Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador – Incan Mysteries and Galápagos Islands (Itinerary 1)
Duration: 15 days
Ship: MS Roald Amundsen
October 10, 2019
Price from: $ 8,339 per personCheck prices and availability Request a quote
- Learn about ancient civilizations and explore fascinating ruins
- Discover a combination of natural and cultural wonders, tropical beaches and cities
- Visit historic Quito, the very first UNESCO World Heritage site
- Explore the wonders of the Galápagos Islands, home to Darwin’s theory of evolution
- Day 1 Puntarenas, Costa Rica
- Day 2 Quepos, Costa Rica
- Day 3 Golfito, Costa Rica
- Day 4 Isla de la Coiba, Panama
- Day 5 At sea
- Day 6 Manta, Ecuador
- Day 7 At sea
- Day 8 Trujillo, Peru
- Day 9 At sea
- Day 10 Callao, Peru/ Quito, Ecuador
- Day 11 Quito, Ecuador
- Day 12 Quito/Baltra Island/Santa Cruz Island
- Day 13-14 Galápagos Islands
- Day 15 Baltra Island/Guayaquil
Take a little time to discover Puntarenas, a surfing hotspot jutting into the Gulf of Nicoya. Enjoy the fresh seafood, charming architecture and the oceanfront boardwalk of this Costa Rican city before coming on board MS Roald Amundsen.
Quepos is the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park. The 1,680 acre wildlife reserve is renowned for three-toed sloths, howlers, squirrels and endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys, as well as hundreds of bird species. Within park boundaries, there are mangroves, lagoons, white-sand beaches, coral reefs and rainforest with hiking trails that are great for exploring. You’ll find some of the best zip-lining adventures anywhere in this park.
Enjoy a day of great adventures and plenty of opportunity for exploration. Located on a small gulf surrounded by densely forested hills, tranquil Golfito is home to some wonderful views. Come ashore and relax on golden beaches for surfing and swimming. The nearby national park of Piedras Blancas offers fine walking tours through rainforest and the chance to see waterfalls, monkeys, bats and exotic birds.
Coiba National Park is one of Panama's natural treasures, and one of the country’s largest islands. Due to its rich coral reefs and biodiversity, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coiba offers secluded white sand beaches and great options for snorkelling, wildlife watching and hikes.
Join our Explorer Team for interesting presentations and talks, organize your photos, and get to know your fellow explorers. As we cross the equator you can look forward to the “Equator baptism” ritual.
Manta is a bustling and prosperous port town, graced with high-rises and beaches. Nearby, colorful fishing villages and an unusual tropical dry forest make Manta an attractive tourist destination and the starting point for exciting day trips. We recommend the trip to Montecristi, where real Panama hats are made. These traditional brimmed straw hats are hand woven, and it can take several months to make the finest examples. A "superfino" Panama hat can, according to popular rumour, hold water, and when rolled for storage, pass through a wedding ring.
Enjoy priming your knowledge about the history and wildlife of the area. There will also be workshops and presentations on offer. Make sure to spend some time on deck to enjoy the fresh sea air and look out for wildlife.
The city of Trujillo offers tremendous colonial architecture, set on the edge of the rugged Andean foothills. As in most Peruvian cities, the central square, the Plaza de Armas, is flanked by the cathedral and city hall. Numerous colonial mansions have been preserved in the old city and are open to visitors.
The fronts of most of these houses have distinctive wrought-iron grillwork and are painted in pastel colours. You can also join our excursions to visit the remarkable pre-Incan archaeological sites found in the area. Close to Trujillo you find the centre of the ancient Chimú culture (700–1400 A.D.).
These tribes founded their capital by the banks of the Moche River and called it Chan Chan ("sun-sun") - a remarkable place that was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1986. Other Chimú sites bake in the surrounding desert, among them the immense and suitably impressive Moche Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon), which date back ,500 years.
MS Roald Amundsen is equipped with a pool and two hot tubs on the top deck. Why not enjoy the view while soaking in the water? Or from a comfortable spot at the Explorer Bar? The onboard lectures continue as well, so there many ways to spend the day.
In the morning we disembark at Callao, Peru, and transfer to nearby Lima airport for your flight to Quito, where you are picked up and transferred to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and explore Quito, nestled at the foot of the Volcano Pichincha and known for its eternally spring-like climate and beauty of its well preserved colonial quarter.
Originally settled by the Quitu tribe in the first millennium, Quito was eventually integrated into the Inca Empire before being destroyed and re-established in 1534 by Spanish conquistador, Sebastian de Benalcázar. For nearly three centuries, the arts and intellectual societies flourished under Spanish colonial rule, a fact evident in the historic center’s splendidly restored period buildings and churches lining narrow, cobbled streets.
The city’s diligent preservation of its culturally diverse past prompted UNESCO to declare Quito the first of its World Heritage sites in 1978. Beautifully situated in an Andean valley at 9,350 ft., Quito is the second highest capital city in the world. In the evening, enjoy a special welcome dinner at a local restaurant to kick off your exciting visit to Ecuador.
