Inca Highlights Expedition

Valparaiso - Callao/Lima

Exciting adventures are waiting! Sail on our newest explorer ship, MS Roald Amundsen, and experience the perfect mix of culture, heritage and tranquil days at sea before going ashore to visit the famous ruins of the ancient Incas. Explore historic and natural highlights from Valparaíso in Chile to Lima in Peru.

  • Learn about the ancient civilisations of South America
  • Discover fascinating archaeological sites like the Nazca Lines and Machu Picchu
  • Enjoy a combination of sea and land adventures
  • Explore a mix of natural and cultural wonders, a national park and ancient cities

Overview

Enjoy this unique opportunity to explore fascinating archaeological sites and the mysteries of lost civilizations. Starting in Valparaíso, Chile, we travel north to visit La Serena, one of the oldest cities in Chile – where you also have a chance to observe the sky through a powerful telescope. As we arrive in Arcia, Chile – a full day of history, archaeology and adventure awaits you, including the stunning Luaca National Park, home to some breathtaking scenery with snow capped volcanoes, sparkling lakes and isolated hot springs. 

Mysterious lines and ruins of the Ancient Inca civilization

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

23 March 2019

Departs From Valparaíso, Chile
Day 1
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Colourful and poetic City of Valparaíso


Location: Valparaíso, Chile

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

Day 2
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Pisco, sunsets and telescopes


Location: Coquimbo and La Serena

La Serena, a seaside town and the capital of the Coquimbo Region in Elqui Province, is one of the oldest cities in Chile. The town is overflowing with colourful gardens and beautiful churches. In the Archaeological museum, you can learn about the ancient Diaguita culture that originated in this province, before the Incan conquest. You should 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 rural and beautiful 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 can see the telescopes of many international institutions housed in white, futuristic domes that loom over the valleys from their hilltop locations. Join an excursion to visit the first tourist observatory of the region, tour the facilities and observe the sky through a telescope.

Day 3-4
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Sailing north along the Chilean coast


Location: At sea

As we sail north, the Expedition team will start their interesting lecture program. Our team members are experienced, modern-day explorers, each with their own relevant area of expertise. They will entertain you by sharing their deep knowledge and interesting stories, and they welcome you to participate in talks and workshops. There might be a chance to look behind the scenes and partake in our guest expedition staff program. We also have an on board an expedition photographer who will 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 yourself the perfect vantage point to take in the endless blue horizon.

Day 5
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Adventure and archaeology


Location: Arica

Arica is blessed with a warm and sunny climate all year round, and we will spend a full day here. History, archaeology, and adventure are waiting on shore. Explore the city, walk up the cliff top “El Morro” to 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 some breathtaking scenery: 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.

Day 6
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Take time to treat yourself


Location: At sea

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 time to get to know the other explorers on board, and we will invite you to spend time out 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.

Day 7
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Home of the Nazca lines


Location: Pisco, Peru

Early in the morning, we arrive in Puerto General San Martin. This is the gateway to the quiet colonial town of Pisco and its fertile coastal valley with 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. Seeing them requires a birds-eye view and a scenic flight will be 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.

Day 8
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See the home 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 end – and the land adventure begins. After embarkation 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.

Day 9
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The highlights of the Incan empire


Location: Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu

After breakfast you’re in for another day of highlights. First is the visit to Ollantaytambo. This Incan town shares its name with the formidable stone structure that climbs the massive cliff looming over town. The fortress was the valley’s main defence against the Antis and was the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest. Constructed of rose-coloured granite, this huge installation was once a thriving complex of baths, temples and military barracks. Next, head to the nearby train station to board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. A savoury brunch will be served as we enjoy the spectacular views outside. Overlooking the raging Urubamba River and discovered in a hidden tangle of vines and trees atop the mountain, the city of Machu Picchu will forever hold the secret of its rise and fall – the Incas left no written records. Explore the city's ruins, feel its pulse and visualize the lives of the priests, craftsmen, and servants who inhabited this incredible place. Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artefacts and woollen clothing, but no gold. The same precision of assembled stones exists here as in other Incan sites. After spending time exploring the ruins, you can enjoy tea at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge before we continue back to Hacienda Urubamba for another nice evening and overnight stay here.

Day 10
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Centre of the Incan Empire


Location: Cusco/Lima

After breakfast we head on to Cusco, once the center of the Inca Empire. Here you can see the splendid Baroque-style Cusco Cathedral, built in the mid-1500s on the foundations of an Inca palace. Many of the stones used in its construction were looted from the nearby Sacsayhuaman fortress. We continue to Koricancha, to admire the lovely Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo that was built on the foundations of the Temple of the Sun, the most important temple in the Inca Empire. The curved, mortar-less masonry wall at the west end of the church is considered to be one of the greatest existing examples of Inca stonework. After another day of exploring, we will transfer you to the airport where you fly to Lima. The city retains certain elegance, particularly in colonial Lima Centre. Lima still brims with culture and history with some excellent museums as well as fine Spanish churches in the centre, and some distinguished mansions in the wealthy suburbs of Barranco and Miraflores. Enjoy spending the evening here, and discover some of the outstanding restaurants and lively nightlife before spending the night at a hotel.

Location Cusco/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.