Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador – Inca Mysteries and Galápagos Islands
Duration: 15 days
Ship: MS Roald Amundsen
10 October 2019
Price from : £ 5061 per personCheck prices and availability
- Learn about ancient civilisations and explore fascinating ruins
- Discover a combination of natural and cultural wonders, tropical beaches and cities
- Visit historic Quito, the very first UNESCO World Heritage site
- Explore the wonders of the Galápagos Islands, home to Darwin’s theory of evolution
- Day 1 Puntarenas, Costa Rica
- Day 2 Quepos, Costa Rica
- Day 3 Golfito, Costa Rica
- Day 4 Isla de la Coiba, Panama
- Day 5 At sea
- Day 6 Manta, Ecuador
- Day 7 At sea
- Day 8 Trujillo, Peru
- Day 9 At sea
- Day 10 Callao, Peru/ Quito, Ecuador
- Day 11 Quito
- Day 12 Quito/Baltra Island/Santa Cruz Island
- Day 13-14 Galápagos Islands
- Day 15 Baltra Island/Guayaquil
The port of Puntarenas is located on the west coast of Costa Rica, a 90-minute drive from the capital city San José. Take your time to explore the town before boarding MS Roald Amundsen.
Puntarenas sits on a finger of land that juts into the Gulf of Nicoya, with a busy port on one side of the narrow peninsula and beaches fringing the tip and southern sides. Enjoy fresh seafood, charming architecture and the oceanfront boardwalk of this Costa Rican city before coming on board.
Quepos is a small, yet busy town that is popular because of its access to Manuel Antonio National Park. The 680-hectare park is renowned for wildlife, like three-toed sloths, howler and squirrel monkeys, the endangered white-faced capuchin monkey, and hundreds of bird species.
There are mangroves, lagoons, white-sand beaches, coral reefs and rainforest with fantastic hiking trails. Costa Rica is known for making it possible to explore its forest canopies and you’ll find some of the country´s best zip-lining adventures in the park. See the rainforest from a tree animal´s perspective while experiencing the amazing diversity and spectacular scenery.
Enjoy a day of great adventures and plenty of opportunity for exploration.Located on a small gulf surrounded by densely forested hills, tranquil Golfito is home to some wonderful views. Come ashore and relax on golden 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.
Coiba National Park is one of Panama´s great natural treasures. Situated on the country´s largest island, Coiba, the park is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its coral reefs and rich biodiversity. Coiba also has secluded white sand beaches and excellent options to swim, snorkel, watch wildlife and hike. The island has a fascinating history as the site of a notorious penal colony that closed down in 2004.
Join our Explorer team for interesting presentations and talks, organise your photos, and get to know your fellow explorers. As we cross the equator you can look forward to the “Equator baptism” ritual.
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.
Enjoy another relaxing day at sea, priming your knowledge of the history and wildlife of the areas we visit. There will also be various workshops and presentations. Make sure to spend some time on deck simply enjoying the fresh sea air and watching for wildlife.
If you like colonial architecture and design, the city of Trujillo is a great place to spend the day. Trujillo lies on the edge of the Andean foothills and is beautifully set amidst lush greenery and hills. The central square, Plaza de Armas, is flanked by the lovely cathedral and city hall.
Numerous colonial mansions have been preserved in the city´s old quarter and are open to visitors. Most of these old homes have distinctive wrought-iron grillwork and are painted in pastel colours. You can also join our excursions to visit remarkable pre-Incan archaeological sites in the area, like the centre of the ancient Chimú culture (700–1400 A.D) that built their capital city Chan Chan (“Sun Sun”) along the banks of the Moche River.
This remarkable place was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1986. Other Chimú sites bake in the surrounding desert, among them the immense and impressive Moche Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon), which date back 1,500 years.
MS Roald Amundsen features a swimming pool and two Jacuzzis on its top deck. Why not enjoy the sea view while having a soak? Or find a comfortable spot in the ship´s Explorer Bar lounge. Our onboard lectures continue as well, so there are many choices.
In the morning we disembark at Callao, Peru, and transfer to nearby Lima airport for your flight to Quito, where you are picked up and transferred to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and explore Quito, nestled at the foot of the Volcano Pichincha and known for its eternally spring-like climate and beauty of its well preserved colonial quarter.
Originally settled by the Quitu tribe in the first millennium, Quito was eventually integrated into the Inca Empire before being destroyed and re-established in 1534 by Spanish conquistador, Sebastian de Benalcázar. For nearly three centuries, the arts and intellectual societies flourished under Spanish colonial rule, a fact evident in the historic centre’s splendidly restored period buildings and churches lining narrow, cobbled streets.
The city’s diligent preservation of its culturally diverse past prompted UNESCO to declare Quito the first of its World Heritage sites in 1978. Beautifully situated in an Andean valley at 2,850 meters (9,350 ft), Quito is the second highest capital city in the world. In the evening, enjoy a special welcome dinner at a local restaurant to kick off your exciting visit to Ecuador.
