Exploring the Land of the Inca

Valparaíso, Chile - San José, Costa Rica

Sail along the west coast of South America and experience fascinating archaeological sites and the mysteries of lost cultures. This 17-day adventure delves deep into the wonders of the exotic south, from national parks and natural wonders to modern man-made settings and regional cultures.

  • Learn more about the Incas and hear the mysteries of lost cultures
  • Visit several exciting destinations in Chile, Peru and Ecuador, each with notable variations in cuisine, landscapes and wildlife
  • See some of the most fascinating sites in South America such the Nazca lines by plane on an optional excursion
  • Travel through the engineering masterpiece and important maritime trading route, the Panama Canal


The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. We will sail along the coastline of this ancient empire from Chile to Colombia via Peru and Ecuador. Starting inValparaíso, Chile, we sail north and visit the stunning Luaca National Park, home to some breathtaking scenery with snow-sprinkled volcanoes, sparkling lakes and isolated hot springs.

Mysterious Carvings, Lost Cities and a Huge Mudbrick Citadel

Next, you have a chance to discover the mysterious Nazca lines. They are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity.

We will also visit the ancient Chimu kingdom, the largest mudbrick citadel of the Americas in pre-Columbian times. Then, we sail through the Panama Canal and end this expedition in beautiful Costa Rica. The mixture of extreme nature, visits to several fascinating cities, South American culture and captivating lectures makes this expedition a one-of-a-kind experience.

Price includes:

  • Hurtigruten Expedition Voyage in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Transfer ship Puerto Limón to hotel in San José including a Tortuguero canal boat tour and lunch
  • One hotel night in San José including breakfast
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition Team that gives lectures as well as accompany landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee 

Not included: 

  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Excursions and Gratuities


  • Prices are in EUR per person
  • All planned landings are subject to weather conditions
  • All itineraries are subject to change

Vaccination required:

On this trip, a vaccine against yellow fever is required. The vaccination must be done at least 10 days before departure. Please bring the vaccination certificate on your voyage as you will need this to enter certain countries.


The itinerary

10 March 2018

Departs from Valparaíso, Chile
Day 1
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Photo: Skreidzeleu / Shutterstock Photo

Colours of the south

Location: Valparaíso

This expedition starts in the wonderfully, colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. Before embarking MS Fram, we recommend a visit to the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter of Valparaíso.

Day 2
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Photo: Elisa Locci / Shutterstock Photo

Pisco and papaws

Location: La Serena, Chile

La Serena is a seaside town and the capital of Coquimbo Region in Elqui Province. It is one of the oldest cities in the area and it has a marked neo-colonial architectural style and its own undeniable image. It abounds with multi-coloured gardens and many beautiful churches with bells that trace the passage of time. In the Archaeological museum, learn about the ancient Diaguita culture that originated in this province before being conquered by the Incas. You should also visit La Recova, a popular market where you can buy handicrafts and typical products from the region, such as pisco and papaws in all their varieties.

Day 3-4
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Photo: Sven Schermer / Shutterstock Photo

Ocean breezes

Location: Cruising the Pacific Ocean

A couple of days at sea means you can join the Expedition Team for lectures or spend the day on deck in tropical temperatures. Now is the perfect time to meet other passengers or escape from land-based stress with a good book.

Day 5
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Photo: Inga Locmele / Shutterstock Photo

Show-stopping scenery

Location: Arica, Chile

Arica is blessed with a warm and sunny climate all year round. While we are here, you can either spend a day at the beach or join the Expedition Team and visit the nearby Lauca National Park. This amazing national park is home to some breathtaking scenery: snow-sprinkled 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.

Day 6
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Take a seat

Location: Cruising the Pacific Ocean

With sweeping views from on board MS Fram, the decks are great place to relax during a day at sea. The Expedition Team will be presenting fascinating lectures on South America's nature, culture and history.

Day 7
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Photo: Pakhnyushchy / Shutterstock Photo

Nazca lines

Location: Puerto General San Martin (Pisco), Peru

Puerto General San Martin is the gateway to the famous and mysterious Nazca lines and geoglyphs. These lines were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. They are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs are several miles long and illustrate living creatures, stylised plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures. Join the excursion to see just how impressive and mysterious these lines actually are. 

Day 8
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Photo: Christian Vinces / Shutterstock Photo

Trading routes

Location: Callao (Lima), Peru

Callao is situated just outside Lima and is a vital route for trade both into and out of Peru. It is home to charming mansions with pretty balconies, museums, churches and the fortress of King Felipe.

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Photo: Ruslana Lurchenko / Shutterstock Photo

Enchanting Chan Chan

Location: Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru

The small port of Salaverry is the starting point for the excursion to the ancient Chimu kingdom (700–1400 A.D.). They founded their capital by the banks of the Moche River and called it Chan Chan ("sun-sun"). Chan Chan covers an area of eight square miles. It was built using clay, mud, pebbles, straw and cane, which makes it the largest mudbrick citadel of the Americas in pre-Hispanic times. It is a remarkable place that was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1986. 

Day 10


Location: Cruising the Pacific Ocean

Enjoy another relaxing but exciting day at sea. Join lectures from our Expedition Team or perhaps enjoy a drink on the deck.

Day 11
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Photo: Fotos593 / Shutterstock Photo

Superfino hats

Location: Manta, Ecuador

Manta is a bustling and prosperous port town, graced with high-rises and a few beaches. We recommend the trip to Montecristi, where the real Panama hats are made. These traditional brimmed straw hats are hand woven, and it can take several months to make the finest ones. A "superfino" Panama hat can, according to popular rumour, hold water, and when rolled for storage, pass through a wedding ring.

Day 12
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Relax and recharge

Location: Cruising the Pacific Ocean

Spend the day unwinding on the deck, reading or indulging in a drink in the warm weather. There will be more interesting lectures from the Expedition Team and time to mingle with other passengers.

Day 13
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Photo: Six Drive / Shutterstock Photo

Architechtual and ethnic delight

Location: Fuerte Amador, Panama

Fuerte Amador is located right at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. The port is only 20 miles away from Panama City, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Central America and home to incredible architectural and ethnic diversity. Join tours to discover the old and new of Panama City, to the Miraflores Locks or a boat tour to a protected area and scout for wildlife.

Day 14
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Photo: Mark52 / Shutterstock Photo

Lock it in

Location: Panama Canal, Panama

We enter the Panama Canal close to Balboa. Experience the thrill of canal transit and the intricacy of the lock's system first-hand, as MS Fram is lifted over 85 feet above sea level from one body of water to the next.

Day 15
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Mouth of the bull

Location: Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas del Toro, meaning “mouth of the bull”, is a pristine region and home to Panama’s first national marine park, Bastimentos. Consisting of 9 islands and hundreds of smaller islets, you can visit Bocas town with its colourful Caribbean vibe and atmosphere before venturing into the expanse of Bastemintos National Park. Snorkel, dive and kayak among mangroves and coral reefs or hike through the rainforest in search of wildlife.

Day 16
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Photo: Simon Dannhauer Photo

Adventure awaits

Location: Puerto Limón, Costa Rica

Puerto Limón on Costa Rica is a compelling destination for adventurous explorers.

After disembarking, we transfer you to your hotel in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. 

Day 17
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Photo: aceshot1 / Shutterstock Photo

Cosmopolitan surprise

Location: San José

After breakfast in your hotel, your South American expedition comes to an end.

26 March 2018

Location San José, Costa Rica
Your ship Things to see and do


Challenge your inner explorer and experience everything that South America has to offer with our diverse range of optional excursions.

Extend your holiday

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Santiago de Chile and San José