The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. We sail along the coastline of this ancient realm from Chile to Colombia 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.