Andean Coast contrasts from Desert to Jungles

Valparaiso, Chile - Puntarenas, Costa Rica

This expedition offers scenic beauty, rich history and exciting adventures. Explore the historic and natural highlights from Valparaíso in Chile along the coast of South America to Puntarenas in Costa Rica. Sail on our newest explorer ship, MS Roald Amundsen, and experience the perfect mix of beach life, culture, heritage and tranquil days at sea.

  • Learn about ancient civilizations and explore fascinating archaeological sites
  • Visit 5 countries in one expedition and see some of the world’s most spectacular scenery
  • Discover four of the UNESCO World Heritage sites on the west coast of South America
  • Enjoy a mix of natural and cultural wonders, tropical beaches and cities


Sailing along the west coast of South America gives you a unique opportunity to explore fascinating archaeological sites and the mysteries of lost civilisations. We sail from Chile to Costa Rica via Peru, Ecuador and Panama. Starting in Valparaíso, Chile, we travel north to visit La Serena, one of the oldest cities in Chile – where you also have a chance to observe the sky through a powerful telescope. As we arrive in Arcia, Chile – a full day of history, archaeology and adventure awaits you, including the stunning Luaca National Park, home to some breathtaking scenery with snow capped volcanoes, sparkling lakes and isolated hot springs.

Mysterious lines, colonial architecture and a mud brick citadel

Next, discover the mysterious Nazca lines. They are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. Trujillo is an interesting place to spend the day, with numerous colonial mansions that have been preserved in the old city. From Trujillo you can join the excursion to site of the ancient Chimú culture and see the largest mud brick citadel of the Americas from pre-Columbian times.

Coiba and Costa Rica

In Manta, take a tour to appreciate the exquisite handicraft of real Panama. Crossing the equator is another highlight. As a grand finale to our voyage, we will explore the pristine island of Coiba in Panama and hike through Costa Rican rainforest to see exotic birds, monkeys and waterfalls.

The mixture of extreme nature, fascinating cities, South American culture and captivating lectures makes this expedition a one-of-a-kind experience.

Price includes: 

  • Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • 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


The itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather and wind 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.

26 March 2019

Departure port Valparaíso, Chile
Day 1

The Poetic City

Location: Valparaíso, Chile

This expedition starts in the wonderfully colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. Before embarking MS Roald Amundsen, we recommend a visit to the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter of Valparaíso.

Day 2

Pisco, sunsets and telescopes

Location: Coquimbo and La Serena

La Serena is a seaside town and the capital of the Coquimbo Region in Elqui Province, and one of the oldest cities in Chile. The town is overflowing with colourful gardens and beautiful churches. In the Archaeological museum, you can learn about the ancient Diaguita culture that originated in this province, before the Incas conquered it. 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 that 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 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 a chance to look behind the scenes and partake in our guest expedition staff program. We also have an on board an 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. History, archaeology, and adventure are waiting on shore. Explore the city, walk up the cliff top “El Morro” to get a panoramic view, see the beaches or visit the archaeological sites with some of the world's oldest known mummies in Azapa Valley. You can also join the Expedition team and visit the nearby Lauca National Park. This amazing sanctuary is home to some 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

Take time to treat yourself

Location: At sea

Another day at sea is yours to enjoy. Take advantage of the on board facilities and treat yourself to some genuine relaxation. There will be plenty time to get to know the other explorers on board, and we will invite you to 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 on 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 continuity. The geoglyphs are several miles long and illustrate living creatures, stylised 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 options includes 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

Dubbed the “City of Kings”

Location: Lima

Callao is situated just outside Lima, the capital of Peru. Be prepared for a full day of big city exploration. Discover the beautiful colonial architecture and well-preserved buildings in Lima’s historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore Lima’s wonderful museums and visit the famed Cathedral of Lima and the Archbishop’s Palace on the city’s majestic main square. “The City of Kings” is steeped in history, tracing its ancient civilizations. Join one of the many excursions we offer to see the main sights and the archaeological highlights of the area, and taste the delicious variety available in Peruvian cuisine.

Day 9

A great day for wildlife spotting

Location: At sea

Spend some time on deck as we navigate further north along the coast of Peru, taking in the ocean air and looking out for wildlife. Join our Explorer team for interesting presentations and talks. We will be sailing with the nutrient-rich Humboldt Current that flows north along the west coast of South America from the southern tip of Chile to northern Peru. Watch for playful dolphins, birdlife and wildlife.

Day 10

See where the worshippers of the moon thrived

Location: Trujillo

If you like colonial architecture and design, the city of Trujillo will be a great place to spend the day. Trujillo sits on the edge of the Andean foothills and has a beautiful setting amongst the vast greenery and hills. Like most Peruvian cities, the central square, the Plaza de Armas, is surrounded 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"). It is 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 1500 years.

Day 11

Pool with a view

Location: At sea

MS Roald Amundsen is equipped with a pool and two Jacuzzis on the top deck. Why not enjoy the view while soaking in the water? Or from a comfortable spot at the Explorer bar if you prefer to stay dry? The on board lectures continue as well, so there are several choices.

Day 12

Visit the home of Panama hats

Location: Manta, Ecuador

Manta is a bustling and prosperous port town, graced with high-rises and beaches. Nearby colourful 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 13

Crossing the equator

Location: At sea

By now, you might have figured out how to enjoy days at sea in a way that is perfect for you. Perhaps you have found the time to finish one of the books you brought with you, or maybe spending time looking through and sorting the pictures you have taken is the preferred activity. As we cross the equator you can look forward to the “Equator baptism” ritual.

Day 14

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 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coiba offers secluded white sand beaches and great options for snorkelling, wildlife watching and hikes. OR It is also worth noting that the island contains the abandoned remains of the former penal colony that was once established there.

Day 15

Adventure day!

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, Golfito is home to some wonderful views. Come ashore and visit this tranquil town, and find yourself relaxing on the waterside while enjoying great 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 16

The end of the expedition

Location: Puntarenas, Costa Rica

As we arrive in Puntarenas, the adventure has come to its end. Before you fly home, you might spend some extra time enjoying the brilliant sunsets, fresh seafood, charming architecture and the oceanfront boardwalk of this Costa Rican city.

10 April 2019

Location Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Your ship Extend your holiday

Getting you there

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