After breakfast, we drive north to the equator and visit the Inti Ñan Museum. Afterwards, we ascend the Teleférico – one of Quito’s most popular attractions offering spectacular and easily accessible views of the city.
The ride lasts only 10 minutes but takes you to an altitude of 13,300 ft.. At the top, the lookout offers the visitor incredible views of Quito, the surrounding valleys and snow-covered volcanoes (along with coffee, snacks, and oxygen for the short of breath). Bring a sweater or light jacket - it can get chilly up there!
Return to the city to enjoy lunch in Quito´s charming colonial quarter. The afternoon's sightseeing is a good example why Ecuador's capital earned the honour as UNESCO´s first World Heritage site. Dinner will be served at the hotel before your overnight.
The day begins with breakfast at your hotel. We drive to Quito Airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands (via Guayaquil).
Upon arrival at Baltra's airport, we meet the local representative and board a bus for the short transfer to Itabaca Channel, which separates Baltra Island from Santa Cruz Island. Here, we board a small ferry that crosses the azure waters of the channel to Santa Cruz, a journey that takes about five minutes.
On the other side, we travel through a rural agricultural area surrounded by wild landscapes and many different species of flora and fauna. We may well spot the finches that are famous for being the basis of Darwin's theory of evolution.
See the famous Galápagos land tortoises in their natural environment and learn how private ranches help protect these special creatures and their habitat. Tortoises of all different ages and sizes gather here: Small young ones with shining carapaces, and older individuals with weathered and worn shells. Lunch will be served in the highlands.
The well-known Lava Tunnels are another amazing experience. Formed by lava flows from the volcanoes, they range from the highlands down to the sea. Join an amazing half-hour hike through one of the tunnels to the point where it gets too small to pass. A naturalist guide will share in detail the story of the origin of these fascinating tunnels.
Afterwards, we continue to our hotel in the town of Puerto Ayora. Once settled, we walk to the nearby Charles Darwin Research Station, which hosts educational museums on both the history and development of the Galápagos Islands, and protection of their natural heritage. Native giant land tortoises can also be observed. Many different tortoise species exist in the Galápagos and the station is the only place where most of the species reside at one site.
The afternoon is at your leisure to explore small yet picturesque Puerto Ayora and its many shops with local arts and crafts. We later enjoy dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
Breakfast at hotel. We have two full days to tour one of the nearby uninhabited islands by boat.
Please note that only one of the four islands listed below will be visited per day:
Bartolomé Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock and Galápagos penguins; or South Plaza Island, home to a colony of land iguanas; or Santa Fe Island, known for having the islands' most sea beautiful coves; or North Seymour Island, considered a microcosm of the entire archipelago.
The visits are regulated by the Galápagos National Park and we are notified of permission 30 days prior to the visit. Regardless of the islands we visit, lunch is served on board the vessel during the tour.
Later, we have dinner at the hotel and overnight.
After breakfast at hotel, we transfer to Baltra airport for the flight to mainland Ecuador. En route to the airport, we stop at “The Twins” or “Los Gemelos” - two impressive volcanic depressions in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.
Next is our flight from Baltra Island to Guayaquil. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, a representative will assist with the international flight connection. A box lunch will be provided.
Included in Your Expedition
- Hurtigruten expedition in the cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Coach-class flights from Lima to Quito and Quito to Baltra
- Two overnight hotel stays in Quito after the cruise, including breakfast and dinner
- Three overnights at the Red Mangrove hotel in Santa Cruz Island/Galapagos after the cruise, on a full board basis
- Coach-class flight from Baltra to Guayaquil
- All transfers, excursions, and meals as described, including an English-speaking guide
- Galápagos National Park entrance fee
- Wind- and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanies landings and activities
- Complimentary tea and coffee
Not Included In Your Expedition
- International flights
- Travel protection plan
- Luggage handling
- Optional excursions and gratuities
Departure date: October 10, 2019 (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)
Ship arrival date: October 19, 2019 (Callao, Peru)
Tour end date: October 24, 2019 (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
MS Roald Amundsen
In 2019, Hurtigruten will add a brand new ship to its fleet: MS Roald Amundsen. This state-of-the-art vessel will feature new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.
Quepos Highlights and Historical Reviews
Quepos - Manuel Antonio National Park
Quepos - Damas Island Estuary and Mangrove Boat Tour
Quepos - Rainmaker Nature Hike and Waterfall
Quepos - Titi Canopy Tour
Golfito - Costa Rica Jungle Kayak Adventure
Golfito - UNESCO´s Stone Spheres World Heritage Site Exploration
Golfito - Marine Wildlife Observation and Snorkeling
Golfito Wildlife Refuge Nature Walk
Golfito - Casa Orquídeas Botanical Gardens
Golfito - Piedras Blancas National Park Exploration
Manta - Ecuadorian high tea
Manta Highlights and Montecristi
Manta - Pacoche Forest with Specialist Naturalist Guide
Salaverry - Chan Chan UNESCO Site and Trujillo City
Salaverry - Discovering the Moon Temple
Salaverry - Moon Temple and Trujillo City
Extend Your Cruise
Get more out of your journey by adding a Pre- or Post-Program before or after your expedition cruise.