Mysteries and lost cultures of the Andean coast

Callao - Valparaiso

Sailing along the west coast of South America gives you a unique opportunity to explore fascinating archaeological sites and the mysteries of lost cultures. Starting with the magnificent Machu Picchu, you will also see the Sacsayhuamán fortress, the Nazca Lines, national parks and exotic wildlife, before ending the expedition in Valparaiso.

  • See Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines
  • Discover some of other 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

Overview

Lost Cities of the Incan Empire

This expedition starts on land. From Lima, Peru we will visit some of the most amazing Inca constructions like the Incan town of Ollantaytambo, the ruins of the spectacular Machu Picchu, the Sacsayhuamán fortress and Cusco that was once the centre of the Inca Empire. Then board MS Fram to continue the expedition by sea.

See the Nazca lines or the wildlife and scenery of “Peru’s Galapagos”
You 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 Nasca. In total, there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal and plant designs, also called biomorphs. You can also 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.

The wonderful Isla Chañaral


We continue south to the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve to take a close look at penguins, turtles, dolphins, whales and birds, before the expedition ends in Valparaíso, Chile.

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 before the voyage including breakfast
• 3- course set lunch and dinner on day 2, 3 and box lunch on day 4
• 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.

10 November 2018

Departs From Callao/Lima
Day 1
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UNESCO site and ancient history


Location: Callao/Lima

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. Lima's history predates the colonial presence in the country. In the north, visit the city of Caral, considered the most ancient city in the Americas, and to the south is the archaeological complex of Pachacamac. Lima is where Spanish conquistadores established the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1542, and began building significant churches, monasteries, mansions and balconies in the city. The arrival of modernity didn’t transform the historic center, which is recognized as a World Heritage Site. Join one of our excursions to see the museums with great works of art, archaeological sites, beaches, the boardwalk and experience the exquisite cuisine that gives Peru’s capital its unique personality. Explore the city on your own before spending the night in a hotel.

Day 2
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UNESCO site and ancient history


Location: Lima/Cusco

In the morning 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 3
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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 a 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 4
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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. In Lima, MS Fram is ready to continue this expedition at sea.

Day 5
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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 6-7
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Sailing south


Location: At sea

While we make our way further south, you can enjoy a day at sea. Spend time on deck to take in the air, the view or look at the birdlife – or spend time on explorer deck. This is the heart of the expedition community; Where we gather for talks, recaps, and spontaneous events, mingle and share stories. Our expedition team will hold lectures, presentations and workshops on interesting topics related to the waters we sail in. The on board photographer might hold a workshop to show you the basics of expedition photography.

Day 8
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Home of the Humboldt penguin


Location: Isla Chañaral

Continuing south, 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 9
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The “Jewel of the Pacific”


Location: Valparaíso, Chile

The expedition ends in the wonderful, colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. Take some time to 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 flying home.

19 November 2018

Location Valparaíso, Chile
Your ship Extend your holiday

Getting you there

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