Ecuador, Peru, Chile – Incan Highlights and Galápagos Islands (Itinerary 1)
Duration: 14 days
Ship: MS Roald Amundsen
October 13, 2019
Price from: $ 8,102 per personCheck prices and availability Request a quote
- Visit the historic centers of Quito and Lima, both UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Experience the wondrous Galápagos Islands, home to Darwin’s theory of evolution
- Discover fascinating archaeological sites like the Nazca Lines
- Explore natural and cultural wonders, a national park and ancient cities
Once you have made your way to Quito, take in the well-preserved heritage of the city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is beautifully situated in an Andean valley at an elevation of 9,350 feet, making it the second-highest capital city in the world.
Enjoy an overnight at a centrally-located hotel in Quito.
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 honor as UNESCO´s first World Heritage site. Dinner will be served at the hotel before your overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel, then transfer to Quito Airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands (via Guayaquil).
Upon arrival at Baltra's airport, we will 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 tortoises 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 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 cozy 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.
Breakfast at hotel. We then 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.
A box lunch is served on the flight from Baltra Island to Lima (via Guayaquil). At Lima airport, we meet our local representative who transfers you to your hotel in the city.
Dinner and overnight.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After check out, we transfer to the ship taking in a “Half-day Lima Highlights Tour”, including a visit to the city's historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tour's highlights include Casa Aliaga, a nearly 500-year old mansion built for one of Pizarro’s lieutenants, and Santo Domingo Convent, the best-preserved colonial building in all of Lima.
The tour finishes at the quayside in Callao, where MS Roald Amundsen stands ready to continue the expedition at sea.
Early in the morning, we arrive at Puerto General San Martín. This is the gateway to the quiet colonial town of Pisco and its fertile coastal valley with the mysterious Nazca lines and geoglyphs. The lines were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D and are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity.
The geoglyphs are several miles long and illustrate living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures. Optimal viewing requires a birds-eye perspective and a scenic flight is one of several optional excursions available on this day. Other options includes boat tours to the Ballestas Islands to see endangered Humboldt penguins, sea lions, and huge flocks of marine birds, visiting a scenic nature reserve, or exploring the archaeological site of Tambo Colorado.
As we sail south, the Expedition Team starts their interesting lecture program. The team members are experienced, modern-day explorers, each with their own relevant area of expertise. They entertain and inform you by sharing their deep knowledge and interesting stories, and welcome you to participate in talks and workshops.
There may be the chance to look behind the scenes and partake in our guest Expedition Staff Program. We also have an on board an Expedition Photographer who can show you the basics of expedition photography. MS Roald Amundsen is a truly remarkable expedition vessel. Take advantage of the ship's facilities or simply find the perfect vantage point to take in the endless blue horizon.
Arica is blessed with a warm, sunny climate all year round. We spend a full day here. History, archaeology and adventure await us on shore. Explore the city, walk up to the cliff top, “El Morro”, and get a panoramic view, see the beaches or visit the archaeological sites with some of the world's oldest known mummies in Azapa Valley.
You can also join the Expedition Team and visit the nearby Lauca National Park. This amazing sanctuary is home to breathtaking scenery, including snow-capped volcanoes, sparkling lakes and isolated hot springs. It also shelters pretty highland villages and a huge variety of wildlife. Numerous sites and paths found in this region are associated with the Chilean Inca trail.
Another day at sea is yours to enjoy. Take advantage of the on board facilities and treat yourself to some genuine relaxation. There will be plenty of time to get to know the other explorers on board. We invite you to spend time outdoors on deck to fully enjoy the experience of being at sea. There will also be a gathering with the Expedition Team to summarize the voyage so far, and present the plan for the following days.
La Serena, a seaside town and capital of the Coquimbo region in Elqui province, is one of the oldest cities in Chile. The town overflows with colorful gardens and beautiful churches. In the archaeological museum, you can learn about the ancient Diaguita culture that dwelled in the region before the Incan conquest. We suggest you also visit La Recova, a popular market where you can buy handicrafts and typical products from the region.
La Serena also has a long golden shoreline, perfect for enjoying the sunset. Visit the beautiful rural Elqui Valley to sample Pisco, the national drink of Chile, and see where it’s made. Thanks to exceptionally clear skies, northern Chile is home to the largest concentration of astronomical observatories in the world. In the region around La Serena, you see the telescopes of many international institutions housed in white, futuristic domes looming over the valleys from their hilltop locations.
Our expedition ends in the colorful and poetic city of Valparaíso. We recommend a visit to the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter of Valparaíso before you depart on your trip home.
Included in Your Expedition
- Hurtigruten expedition in the cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Two overnight hotel stays in Quito before the cruise, including breakfast and dinner on day 2.
- Three overnights at Red Mangrove hotel in Santa Cruz Island/Galápagos before the cruise, on a full board basis
- One overnight hotel stay in Lima, on a half board basis
- Coach-class flights from Quito to Baltra, and Baltra to Lima (via Guayaquil)
- All transfers, excursions, and meals as described, including an English-speaking guide
- Galápagos Islands 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
Tour start date: October 13, 2019 (Quito, Ecuador)
Ship departure date: October 19, 2019 (Callao/Lima, Peru)
Arrival date: October 26, 2019 (Valparaíso, Chile)
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.
San Martin - Ballestas Islands
San Martin - Nazca Lines
San Martin - Tambo Colorado
Arica - Arica City Tour & Geoglyphs
Arica - Atacama Coastal Walk
Coquimbo (La Serena) - A Visit to Tabali Winery
Coquimbo (La Serena) - Alfa Aldea Observatory
Coquimbo (La Serena) - Coquimbo and La Serena city tour
Extend Your Cruise
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