Costa Rica and Peru - Incan Mysteries and Machu Picchu (Itinerary 1)
13 days with Hurtigruten Rating:
DAY 1 Our Expedition Begins
Location : Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Take a little time to discover Puntarenas, a surfing hotspot jutting into the Gulf of Nicoya. Enjoy the fresh seafood, charming architecture and the oceanfront boardwalk of this Costa Rican city before coming on board MS Roald Amundsen.
DAY 2 Manuel Antonio National Park
Location : Quepos, Costa Rica
Quepos is the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park. The 1,680 acre wildlife reserve is renowned for three-toed sloths, howlers, squirrels and endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys, as well as hundreds of bird species. Within park boundaries, there are mangroves, lagoons, white-sand beaches, coral reefs and rainforest with hiking trails that are great for exploring. You’ll find some of the best zip-lining adventures anywhere in this park.
DAY 3 A Day of Adventure
Location : Golfito, Costa Rica
Enjoy a day of great adventures and plenty of opportunity for exploration. Located on a small gulf surrounded by densely forested hills, tranquil Golfito is home to some wonderful views. Come ashore and relax on golden beaches for surfing and swimming. The nearby national park of Piedras Blancas offers fine walking tours through rainforest and the chance to see waterfalls, monkeys, bats and exotic birds.
DAY 4 A Breathtaking and Unique Island
Location : Isla de la Coiba, Panama
Coiba National Park is one of Panama's natural treasures, and one of the country’s largest islands. Due to its rich coral reefs and biodiversity, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coiba offers secluded white sand beaches and great options for snorkelling, wildlife watching and hikes.
DAY 5 Crossing the Equator
Location : At sea
Join our Explorer Team for interesting presentations and talks, organize your photos, and get to know your fellow explorers. As we cross the equator you can look forward to the “Equator baptism” ritual.
DAY 6 Home of Panama Hats
Location : Manta, Ecuador
Manta is a bustling and prosperous port town, graced with high-rises and beaches. Nearby, colorful fishing villages and an unusual tropical dry forest make Manta an attractive tourist destination and the starting point for exciting day trips. We recommend the trip to Montecristi, where real Panama hats are made. These traditional brimmed straw hats are hand woven, and it can take several months to make the finest examples. A "superfino" Panama hat can, according to popular rumour, hold water, and when rolled for storage, pass through a wedding ring.
DAY 7 The Adventures to Come
Location : At sea
Enjoy priming your knowledge about the history and wildlife of the area. There will also be workshops and presentations on offer. Make sure to spend some time on deck to enjoy the fresh sea air and look out for wildlife.
DAY 8 Worshippers of the Moon
Location : Trujillo, Peru
The city of Trujillo offers tremendous colonial architecture, set on the edge of the rugged Andean foothills. As in most Peruvian cities, the central square, the Plaza de Armas, is flanked by the cathedral and city hall. Numerous colonial mansions have been preserved in the old city and are open to visitors.
The fronts of most of these houses have distinctive wrought-iron grillwork and are painted in pastel colours. You can also join our excursions to visit the remarkable pre-Incan archaeological sites found in the area. Close to Trujillo you find the centre of the ancient Chimú culture (700–1400 A.D.).
These tribes founded their capital by the banks of the Moche River and called it Chan Chan ("sun-sun") - a remarkable place that was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1986. Other Chimú sites bake in the surrounding desert, among them the immense and suitably impressive Moche Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon), which date back ,500 years.
DAY 9 Pool with a View
Location : At sea
MS Roald Amundsen is equipped with a pool and two hot tubs on the top deck. Why not enjoy the view while soaking in the water? Or from a comfortable spot at the Explorer Bar? The onboard lectures continue as well, so there many ways to spend the day.
DAY 10 UNESCO Site and Ancient History
Location : Callao/Lima/Cusco, Peru
In the morning, you disembark and transfer to Lima airport for your flight to Cusco. Enjoy lunch before experiencing the amazing fortress of Sacsayhuamán, which translates to "satisfied falcon”, in reference to the mythical bird that was said to have guarded the capital of the Incan empire.
Construction of the site took more than seven decades and required the labour of 20,000 men to set the foundations, hew the stone, transport materials, and carve and set the stonework. Like many Incan structures, the fortress was built entirely without mortar, yet the enormous stones fit so perfectly that a single blade of grass will not pass between them.
The craftsmanship is a stunning example of the Inca’s sophisticated construction and architectural skills. In the afternoon, we continue to Tambo del Inka Resort in the Sacred Valley for dinner and an overnight stay.
DAY 11 The Splendour of Machu Picchu
Location : Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu
After breakfast, you’re in for some unforgettable highlights. First, we visit to Ollantaytambo, an Incan town that shares its name with the formidable stone fortress that clings to a massive cliff looming over the community. This fortification was the valley’s main defence against the rival Antis people and was the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest.
Constructed of rose-colored granite, this huge structure 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 savory brunch is served as we enjoy spectacular views on the way to Machu Picchu.
At last, we arrive at spectacular Machu Picchu. This hidden city overlooks the raging Urubamba River and was shielded from discovery for centuries by thick tangles of vines and trees. Now one of the great destinations in world travel, the city of Machu Picchu still hides the secret of its rise and fall, as the Incas left behind 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. Inspect the famous precision of Incan stonework on display here. After spending an unforgettable day exploring the ruins, you can enjoy tea at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge before we head back by train to Tambo del Inka Resort for another relaxing evening and overnight stay.
DAY 12 Centre of the Incan Empire
Location : Cusco/Lima/Callao
After breakfast, we head to Cusco, once the centre of the Inca Empire. Visit the splendid baroque Cusco Cathedral, built in the mid-1500s on the foundations of an Incan 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 constructed atop 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 one of the greatest existing examples of Inca stonework.
After another full day of exploring, we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Lima, followed by a transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the evening in the capital of Peru. Overnight.
DAY 13 Lovely Colonial Lima
Location : Lima, Peru
After breakfast at the hotel, set out to discover fascinating Lima. The city and surrounding area are steeped in history. To the north is Caral, considered the most ancient city in the Americas, and to the south is the archaeological site of Pachacamac. Lima was established by the Spanish conquistadores in 1542, and the ruling Vice Royalty of Peru proceeded to build significant churches, monasteries, and mansions in the town. Today, the Lima's historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
All This Included
Sail with us on our new explorer ship, MS Roald Amundsen, and experience a perfect combination of exploring mysterious Incan ruins, culture and heritage with tranquil tropical days at sea. Starting in lush Costa Rica, we journey south along the Pacific coastline of Central and South America en route to Peru and Machu Picchu.
Cruising: Inside cabin onboard MS Roald Amundsen
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.