Pedro Ibanez, a seasoned journeyman himself, came up with this unique concept after spending years traveling to the most remote and challenging destinations. Tired of sleeping in tents, Ibanez decided to create a way to give travelers the same experience of discovery with a higher level of comfort: hot showers, good food, and a good sleep. Why endure more than you need to? Discovering the untouched natural beauty of the remote is enough of an adventure, as Explora's general manager, Felipe Cruz Chellew tells us.

"A hot shower, good food and a good sleep. Those three elements, combined with a remote place, that's luxury to us." Felipe Cruz Chellew, general manager, Explora

What is Explora's idea of luxury?
We look at our products from the outside to the inside. In other words, the environment and the setting is main attraction. The hotel is the reward you get at the end of the day. If it were the other way around, you would arrive at the hotel and then say, "Now what do I do?" At Explora, the activity comes first. We say that anyone looking for marble bathrooms and such amenities is not an Explora customer.

How does Explora define "travel?"
At Explora, we go by the philosophy that time travels slower when you go slower. We take a very anti-jet view of travel. So there are no helicopters taking you to these remote places. They're difficult to get to because you have to deserve the destination. And once you arrive, it becomes that much more rewarding. Explora operates on the concept of the "Circular Exploration." There are many culminating points, not just one climax. It's not like going all the way to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, and once you've seen it, then what? On our expeditions, there is something great to see on the way there, on the way back, and along the way. And it works whether you're going from A to B or B to A.

What is the allure in traveling to remote areas?
The sense of remoteness brings out in every human something special. It allows you to see your inner self and bond with others in a different way. Remoteness nowadays is a luxury. When it takes more effort to have something, it allows you to come back a different person.
We have developed the concept of remoteness and turned it into a solid operation: You are in the middle of nowhere, but you have telephone access, good food and good wine. These are things that we take for granted, but in a remote area, it makes you appreciate what you have. We see more and more people being attracted by the exoticness of South America. We offer that exoticness, the remoteness, but also safety and comfort. It's the perfect mix to make things magic.

Explora in Easter Island

Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and a five-hour flight away from the Chilean capital of Santiago, Easter Island is one of the most remote, exotic and mysterious destinations in the world. Discovered by Dutch explorers on Easter Day, 1722, the island, known by the locals as Te Pito o te Henua, or 'The Navel of the World,' is famous for its hieroglyphic tablets and its 'Moais,' the famous giant sculptures carved from volcanic rock. Easter Island has been inhabited by Polynesians since the 5th century A.D., yet its origins and development remain a puzzle.

Explora's expedition to Easter Island includes accommodation in one of two local houses rented and refurbished by Explora. "It's a genuine experience," said Felipe Cruz Chellew, Explora's general manager. "These two houses have neighbors, so even though you're in the middle of nowhere, there is a sense of interaction. It allows you to have another experience at the end of a long day's trek." Another thing to look forward to at the end of the day - a seafood meal sourced from the surrounding waters of the Pacific.

Tel: +562 206 6060

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