Andean Coast Expedition and Panama Canal - Northbound

View Itinerary

Sailing along the west coast of South America gives you a unique opportunity to explore fascinating archaeological sites and the mysteries of lost cultures. See the Nazca Lines, the ancient Chimu kingdom, pyramids and shrines, national parks and exotic wildlife, before sailing through the Panama Canal and ending the expedition in beautiful Costa Rica.
16-days


The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. We sail along the coastline of this ancient realm from Chile to Costa Rica via Peru and Ecuador. Starting in Valparaíso, Chile, we head north to the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve to take a close look at penguins, turtles, dolphins, whales and birds.

Among Archaeology's Greatest Enigmas

Next, 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. Some of the straight lines run up to 30 miles, while the biomorphs range from 50 to 1200 feet in length (as large as the Empire State Building).

Lost Cities and a Giant Citadel

In Callao and Lima, gain insight into local art, traditions and highlights like the museum Larco that is built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid and Huaca Huallamarca, an ancient pre-Inca shrine. We also visit the ancient Chimu kingdom, the largest mud brick citadel of the Americas from the pre-Columbian era.

We will also explore the only coastal national park in Ecuador, visit a small coastal community known for excellent fishing in Panama and sail through the Panama Canal. The last day will be spent in Bocas del Toro and the Bastemintos National Park. Here you can dive and kayak among mangroves and coral reefs as well as hike through the rainforest in search of wildlife, before we reach the end of this expedition in beautiful Costa Rica. The combination of extreme nature, visits to several fascinating cities, South American culture and captivating lectures makes this expedition a one-of-a-kind experience. 




Price Includes: 

Not Included:

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.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

Itinerary

  1. The “Jewel of the Pacific” - Valparaíso, Chile

    This expedition starts in the wonderful, colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. One of the best ways of seeing this scenic town is through its funiculars. These constructions, which are scattered around the entire natural amphitheater surrounding the city, allow sweeping views of the bay, and highlight the multi hued houses, creating a rainbow of color and light. 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 embarking on MS Fram.

    The “Jewel of the Pacific” - Valparaíso, Chile
  2. Home of the Humboldt Penguin - Isla Chañaral

    Sailing north, 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.

    Home of the Humboldt Penguin - Isla Chañaral
  3. Lectures at Sea - At Sea

    Learn more about South America’s history, ancient civilizations and cultures. The Inca civilization flourished in ancient Peru starting around 1400 B.C. The Inca Empire ranged 2,500 miles from Ecuador to southern Chile. It was the largest empire ever seen in the Americas and the largest in the world at that time, before its destruction at the hands of Spanish conquistadors in 1532. Undaunted by the often harsh Andean environment, the Incas conquered tribes and exploited landscapes in such diverse settings as plains, mountains, deserts, and tropical jungle. Famed for their unique art and architecture, they constructed finely built and imposing buildings wherever they conquered, and their spectacular adaptation of natural landscapes with terracing, highways, and mountaintop settlements continues to impress modern visitors. During these days at sea you can learn even more about the Incas, and other ancient cultures and their fascinating lives from the lectures held on board.

    Lectures at Sea - At Sea
  4. The Nazca lines - an Archaeological Mystery - 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.

    The Nazca lines - an Archaeological Mystery - San Martin, Peru
  5. UNESCO Site and Ancient History - 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.

    UNESCO Site and Ancient History - Callao/Lima
  6. Gain Insight While at Sea - At Sea

    Spend some time on deck as we navigate further north along the coast of Peru and the Pacific coast. Breathe the fresh ocean air and scan for wildlife. Join our lecture team for interesting presentations to learn more about the west coast of South America, its nature, history and geography. Oceanography, climate change and environmental issues are also frequent topics of our lectures.

