- Day 1 Lima, Peru
- Day 2 Lima/Puno, Peru
- Day 3 Puno/Uros/Llachón/Puno, Peru
- Day 4 Puno/Juliaca/Lima, Peru
- Day 5 Salaverry/Trujillo, Peru
- Day 6 At Sea
- Day 7 Puerto Bolivar (Machala), Ecuador
- Day 8 Isla de la Plata, Ecuador
- Day 9 Manta, Ecuador
- Day 10 At Sea
- Day 11 Cebaco Island, Panama
- Day 12 Golfito, Costa Rica
- Day 13 Quepos, Costa Rica
- Day 14 Puntarenas, Costa Rica
7 April 2022
Set on a strip of desert between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains is the Peruvian capital city of Lima. It is the largest city in the country, a modern, sprawling metropolis where traditions and trends converge in an exciting cocktail of culture and cuisine. It’s for good reason that its original name was La Ciudad de los Reyes, or ‘The City of Kings’. Your adventure begins here with a night at a central hotel, but you could also arrange to come a few days early to explore the capital more.
The UNESCO World Heritage historic centre is full of colonial-era architecture like Plaza Mayor and San Francisco Monastery. On the other hand, the clay ruins of ceremonial pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca are reminders of long-lost Inca civilisation. For more pre-Columbian archaeology, there are at least four separate museums to pick from. Arty types among you will also enjoy the bright and Bohemian area of Barranco, complete with murals, creative cafés and two of Lima’s contemporary art museums.
But the ultimate Lima experience has got to be the food. Cuisine emanating from the capital has raised the bar the globe over and there is no shortage of internationally recognised and award-winning restaurants for you to delight in. One of Peru’s all-time gastronomic greats is ceviche, fresh fish marinated in tangy lime juice and other seasonings. The staple dish can be savoured in many locations around the city, from up-market diners in Miraflores to salt-of-the-earth cevicherías at the fishing docks over in Chorrillos.
8 April 2022
In the morning, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight from Lima to Juliaca. This city is located on the windy Collao Plateau, 3,825 metres above sea level. You’ll meet our local guide at the airport and set off on a one-hour drive through Juliaca to your hotel in Puno. Along the way, you might glimpse such sights as Santa Catalina Church in the Plaza de Armas, the Romanesque Franciscan Convent atop Cerro Santa Bárbara, or the White Christ effigy gazing out over the city from Waynaruqi Hill.
Your hotel in the city of Puno, located right on the shore of lovely Lake Titicaca, will be you’re your home for the next two days. Enjoy lunch at the hotel before our visit to Chucuito and Amaru Muru.
Chucuito was once an important colonial-era town where royal taxes were collected before being transported to Lima. Nowadays, it is a quiet village with two attractive 16th century colonial churches, Santo Domingo and Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, and an ancient solar clock around the town square. To the north of the square is a lookout point that promises splendid views of the surrounding landscape. You may visit a nearby trout hatchery to see how the region’s speciality of trucha are grown and enjoy horseback riding with a local family outside of town. Most visitors are also intrigued by the small archaeological landmark of Inca Uyo. The site claims to be the remains of an ancient temple of fertility, although not all experts agree its status is bona fide. Regardless, the row upon row of 86 phallic granite statues is an amusing sight to see and maybe even count!
Before we head back to the hotel for dinner and your overnight stay, we make a stop at the mysterious Aramu Muru, an unfinished T-shaped doorway carved into solid rock. The mystical site has inspired local legends of people disappearing through it and supposed sights of the doorway opening to tall men carrying glowing balls of light. Some excitedly speculate it is some kind of paranormal or extra-terrestrial portal, prompting pilgrimages here by those who refer to it by its other name: Puerta de Hayu Marca, the Gate of the Gods.
9 April 2022
It is finally time to explore Lake Titicaca by boat, the birthplace of the sun and the Incas according to ancient Andean belief. Over 280 metres deep and 8,300 square kilometres across, welcome to the largest lake in South America, 15 times the size of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva and even bigger than Lake Tahoe in the US. At 3,810 metres above sea level, it is also the highest navigable body of water in the world. Surrounded by mountains and yellow grass reeds, more than 25 rivers stream into the freshwater lake which, when placid, seems to perfectly reflect the blue skies above like one vast mirror.
