Inca cultures and wildlife highlights of the Andean coast

Valparaiso, Chile - Lima, Peru

Sailing along the west coast of South America gives you a unique opportunity to explore fascinating archaeological sites and the mysteries of lost cultures. Enjoy visits to the Sacsayhuamán fortress, Ollantaytambo and the magnificent Machu Picchu before ending the expedition in Lima.

  • See some of the most important and fascinating ancient sites in South America
  • Explore the mysteries of the Incas and other lost cultures
  • Visit a mix of exciting cities, national parks and beautiful islands
  • See the Nazca Lines, Machu Picchu and other Incan highlights

Overview

Enjoy exploring some of the most fascinating ruins of the Inca Empire. This was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. We sail along the coastline of this ancient realm to see some of the highlights.

Starting in Valparaíso, Chile, we head north to the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve to take a close look at penguins, turtles, dolphins, whales and birds.

See the wildlife and scenery of “Peru’s Galapagos” or the Nazca lines

Join us for an excursion to one of this region’s most beautiful natural attractions, the Ballestas Islands. Often referred to as “Peru’s Galapagos,” the volcanic islands are home to an array of wildlife and dramatic scenery. You also have a chance to discover the famous Nazca lines on an optional excursion. These lines have been subjects of mystery for over 80 years. They are found in a region of Peru just over 200 miles southeast of Lima, near the modern town of Nazca. In total, there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal and plant designs, also called biomorphs.

Discover the great Machu Picchu

You disembark in Lima, for even more adventures on land: Explore the most amazing Inca constructions like the Sacsayhuamán fortress, the Incan town of Ollantaytambo and then the ruins of the spectacular Machu Picchu.

Price includes:

• Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
• 1 overnight in Lima and 2 overnights at Hacienda Urubamba after the voyage including breakfast
• 3- course set lunch and dinner on day 1, 2 and box lunch on day 3
• Return economy flight Lima-Cusco-Lima
• All transfers and train rides as described including English-speaking guide
• Entrance fee according to program
• 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 accompany landings and activities
• Free tea and coffee

Not included:

• International flights
• Travel insurance
• Luggage handling
• Optional Excursions and Gratuities

Related voyages

Itinerary

The itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

19 March 2019

Departs From Valparaíso, Chile
Day 1
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The “Jewel of the Pacific”


Location: Valparaíso, Chile

This expedition starts in the wonderful, colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. One of the best ways of seeing this scenic town is through its funiculars. These constructions, which are scattered around the entire natural amphitheater surrounding the city, allow sweeping views of the bay, and highlight the multi hued houses, creating a rainbow of color and light. Stroll Valparaiso´s narrow streets, climb its endless staircases and discover something new at every turn: a beautiful building, a remarkable art gallery or some little gastronomic ‘find’. Don’t forget to explore the port and fishing piers, where you’ll get a real feel for Chile’s quirky seafaring side. Buy or sample freshly caught seafood at the market and enjoy the fishermen’s banter. We also recommend a visit to the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter before embarking on MS Fram.

Day 2
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Home of the Humboldt penguin


Location: Isla Chañaral

Sailing north, we arrive at Isla Chañaral. Together with Isla Choros and Isla Damas, these three islands form the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve. There is an impressive variety of fauna on these islands, but their most famous inhabitants are the humboldt penguins, who thrive in the current which gives them their name, and who nest on these islands. There is also an important colony of sea lions, chungungos, magellanic penguins, llacas and bottle-nosed dolphins, seen frequently around Chañaral Island. In the summer season, it is possible to see more occasional visitors around the islands: marine turtles, dolphins, whales, albatrosses and cormorants. There are also a wide variety of birds, like the peruvian diving petrel, red-legged cormorant, and the guanay cormorant, all of which are protected species.

Day 3-5
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Lectures at sea


Location: At sea

Learn more about South America’s history, ancient civilizations and cultures. The Inca civilization flourished in ancient Peru starting around 1400 B.C. The Inca Empire ranged 2,500 miles from Ecuador to southern Chile. It was the largest empire ever seen in the Americas and the largest in the world at that time, before its destruction at the hands of Spanish conquistadors in 1532. Undaunted by the often harsh Andean environment, the Incas conquered tribes and exploited landscapes in such diverse settings as plains, mountains, deserts, and tropical jungle. Famed for their unique art and architecture, they constructed finely built and imposing buildings wherever they conquered, and their spectacular adaptation of natural landscapes with terracing, highways, and mountaintop settlements continues to impress modern visitors. During these days at sea you can learn even more about the Incas, and other ancient cultures and their fascinating lives from the lectures held on board.

Day 6
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The Nazca lines, Ballestas Islands or Tambo Colorado


Location: San Martin, Peru

Puerto General San Martin is the gateway to the famous and mysterious Nazca lines and geoglyphs. These lines were carved out between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. They are so difficult to see from the ground that they were not widely known until the 1930's when aircrafts spotted them while surveying for water. The figures come in two types: biomorphs and geoglyphs. The biomorphs are some 70 animal and plant figures that include a spider, hummingbird, monkey and a 1,000-foot-long pelican. The geoglyphs are geometric forms that include enormous straight lines, triangles, spirals, circles and trapezoids. The longest straight line stretches nine miles across the plain. These mysterious lines must bee seen from the air, so join the excursion to see just how impressive and mysterious these lines actually are from the skies. You can also join us for an excursion to one of this region’s most beautiful natural attractions. The Ballestas Islands are often referred to as “Peru’s Galapagos”. These volcanic islands are home to an array of wildlife and dramatic scenery. Another interesting and educational excursion has Tambo Colorado as its destination. This is the only Incan complex composed entirely of adobe and tape-rammed earth. This is one of many Incan administrative centers scattered about the country, yet its adobe buildings are the best-preserved in Peru. The buildings have no roofs remaining, but the walls have niches painted in different colors, like red (reason for the site name Colorado means red), white and yellow.

Day 7
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See the place of the “Satisfied falcon”


Location: Callao/Lima

Callao is situated just outside Lima and is a vital route for trade both into and out of Peru. This is where your sea voyage ends – and the land adventure begins. After disembarkation you are transferred to your flight from Lima to Cusco. Enjoy lunch before visiting one of the most amazing Incan constructions in the area, the Sacsayhuamán fortress. Sacsayhuamán means "satisfied falcon". The falcon guarded the capital of the empire, and the name also makes sense since it was possible to overlook Cusco from the hill where this fortress was built. The construction lasted for more than seven decades and required the work of 20,000 men, both for the foundations and hewn stone works, the transportation of materials, carving and stones setting. It was constructed without mortar like many other Inca structures. Yet the enormous stones fit so tightly that not even a thin blade of grass can slide between them. The craftsmanship is a stunning example of the Inca’s sophisticated construction techniques and architectural skills. In the afternoon we continue to Hacienda Urubamba in the Sacred Valley for dinner and an overnight stay.

Location Callao/Lima
Your ship Extend your holiday

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Valparaiso and Callao/Lima.