Costa Rica, Peru – Inca Mysteries and Machu Picchu
Duration: 14 days
Ship: MS Fram
15 October 2019
Price from : £ 4281 per personCheck prices and availability
- Experience beautiful Costa Rica
- Pass through the Panama Canal
- Explore some of the most important archaeological sites in South America
- Discover the lost world of the Incas in Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu
We arrive in the Costa Rican capital, San José, and transfer to our hotel in the city centre. San José´s moniker – “towards better things” – aptly coins the spirit of our upcoming adventure. Stroll the streets and discover the neo-classical grandeur of this unique Central American metropolis. As Lonely Planet writes, “give this city a chance and you might be pleasantly surprised”. Get a good night´s sleep because we start the journey of a lifetime the next day.
After breakfast we head east towards the Caribbean coast to visit the tropical rain forests of Tortuguero National Park. A boat ride along the Tortuguero Canals completes a lovely day of sightseeing before we transfer to MS Fram at nearby Puerto Limón for embarkation.
Puerto Limón is the largest city on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast and one of the oldest cities on the continent. The port was established in 1502 when Christopher Columbus landed here during his exploration of the New World.
We begin our continent-crossing journey along the Caribbean coast of Panama, setting our course first for Bocas del Toro, an archipelago of nine main islands, 52 cays, and thousands of islets.
Colourful and brimming with Caribbean-style clapboard houses, home to a UNESCO World Heritage site and Panama's first National Marine Park, Bocas del Toro is one of Panama's most visited eco-tourism destinations. Considered the “Galápagos of the Caribbean”, Bocas del Toro is also one of the most biologically diverse places on earth.
We leave the Caribbean and enter the Panama Canal near the city of Colón. Experience the thrill of canal transit and the intricacy of the locks system firsthand, as MS Fram is lifted more than 26 metres (85 ft) above sea level, from one body of water to the next. We enter the Pacific Ocean near the town of Balboa.
We arrive midday at Puerto Piña, a small coastal community near the border with Colombia. The village lies beside the Bahía Piña, a narrow bay between two promontories that are frequented by humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins. Bahia Piña, in the province of Darien, attracts deep-sea fishermen from around the world. Numerous fishing world records have been broken here, more than anywhere else on earth. A diversity of marine species inhabit Bahía Piña, including sharks, dolphins, rays, and humpback whales. Rich in natural beauty, the area is ideal for hiking along trails in the jungle, kayaking, relaxing on the beach and swimming.
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea. Listen in as our experienced lecturers share their extensive knowledge, or spend time on deck fully enjoying the serenity of a day at sea.
In the afternoon, we arrive at Isla de la Plata, part of Machalilla National Park, Ecuador’s only coastal national park. The island is known as Ecuador’s other Galápagos 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 fantastic for hikers and features many bird watching trails. The island also offers great opportunities to swim and snorkel.
Our Expedition team continues its lecture programme, sharing their extensive knowledge and experience, as well as summarizing the voyage so far and letting you know about plans for the exciting days ahead. Our onboard expedition photographer will also be available to help you with the basics of expedition photography.
The small port of Salaverry, Peru, near the city of Trujillo, is the starting point for the excursion to the ancient Chimu kingdom (700-1400 A.D.), which built its capital by the banks of the Moche River. The ancient city of Chan Chan ("Sun Sun"), in Trujillo, covers an area of 20 square km and was constructed with clay, mud, pebbles, straw and cane.
Considered the largest mud-brick citadel of the Americas in pre-Hispanic times, it is a remarkable piece of architecture that was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1986.
Kick back and enjoy another full day at sea. Take part in the lecture series presented by the Expedition team or simply tune into the meditative rhythm of the ocean.
We have arrived at the port of Callao and start our day by transferring to a morning flight at nearby Lima to Cusco. Enjoy lunch before experiencing the amazing Inca fortress, Sacsayhuamán. The name translates to "satisfied falcon”, in reference to the mythical bird that was said to have guarded the Incan empire capital. Construction of the site took more than seven decades and demanded the labour of 20,000 men to set 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.
After breakfast, you’re in for some unforgettable sights. First we visit Ollantaytambo, an Incan town that shares its name with the formidable stone fortress that hugs the massive cliff looming over the community. This stronghold was the valley’s main defence against the rival Antis and the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest. Constructed of rose-coloured granite, the huge structure was once a thriving complex of baths, temples and military barracks. Next, we head to the nearby train station and board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. A savoury brunch is served as we enjoy spectacular views on the way to Machu Picchu.
At last, we arrive at spectacular Machu Picchu. The legendary 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 lost city of Machu Picchu still hides the secret of its rise and fall, as the Incas left no written records. Explore the city's ruins, feel its pulse and visualise the lives of the priests, craftsmen, and servants who inhabited this incredible place.
Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artefacts and woollen clothing. The renowned precision of Incan stonework on display here is astounding. After spending an unforgettable day exploring the ruins, you can enjoy tea at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge before we head back to Tambo del Inka Resort for another relaxing evening and overnight stay.
After breakfast, we head back to Cusco, once the centre of the Inca Empire. Visit the splendid baroque Cusco Cathedral, built by the Spanish 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 built on the foundations of 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 day of exploring, we transfer you to the airport for the flight to Lima, followed by a transfer to your hotel. Enjoy your evening in the capital of Peru, and a good night´s sleep.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. The Lima area is steeped in history. To the north is Caral, considered the most ancient city in the Americas, and in the south is the archaeological site of Pachacamac. Lima itself 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.
Included in your voyage
- Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- One overnight in San José before your voyage including breakfast
- Transfer hotel to pier including an excursion
- Two overnights at Tambo del Inka Resort after the voyage including half board
- One overnight in Lima after the voyage including breakfast
- Three-course set lunch and dinner on days 11 and 12, and box lunch on day 13
- Return economy flight Lima-Cusco-Lima
- All transfers and train rides as described including English-speaking guide
- Entrance fees according to program
- 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 accompanies landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
Not included in your voyage
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional excursions and gratuities
- Tour departure date: 15 October 2019 (San José, Costa Rica)
- Ship departure date: 16 October 2019 (Puerto Limon, Costa Rica)
- Ship arrival date: 25 October 2019 (Callao/Lima, Peru)
- Tour end date: 28 October 2019 (Lima, Peru)
- On this trip, a vaccine against yellow fever is recommended. The vaccination must be done at least 10 days before departure. Please bring the vaccination certificate on your voyage.
|Year of refurbishment||2020|
|Ship yard||Fincantieri, Italy|
|Passenger capacity||318 (200 in Antarctica)|
The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.
Salaverry - Chan Chan UNESCO Site and Trujillo City
Salaverry - Discovering the Moon Temple
Salaverry - Moon Temple and Trujillo City
Bocas del Toro - Bocas Indigenous Chocolate Tour
Bocas del Toro - Cayo Zapatilla & Cayo Coral
Bocas del Toro - Cayo Zapatilla
Bocas del Toro - Sustainable Cacao Farm
Callao - A Traditional City
Callao - Biking in Lima
Callao - Discovering the Palomino Islands
Callao - Grand Tour of Lima
Callao - Pachacamac, Archaeological Museum & Paso Horses
Callao - Peruvian Culinary Experience
Extend your cruise
Get more out of your journey by adding a Pre- or Post-programme before or after your expedition cruise.