After breakfast, we drive north to the equator and visit the Inti Ñan Museum. Afterwards, we ascend the Teleférico – one of Quito’s most popular attractions offering spectacular and easily accessible views of the city.
The ride lasts only 10 minutes but takes you to an altitude of 4,050 m (13,300 ft). At the top, the lookout offers the visitor incredible views of Quito, the surrounding valleys and snow-covered volcanoes (along with coffee, snacks, and oxygen for the short of breath). Bring a sweater or light jacket - it can get chilly up there!
Return to the city to enjoy lunch in Quito´s charming colonial quarter. The afternoon's sightseeing is a good example why Ecuador's capital earned the honour as UNESCO´s first World Heritage site. Dinner will be served at the hotel before your overnight.
The day begins with breakfast at your hotel. We drive to Quito Airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands (via Guayaquil).
Upon arrival at Baltra´s airport, we meet the local representative and board a bus for the short transfer to Itabaca Channel, which separates Baltra Island from Santa Cruz Island. Here, we board a small ferry that crosses the azure waters of the channel to Santa Cruz, a journey that takes about five minutes.
On the other side, we travel through a rural agricultural area surrounded by wild landscapes and many different species of flora and fauna. We may well spot the finches that are famous for being the basis of Darwin's theory of evolution.
See the famous Galápagos land tortoises in their natural environment and learn how private ranches help protect these special creatures and their habitat. Tortoises of all different ages and sizes gather here: Small young ones with shining carapaces, and older individuals with weathered and worn shells. Lunch will be served in the highlands.
The well-known Lava Tunnels are another amazing experience. Formed by lava flows from the volcanoes, they range from the highlands down to the sea. Join an amazing half-hour hike through one of the tunnels to the point where it gets too small to pass. A naturalist guide will share in detail the story of the origin of these fascinating tunnels.
Afterwards, we continue to our hotel in the town of Puerto Ayora. Once settled, we walk to the nearby Charles Darwin Research Station, which hosts educational museums on both the history and development of the Galápagos Islands, and protection of their natural heritage. Native giant land tortoises can also be observed. Many different tortoise species exist in the Galápagos and the station is the only place where most of the species reside at one site.
The afternoon is at your leisure to explore small yet picturesque Puerto Ayora and its many shops with local arts and crafts. We later enjoy dinner at the hotel´s restaurant.
Breakfast at hotel. We have two full days to tour one of the nearby uninhabited islands by boat.
Please note that only one of the four islands listed below will be visited per day:
Bartolomé Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock and Galápagos penguins; or South Plaza Island, home to a colony of land iguanas; or Santa Fe Island, known for having the islands´ most sea beautiful coves; or North Seymour Island, considered a microcosm of the entire archipelago.
The visits are regulated by the Galápagos National Park and we are notified of permission 30 days prior to the visit. Regardless of the islands we visit, lunch is served on board the vessel during the tour.
Later, we have dinner at the hotel and overnight.
After breakfast at hotel, we transfer to Baltra airport for the flight to mainland Ecuador. En route to the airport, we stop at “The Twins” or “Los Gemelos” - two impressive volcanic depressions in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.
Next is our flight from Baltra Island to Guayaquil. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, a representative will assist with the international flight connection. A box lunch will be provided.
Included in your voyage
- Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Economy flight Lima to Quito and Quito to Baltra
- Two overnights in Quito after the voyage including breakfast and dinner
- Three overnights at Red Mangrove hotel in Santa Cruz Island /Galapagos after the voyage including full board
- Economy flight Baltra to Guayaquil
- All transfers, excursions and meals as described including English-speaking guide
- Galápagos National Park entrance fee
- 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
- Departure date: 10 October 2019 (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)
- Ship arrival date: 19 October 2019 (Callao, Peru)
- Tour end date: 24 October 2019 (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
- 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.
MS Roald Amundsen
|Ship yard||Kleven Yards|
|Passenger capacity||530 (500 in Antarctica)|
|Gross tonnage||20 889 T|
In 2019, Hurtigruten added a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. The state of the art vessel features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.
Quepos Highlights and Historical Reviews
Quepos - Manuel Antonio National Park
Quepos - Damas Island Estuary and Mangrove Boat Tour
Quepos - Rainmaker Nature Hike and Waterfall
Quepos - Titi Canopy Tour
Golfito - Costa Rica Jungle Kayak Adventure
Golfito - UNESCO´s Stone Spheres World Heritage Site Exploration
Golfito - Marine Wildlife Observation and Snorkeling
Golfito Wildlife Refuge Nature Walk
Golfito - Casa Orquídeas Botanical Gardens
Golfito - Piedras Blancas National Park Exploration
Manta - Ecuadorian high tea
Manta Highlights and Montecristi
Manta - Pacoche Forest with specialist naturalist guide
Salaverry - Chan Chan UNESCO Site and Trujillo City
Salaverry - Discovering the Moon Temple
Salaverry - Moon Temple and Trujillo City
Extend your cruise
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