Our first stop of the day is the floating islands of the Uru people, built to allow them to move away if threatened by their enemies. These incredible islands are entirely handmade by the Uru, woven together from buoyant totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. Each islet houses between one and ten families and takes months to complete. They last a decade or so but must be continuously maintained with new layers. You’ll learn about the other fascinating uses of the reeds by the local community during your visit, ranging from huts, boats, and toys. Even walking on the soft and springy ground will be quite the experience!
You’ll continue by boat to the rural community of Llachón on the scenic shores of Capachica peninsula. The panoramic views of the lake from here are enough to take your breath away. Your included activity here is a guided kayaking tour, admiring the sandy beaches of the peninsula and looking out for Titicaca’s 60 species of bird, 14 native fish species and 18 types of amphibian. You’ll also join a guided walk through the village to learn about the agricultural way of life here. Observe arts and crafts and share a typical Andean lunch with one of the local families. Afterwards, we make our way back to Puno for a relaxing evening with dinner at the hotel.
10 April 2022
After checking out of the hotel, we’ll head to the airport. There’ll be time though to stop at Sillustani tombs, a pre-Incan cemetery 3,890 metres above sea level, surrounded by Lake Umayo. The tombs or chullas were built above ground by the ancient Colla people, creating tower-like structures as tall as 12 metres to hold the entire families of its society’s elite. After exploring the cemetery, we continue to Juliaca airport for your flight to Lima where MS Roald Amundsen is ready to continue your adventure at sea.
11 April 2022
Buffeted by the wind and waves of the Pacific, Salaverry can be a hard port to access. If all goes to plan though, it will be a good transit point to explore Trujillo, Peru’s third largest city, as well as an array of archaeological sites scattered throughout the surrounding region.
Trujillo sits in a fertile valley oasis irrigated by the Moche River. It boasts a colourful baroque 17th century cathedral, 10 colonial churches, and many neoclassical mansions, not to mention one of the longest mosaic murals in the world at the local university. However, it is more than likely that your focus will be elsewhere and on things not so modern.
The city of Chan Chan was raised by the Chimu Empire which appeared in the region around 900 AD. The vast ruins of the 20-square kilometre complex include the Tschudi temple-citadel and Huaca Esmeralda. On the other side of Trujillo are the Mochican pyramids of the Sun and the Moon which pre-date Chan Chan by a few hundred years. Huaca del Sol in particular is the largest adobe structure on the continent while Huaca del Luna is more detailed with many of its pastel frescos still visible.
12 April 2022
As we leave Peru behind and set sail for Ecuador, enjoy another day at your leisure aboard the ship. Take advantage of the many onboard facilities or join in on lectures as we prepare you for what’s still to come.
To fully relax during your downtime on board, there’s no better place than the Wellness Center. Feel the knots in your muscles disappear during a massage or pamper yourself with a few skin-scrubbing treatments. And if the warm weather hasn’t opened up your pores, a session in the sauna is bound to do the trick. You could also slip into your bathing suit and lie back into the bubbles of the outdoor hot tubs or bask in a state of zen during a guided meditation class. Whatever you decide to do, you’re sure to be stress-free and revitalised for the remaining adventure.
13 April 2022
Machala’s main claim to fame is Puerto Bolivar, an important Ecuadorian port for the export of coffee, cocoa, shrimp and bountiful bananas which the locals call oro verde – ‘green gold’. As part of a choice of optional excursions, you can visit a local banana plantation and also try and spot hummingbirds, parakeets and howler monkeys in Buenaventura Nature Reserve to the south. Puyango Petrified Forest is nearby with one of the largest collections of fossilised trees in the world, thought to be about 100 million years-old, as old as the Andes Mountains themselves.