    Gain Insight While at Sea - At Sea
  7. Explore an Ancient Kingdom, Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon. - Salaverry

    The small port of Salaverry is the starting point for the excursion to the ancient Chimu kingdom (700–1400 A.D.). The Chimu founded their capital by the banks of the Moche River and called it Chan Chan (“sun-sun”), which covers an area of eight square miles. It was built using clay, mud, pebbles, straw and cane, creating the largest mud brick citadel of the Americas from pre-Hispanic times. It is a remarkable place, listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1986. Also discover Trujillo, a city that retains much of its colonial charm and has a splendid backdrop of the vast green and brown of the Andean foothills. There is also an excursion going to the main religious center of the Moche culture, built in the 5th century A.D. Admire the Temple of the Sun, the largest adobe structure in the world, and the Temple of the Moon, covered with beautiful and vibrant Moche designs.

    Explore an Ancient Kingdom, Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon. - Salaverry
  8. Sailing North - At Sea

    While we make our way further north towards Ecuador, take your time to relax on the open decks or gain more insight with our lectures. During the day there might also be other gatherings with the expedition team or photography workshops.

    Sailing North - At Sea
  9. Colorful Birds and Fish on the Silver Island - Isla del la Plata

    Isla de la Plata is a part of Parque National Machalilla, and is Ecuador’s only coastal national park. The island is known as Ecuador’s other Galapagos because of its abundance of marine birdlife. Isla de la Plata translates to Silver Island, and is the home to blue-footed boobies, nesting waved albatrosses, and frigate birds among others. The island is great for hikers and has plenty of bird watching trails. You can also explore the colorful life under water by snorkelling amongst large schools of fish, or take a refreshing dip in the blue ocean.

    Colorful Birds and Fish on the Silver Island - Isla del la Plata
  10. Crossing the Equator - At Sea

    After the days you have had at sea so far, you have probably found the perfect way to spend this time. Find the time to finish one of the books you brought with you, look through and sort the pictures you have taken, or maybe simply relaxing on deck is your favorite “activity”. We will cross the Equator, and a remarkable celebration; the” Equator baptism” is waiting for you.

    Crossing the Equator - At Sea
  11. Remote Playa Muerto - Playa Muerto

    The village of Playa Muerto is set in secluded Darién National Park in one of the most remote corners of Central America. This tranquil community is surrounded by lush tropical forest and beautiful beaches, with a population of about 200 indigenous people from the Emberá Tribe. Due to its remote location, the village gets only a handful of visitors each year, who are received with joy and genuine curiosity.

    The local population is proud of their cultural heritage and the beauty of their surroundings. As their guests, you will enjoy traditional music and dance, learn about their native crafts and have the chance to try typical local food based on seafood and coconut water. You can also enjoy the magnificent flora and fauna while strolling along the beach or swimming in the nearby waterfall.

    Remote Playa Muerto   - Playa Muerto
  12. Connecting Two Oceans - Panama Canal

    We enter the Panama Canal close to Balboa. Experience the thrill of canal transit and the intricacy of the lock's system first-hand, as MS Fram is lifted over 85 feet above sea level from one body of water to the next. The Panama Canal is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. It had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn. 

    Connecting Two Oceans - Panama Canal
  13. UNESCO Site and Biosphere Reserve - Bocal del Toro

    Bocas del Toro, (“mouth of the bull”), is a pristine region, and home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, La Amistad International Park and Isla Bastimentos, Panama's first National Marine Park and Biosphere Reserve. Consisting of 9 islands and hundreds of smaller islets you can visit Bocas town with its colorful Caribbean vibe and atmosphere, before venturing into the expanse of Bastemintos National Park. Snorkel, dive and kayak among mangroves and coral reefs, or hike through the rainforest in search of wildlife.

    UNESCO Site and Biosphere Reserve - Bocal del Toro
  14. Home of the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle - Puerto Limon

    Puerto Limón in Costa Rica is a compelling destination for adventurous explorers. The city itself has some fascinating architecture and colorful open-air marketplaces. The main market in the center of town is the place to go to buy everything from wooden carved items to traditional souvenirs. Cashew nuts are big in this city, so be sure to try the cashew wine, which is a specialty here. While the city is rather laid back during the day, at night Puerto Limon has quite an active social scene. The nightlife hops, with a number of bars and restaurants found all over the city. This is where your expedition comes to an end. Stay on to enjoy Costa Rica or fly home.

    Home of the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle - Puerto Limon

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