Guayaquil to Valparaiso
15 days with Silversea Rating:
Day 1 Guayaquil
The second major jumping off point for the Galapagos Islands after Quito, this is a little city with a big heart. A sea port first and foremost, the city’s personality has been founded on that, and all the better it is for it too. Almost Caribbean in feeling, the clement climate coupled with the intermingling rhythms floating from the windows and abundance of fresh seafood make this a very tropical destination. Once not even considered by the travel books as a potential destination in its own right, the city has undergone something of a resurgence in the past few years.
Day 2 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Day 3 Lobos de Tierra Island
Not far from the mainland coast of Peru, off the Illescas Peninsula, lies Isla Lobos de Tierra. It is a steep and rocky island that protrudes more than 200 feet (61 meters) from the surface of the deep blue Pacific. Several smaller islets surround it, including El León and Albatros. An abundant array of marine mammals and seabirds surround these islands. Sea lions, like sunbathers, bask on the beaches and hundreds of Blue-footed Boobies can be viewed ashore, whilst Peruvian Pelicans pass overhead.
Day 4 Salaverry, Isla Guanape
Located about nine hours north of Lima, Trujillo was founded in 1534 by the Spanish conquistador Pizarro. The attractive, colonial city retains much of its original charm with elegant casonas, or mansions, lining the streets. Nearby is Chan Chan, the ancient capital of the Chimú, a local Indian tribe who came under the rule of the Incas. The area has several other Chimú sites, some dating back about 1500 years. The region is also famous as the home of the Peruvian Paso horses, as well as excellent beaches offering world-class surfing and other water sports.
Isla Guanape is located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of La Libertad, Peru. Two main islands, North and South Guañape, along with several small islets constitute a biological reserve for seabirds. In 2009, the National Wildlife Refuge System of Peru officially protected the islands. The rugged, rocky, and dry island group is uninhabited by people, but is home not only to large colonies of South American sea lions, but to hundreds of thousands of seabirds. These include Peruvian Pelicans, Inca Terns and Blue-footed Boobies and Humboldt Penguins.
Day 5 Lima (Callao)
When people discuss great South American cities, Lima is often overlooked. But Peru's capital can hold its own against its neighbors. It has an oceanfront setting, colonial-era splendor, sophisticated dining, and nonstop nightlife.It's true that the city—clogged with traffic and choked with fumes—doesn't make a good first impression, especially since the airport is in an industrial neighborhood.
Day 6 Paracas
The port city of Paracas is blessed with magnificent natural beauty and rich historical importance, offerings inviting beaches, ideal weather and pleasant scenery — a combination that draws visitors throughout the year. The shores of the Paracas Peninsula and waters of the bay teem with wildlife and have been declared a national reserve. Condors frequently can be seen gliding on the sea winds or perched on the cliffs; pink flamingos often rest here on their migratory flights.
Day 7 Day At Sea
Day 8 Matarani
Matarani is located on the south-western coast of Peru and gives access to the colonial city of Arequipa, 75 miles (121 km) inland. From here it is a 200 mile (322 km) drive to Lake Titicaca and 400 miles (644 km) to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. This major port is an important element in the current plan between the governments of Peru and Brazil to afford easy commercial movement between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans by both countries.
Day 9 Arica
Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Relax for an hour or two on the Plaza 21 de Mayo. Walk to the pier and watch the pelicans and sea lions trail the fishing boats as the afternoon's catch comes in. Walk to the top of the Morro and imagine battles of days gone by, or wonder at the magnitude of modern shipping as Chilean goods leave the port below by container ship.
Day 10 Day At Sea
Day 11 Antofagasta
Situated between the ocean and the mountains of the Coastal Range is Chile’s largest city of the northern region. Antofagasta's role as port for the exportation of nitrate began in 1866. In 1872, when silver was discovered, the first municipality was established. Today, Antofagasta is still the centre of nitrate and copper mining, as well as an important hub for rail traffic to La Paz, Bolivia, and Salta, Argentina. According to the treaty signed after the War of the Pacific, much of Bolivia's international commerce transits through Antofagasta.
Day 12 Isla Pan de Azucar
The rugged shores of Isla Pan de Azucar (or Sugarloaf Island) are home to thousands of Humboldt Penguins. The penguins come to this arid island to breed and spend their days fishing, swimming and diving, as do many of the other birds found here. The waters around Isla Pan de Azucar also support Kelp Gulls, Blackish Oystercatchers, Peruvian Boobies, pelicans, sea lions and the reclusive South American marine otter.
Day 13 Isla Chanaral
Isla Chañaral is located just off the Central Chilean coast and, along with two other smaller islands, is part of the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve. The islands are an important breeding site for Humboldt Penguins. Sea lions rest on the rocky cliff ledges, while rare South American marine otters have been known to slide in and out of the waters along the coastline, and playful bottlenose dolphins swim in the surrounding seas. The island itself consists of an upper and a lower plateau.
Day 14 Coquimbo
The name Coquimbo is derived from a native Diaguita word meaning 'place of calm waters'. In fact, Charles Darwin had noted that the town was 'remarkable for nothing but its extreme quietness'. Since then, Coquimbo has developed into a bustling port and the region's major commercial and industrial centre from which minerals, fish products and fruits are exported. Used during the colonial period as a port for La Serena, Coquimbo attracted attention from English pirates, including Sir Francis Drake, who visited in 1578.
Day 15 Valparaiso
Valparaíso's dramatic topography—45 cerros, or hills, overlooking the ocean—requires the use of winding pathways and wooden ascensores (funiculars) to get up many of the grades. The slopes are covered by candy-color houses—there are almost no apartments in the city—most of which have exteriors of corrugated metal peeled from shipping containers decades ago. Valparaíso has served as Santiago's port for centuries. Before the Panama Canal opened, Valparaíso was the busiest port in South America.
All This Included
From the Gateway of the Galapagos to the colourful jumble of Valparaiso, drink in the very best of Peru and Chile. Long hailed by savvy travellers as bucket list countries, prepare for the awe-inspiring mountain peaks of Peru and the majestic flora and fauna of Chile. These are noble countries, equal parts proud, humble and fierce; a journey here will ignite passion in your soul that will last long after you leave.
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Explorer
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