At Puerto Bolivar, you can feast on fresh seafood at one of the many harbour restaurants and enjoy views of the natural mangrove swamps of Isla Jambeli opposite. Machala itself has all the charm you’d expect from a small coastal city, including friendly locals, cute plazas and unusual monuments dedicated to sort-fish and bananeros. The restaurants are evolving and beginning to dabble in the hip modern cuisine which Ecuador and Peru are increasingly known for.
14 April 2022
Isla de la Plata is a part of Parque National Machalilla, Ecuador’s only coastal national park. The island sits quite far off the coast and is prone to large waves that can make landings a challenge. Its name as the ‘Island of Silver’ is thought to come from the belief that English seaman Francis Drake buried a bunch of silver treasure here. Or it’s possibly because all the bird guano reflected in the sunshine gave the island a shiny, silvery look when seen from the mainland. No treasure has ever been found on the island though which only measures less than 6 square kilometres.
Still, whatever the island lacks in size or silver, it more than makes up for in a range of wildlife that rivals that of the Galápagos Islands. If we are able to go ashore here successfully, keen bird watchers among you will enjoy walking on the island with binoculars at the ready to spot some of the 32 species of bird found here, like famous blue-footed boobies, nesting waved albatrosses, pelicans, gannets, and frigate birds. The waters around the island are equally diverse and you might be lucky enough to see whales, manta rays, green turtles, and dolphins.
15 April 2022
Manta is a busy and prosperous port city with high-rise buildings, resort hotels, and a couple of casinos. It is well known in the world of water sports for its long stretches of beach that are blessed with the kind of wind and waves that draw surfers, body-boarders and kitesurfers from across the globe. Casual beachgoers normally hang around the shops, restaurants and bars of Malencón Escénico at Playa el Murcielago. You can also head to San Lorenzo for surfer-sweet swells or to Playa Bonita at Santa Marianita to watch kitesurfers take off into sea and sky.
Aside from tourism, the city thrives on an industry of tuna fishing and canning, and typically for a coastal city, seafood is the speciality of many restaurants in the area. Expect wild-caught succulent shrimp, black clams, octopus, red snappers and so on. You should make a point to try a bowl of the local encebollado broth made with the fresh tuna Manta is so proud of. The Museo Municipal Etnografico Cancebi showcases Ecuadorian art and artefacts from local pre-Colombian civilisation, including ancient fishing tools. You might also like to visit the nearby handicraft town of Montecristi where traditional Panamanian straw hats were first created and still hand woven to this day.
16 April 2022
A day at sea means you can attend interesting lectures, learn basic expedition photography, attend an art workshop, and enjoy the fresh sea air out on deck as you scout for wildlife. You can also use microscopes in the Science Center to analyse samples taken during the cruise. As we cross the Equator, it’s the tradition of Norwegian sailors to hold a ceremony to seek King Neptune’s blessing. If we’re in luck, he may even make an appearance.
By this stage of your journey, you’ll have made friends with your fellow explorers, finding that you have much in common in terms of your interests and passion for nature. You can spend time chatting with them over a snack at the bistro-like Fredheim, perhaps recalling the best bits of your expedition so far. The Explorer Bar is also open for drinks and you might catch the crew and Expedition Team here in the evening for some friendly banter. As night falls, there are also few things as romantic as stargazing out on deck with your loved one.
17 April 2022
Even as Panama’s third-biggest island, much of Cebaco is uninhabited, aside from the small village of El Jobo in the north. The only access to Cebaco is by sea but there are no public ferries that come here. The result of this remoteness is quiet, traditional island-life all but forgotten by mass tourism and untainted by development.
Miles of beautiful pristine beaches lie hidden around each bend, such as Playa Grande to the south which has fine white sand and rows of coconut trees. There are various hiking trails that weave through the lush rainforest, ideal for taking a moment to enjoy the island’s peacefulness and to look for wildlife. The Gulf of Montijo where the island lies is part of a nationally protected marine zone and the luscious turquoise waters at La Pita beach and Caelata Cayman promise exceptional coral reefs and colourful fish to see while snorkelling.
