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Incan Highlights Expedition Through Chile and Peru

11 days with Hurtigruten   Rating: First Class

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Itinerary
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DAY 1 Colorful and Poetic City of Valparaíso
Location : Valparaíso, Chile
 
This expedition starts in the wonderfully colorful city of Valparaíso. Before embarking MS Roald Amundsen, we recommend you visit the UNESCO-listed historic quarter of Valparaíso.
 
DAY 2 Pisco, Sunsets, and Telescopes
Location : Coquimbo and La Serena
 
La Serena, a seaside town and the capital of the Coquimbo region in the Elqui province, is one of the oldest cities in Chile. The town is overflowing with colorful 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, which 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 Sailing North Along the Chilean Coast
Location : At Sea
 
As we sail north, the expedition team will start their interesting lecture program. Our expedition 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 an opportunity to take a look behind the scenes and partake in our guest expedition staff program. We also have an onboard 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 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, taking full advantage of the history, archaeology, and adventure that are waiting for your discovery on shore. Explore the city, walk up the El Morro cliff top to get a panoramic view, discover the beaches, or visit the archaeological sites with some of the world's oldest known mummies in the Azapa Valley. You can also join the expedition team and visit the nearby Lauca National Park. This amazing sanctuary is home to 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 Enjoy a Day at Sea
Location : At Sea
 
Another day at sea is yours to enjoy. Take advantage of the onboard facilities and treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation. Get to know the other explorers on board and 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 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 onto 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 progression. The geoglyphs are several miles long and depict living creatures, stylized 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 optional excursions include 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 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 since it is 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, to transport materials, build the foundation, and to carve and set the stones.. It was constructed without mortar, like many other Incan 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 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 that looms over the town. The fortress was the valley’s main defence against the Antis, a collective term for the many varied ethnic groups living in the Antisuyu, the eastern part of the Incan Empire. It was the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest. Constructed of rose-colored granite, this huge installation was once a thriving complex of baths, temples, and military barracks. Next, we’ll head to the nearby train station to board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. A savory brunch will be served as we enjoy the spectacular views. 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, artifacts, and wool clothing, but no gold. The same precision of assembled stones exists here as it does 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 Center of the Incan Empire
Location : Cusco/Lima
 
After breakfast we head to Cusco, once the center of the Incan Empire. Here you can see the splendid Baroque-style Cusco Cathedral, built in the mid-1500s on the foundation of an Incan palace. Many of the stones used in its construction were looted from the nearby Sacsayhuamán fortress. We continue to Coricancha to admire the lovely Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo that was built on the foundation of the Temple of the Sun, the most important temple in the Incan Empire. The curved, mortarless masonry wall at the west end of the church is considered to be one of the greatest existing examples of Incan stonework. After another day of exploring, we will transfer you to the airport where you fly to Lima. The city has an elegance, particularly in the colonial city center. Lima brims with culture and history and has excellent museums as well as fine Spanish churches in the city center, 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 the city’s lively nightlife before spending the night at a hotel.
 
DAY 11 Flying Back Home
Location : Lima
 
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before you fly home.
Map
All This Included
Exciting adventures await! Sail on our newest expedition 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 as you travel from Valparaíso in Chile to Lima in Peru.
  • Hurtigruten expedition in the cabin category of your choice on a full-board basis (daily buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, and set or buffet dinner)
  • One overnight hotel stay in Lima, including breakfast, and two overnight hotel stays at Hacienda Urubamba, including breakfast, after the voyage
  • 3-course set lunch and dinner on days 8 and 9, and a box lunch on day 10
  • Economy-class flights between Lima and Cusco  
  • All transfers including train ride to Machu Picchu and entrance fees as described and including English-speaking guide.
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket 
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
Highlights
  • Learn about the ancient civilizations of South America
  • Discover fascinating archaeological sites such as 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 
Accommodations
Cruising: Category RJ cabin onboard ms Roald Amundsen
Sacred Valley: Hacienda Urubamba
Lima: To be determined
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Not Included: International flights, travel Insurance, luggage handling, optional excursions and gratuities.
  • All planned landings are subject to weather conditions.
  • All itineraries are subject to change.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Hurtigruten terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.