Ecuador, Peru, Chile – Inca Highlights and Galápagos Islands
Duration: 13 days
Ship: MS Fram
19 October 2019
Price from : £ 4520 per personCheck prices and availability
- Visit the historic centres of Quito and Lima, both UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Explore the wondrous Galápagos Islands, home to Darwin’s theory of evolution
- Discover the mysteries of lost kingdoms
- See the Nazca Lines from the sky
Once you have made your way to Quito, take in the well-preserved heritage of the city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is beautifully situated in an Andean valley at an elevation of 2,850 meters (9,350 ft), making it the second-highest capital city in the world.
Enjoy an overnight at a centrally-located hotel in Quito.
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 stay.
Breakfast at hotel, then transfer to Quito Airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands (via Guayaquil).
Upon arrival at Baltra´s airport, we will 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 tortoises 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 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 cosy 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.
Breakfast at hotel. We then 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.
A box lunch is served on the flight from Baltra Island to Lima (via Guayaquil). At Lima airport, we meet our local representative who transfers you to your hotel in the city.
Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast and checkout at the hotel, we join a “Half Day Lima Highlights Tour”, including a visit to the historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Highlights of the tour include Casa Aliaga an almost 500-year old mansion built for one of Pizarro’s lieutenants, and the Santo Domingo Convent, the best-preserved religious buildings in all of Lima. The tour finishes at the quayside for embarkation on MS Fram, which stands ready to continue our expedition at sea.
Puerto General San Martin is the gateway to the famous and mysterious Nazca Lines and geoglyphs. These striations were etched into the ground between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D., and are considered among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs are several kilometres long and illustrate living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures. Join us to experience these marvellous creations of the ancient world.
Days at sea mean you can join the Expedition team´s interesting lectures, learn the basics of expedition photography, and spend time out on deck enjoying the fresh salt air as you scout for wildlife. Of course, there’s also plenty time to chat with fellow explorers, or just find a quiet corner to enjoy the serenity of a day at sea.
Known as one of the oldest and prettiest cities in northern Chile, Antofagasta is nicknamed “The Pearl of the North”. It is a city of remarkable contrasts, where you can experience the driest desert and the bluest sea.
Join one of our optional excursions to see La Portada Natural Monument, a peculiar rocky arch formation at sea, or visit one of the small fishing towns nearby.
You may also or explore sunny, warm beaches, or the Antofagasta´s historic sites at your own pace.
Enjoy another peaceful day at sea as we make our way south to Valparaíso, and the Expedition team continues their lecture programme.
Our expedition ends in the wonderful, colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. After disembarking MS Fram, take some time to stroll the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter, or ride a funicular to one of many hilltops for a citywide panorama.
Included in your voyage
- Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Two overnights in Quito before the voyage including breakfast and dinner on day 2.
- Three overnights at Red Mangrove hotel in Santa Cruz Island /Galápagos before the voyage including full board
- One overnight in Lima, incl. half board
- Economy flight Quito-Baltra, Baltra-Lima (via Guayaquil)
- All transfers, excursions and meals as described including English-speaking guide
- Galápagos Islands 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
- Tour start date: 19 October 2019 (Quito, Ecuador)
- Ship departure date: 25 October 2019 (Callao, Peru)
- Arrival date: 31 October 2019 (Valparaíso, Chile)
- 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.
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
Paracas - Ballestas Islands
Paracas - Nazca Lines
Paracas - Tambo Colorado
Antofagasta - Baquedano & Chacabuco
Antofagasta - Best of Antofagasta
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