18 April 2022
The relaxed town of Golfito sits sheltered in the blissfully beautiful Golfito Bay, which in turn lies within the larger Golfo Dulce. You can enjoy the views from seaside marinas or better yet, take the scenic hiking trails that go up into the wildlife refuge on the hill and beyond to Piedras Blancas National Park. As you explore the lush rainforest, you’ll come across pretty waterfalls and possibly spy toucans, macaws, the blue morpho butterfly, anteaters, sloths, mantled howler monkeys and more. The calm waters around the bay also make it ideal to tour the local mangroves and visit isolated beaches via kayak as part of an optional excursion.
Once a prime region for banana exports, Golfito has since switched its economy to palm oil plantations and sport fishing. Anglers of all ages stay at boutique resorts and chic eco-lodges around Golfito, going out on the many boats during the day in the hopes of catching an iconic Pacific Sailfish. If you’re looking for a bargain, you could check out the town’s duty-free centre that regularly draws both visitors and locals alike on shopping sprees.
19 April 2022
You’ll find that the town of Quepos and its surroundings come packed with plenty of things to see and do. The many boats in the pretty Marina Pez Vela cater for big game sport fishing that Quepos is synonymous with. Around the central plaza are six blocks of restaurants, galleries and shops and there is a choice of water sports on the mile-long Playa Espadilla.
The big attraction of Quepos though is its proximity to Manuel Antonio National Park. This is one of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica and ranks in the Forbes list of top 12 most beautiful national parks in the world. The park boasts impressive views of mountains, mangroves, lagoons, beaches, and tropical forest. With 350 species of birds and 109 species of mammals, it is often described as an ‘outdoor zoo’ by visitors. Following the breathtaking Perezoso trail, you can hope to spot scarlet macaws, toucans, hawks, four species of monkey, sloths, iguanas and armadillos.
20 April 2022
Estimated time of arrival is 06:00
Your expedition will sadly end in Puntarenas, a city on a needle-like strip of land on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. City slickers from San José normally nip to Puntarenas for the day to get their fix of relaxed coastal life and fresh ocean air. While it is still an active fishing port, Puntarenas mainly acts as a transit point for people on their way elsewhere in the region, such as to the white-sand beaches of Nicoya Peninsula or the waterfall-rich Tortuga Island.
Depending on the time you have after disembarkation, before your return flight or post-programme, the palm-tree lined Paseo de los Turistas makes for a pleasant stroll. There are restaurants, food stalls and vendors for any last-minute souvenir shopping. If there is time to indulge your sweet tooth, we recommend batidos fruit smoothies and also churchills, the official snack of Puntarenas which is a combination of fruit, shaved ice, syrup, and ice cream. If you’re wondering about the name, it comes from the fact that the local inventor of the sweet concoction was thought to be the spitting image of the famous British Prime Minister.
Before returning home, why not make the most of your trip and add a Post-Programme to the magnificent Arenal Volcano Area where you’ll join activities to see more of Costa Rica’s beautiful flora and fauna. Or join a jungle boat tour with lunch followed by a night in the capital city of San José.
Included in your voyage
Expedition Lake Titicaca/Peru before the cruise
- One night in Lima, including breakfast
- Two nights at GHL Puno Hotel, including halfboard
- Two 3-course set lunch and one packed lunch
- Return economy flight Lima-Juliaca-Lima
- All transfers and train rides as described, including English-speaking guide
- Entrance fee as listed in programme
- Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
- À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
- Range of included activities
- Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
- Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
- Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
- Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
- Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track
- Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come
- Escorted landings with small expedition boats
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities
- Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings
Not included in your voyage
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
- Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area
- All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
- Excursions and activities are subject to change
- Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
- No gratuities expected
- The land programme in Peru takes place at high altitudes (the Lake Titicaca´s altitude is around 3,800 metres) and may require a certain level of physical fitness. The order of sights may vary
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.
Sailing with MS Roald Amundsen
- MS Roald Amundsen: Life on board and Practical information
- Meet our Expedition Team
- Young Explorers’ Programme: Bring your kids on board