Ecuador, Peru and Chile - Incan Highlights and Galápagos Islands (Itinerary 1)

Exciting adventures await! Sail with us on our next generation explorer ship, MS Roald Amundsen, and experience the perfect meld of ancient culture, natural wonder and tranquil tropical days at sea. Starting in Quito, we proceed to the Galápagos Islands, then Peru, and end our journey in Valparaíso, Chile.
14 days

A Most Remarkable Place

After a day in Quito, we fly to one of the world's most remarkable destinations: the Galápagos Islands. Located about 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador, the archipelago is home to an astonishing variety of native species — enough to inspire the evolutionary theory that changed the world — and to become an irresistible destination for adventurers and nature-lovers alike.

Tracing the Nazca Lines

We continue our journey to Peru, where we discover the mysterious Nazca Lines - among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity.

Arid Arcia and Volcanic Terrain

We then sail with MS Roald Amundsen to Arcia, Chile, where a full day of history, archaeology and adventure awaits you, including the stunning Luaca National Park, home to breathtaking scenery with snow-capped volcanoes, sparkling lakes and isolated hot springs.

Celestial Perspective

We then visit La Serena, one of the oldest cities in Chile, before we conclude our expedition in the colorful port city of Valparaíso.

Tour start date: October 13, 2019 (Quito, Ecuador)
Ship departure date: October 19, 2019 (Callao/Lima, Peru)
Arrival date: October 26, 2019 (Valparaíso, Chile)

Practical information:

Tour start date: October 13, 2019 (Quito, Ecuador)
Ship departure date: October 19, 2019 (Callao/Lima, Peru)
Arrival date: October 26, 2019 (Valparaíso, Chile)

Price includes: 

Not included: 

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather and wind conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.


  1. UNESCO Site and Ancient History - Quito, Ecuador

    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 9,350 feet, making it the second-highest capital city in the world.

    Enjoy an overnight at a centrally-located hotel in Quito.

    UNESCO Site and Ancient History - Quito, Ecuador
  2. Explore Fascinating Quito - 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 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 honor as UNESCO´s first World Heritage site. Dinner will be served at the hotel before your overnight stay.

    Explore Fascinating Quito  - Quito
  3. Glorious Galápagos - Quito to Galápagos Islands (Baltra Island/Santa Cruz Island)

    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 cozy restaurant.


    Glorious Galápagos - Quito to Galápagos Islands (Baltra Island/Santa Cruz Island)
  4. Galápagos Island Hopping - Galápagos Islands

    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.

    Galápagos Island Hopping - Galápagos Islands
  5. Day 6 - Baltra Island / Lima

    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.

    Day 6 - Baltra Island / Lima
  6. Lima – UNESCO World Heritage - Lima/Callao, Peru

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After check out, we transfer to the ship taking in a “Half-day Lima Highlights Tour”, including a visit to the city's historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tour's highlights include Casa Aliaga, a nearly 500-year old mansion built for one of Pizarro’s lieutenants, and Santo Domingo Convent, the best-preserved colonial building in all of Lima.

    The tour finishes at the quayside in Callao, where MS Roald Amundsen stands ready to continue the expedition at sea.

    Lima – UNESCO World Heritage - Lima/Callao, Peru
  7. Home of the Nazca Lines - Pisco, Peru

    Early in the morning, we arrive at Puerto General San Martín. This is the gateway to the quiet colonial town of Pisco and its fertile coastal valley with the mysterious Nazca lines and geoglyphs. The lines were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D and are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity.

    The geoglyphs are several miles long and illustrate living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures. Optimal viewing requires a birds-eye perspective and a scenic flight is one of several optional excursions available on this day. Other options includes boat tours to the Ballestas Islands to see endangered Humboldt penguins, sea lions, and huge flocks of marine birds, visiting a scenic nature reserve, or exploring the archaeological site of Tambo Colorado.

    Home of the Nazca Lines - Pisco, Peru
  8. Sailing South Along the Chilean Coast - At sea

    As we sail south, the Expedition Team starts their interesting lecture program. The team members are experienced, modern-day explorers, each with their own relevant area of expertise. They entertain and inform you by sharing their deep knowledge and interesting stories, and welcome you to participate in talks and workshops.

    There may be the chance to look behind the scenes and partake in our guest Expedition Staff Program. We also have an on board an Expedition Photographer who can show you the basics of expedition photography. MS Roald Amundsen is a truly remarkable expedition vessel. Take advantage of the ship's facilities or simply find the perfect vantage point to take in the endless blue horizon. 

    Sailing South Along the Chilean Coast - At sea
  9. Adventure and Archaeology - Arica, Chile

    Arica is blessed with a warm, sunny climate all year round. We spend a full day here. History, archaeology and adventure await us on shore. Explore the city, walk up to the cliff top, “El Morro”, and get a panoramic view, see the beaches or visit the archaeological sites with some of the world's oldest known mummies in Azapa Valley.

    You can also join the Expedition Team and visit the nearby Lauca National Park. This amazing sanctuary is home to breathtaking scenery, including snow-capped volcanoes, sparkling lakes and isolated hot springs. It also shelters pretty highland villages and a huge variety of wildlife. Numerous sites and paths found in this region are associated with the Chilean Inca trail.

    Adventure and Archaeology - Arica, Chile
  10. Treat Yourself - At sea

    Another day at sea is yours to enjoy. Take advantage of the on board facilities and treat yourself to some genuine relaxation. There will be plenty of time to get to know the other explorers on board. We invite you to spend time outdoors on deck to fully enjoy the experience of being at sea. There will also be a gathering with the Expedition Team to summarize the voyage so far, and present the plan for the following days.

    Treat Yourself - At sea
  11. Pisco, Sunsets and Telescopes - Coquimbo and La Serena

    La Serena, a seaside town and capital of the Coquimbo region in Elqui province, is one of the oldest cities in Chile. The town overflows with colorful gardens and beautiful churches. In the archaeological museum, you can learn about the ancient Diaguita culture that dwelled in the region before the Incan conquest. We suggest you also visit La Recova, a popular market where you can buy handicrafts and typical products from the region.

    La Serena also has a long golden shoreline, perfect for enjoying the sunset. Visit the beautiful rural Elqui Valley to sample Pisco, the national drink of Chile, and see where it’s made. Thanks to exceptionally clear skies, northern Chile is home to the largest concentration of astronomical observatories in the world. In the region around La Serena, you see the telescopes of many international institutions housed in white, futuristic domes looming over the valleys from their hilltop locations. 

    Pisco, Sunsets and Telescopes - Coquimbo and La Serena
  12. Poetic Valparaíso - Valparaíso, Chile

    Our expedition ends in the colorful and poetic city of Valparaíso. We recommend a visit to the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter of Valparaíso before you depart on your trip home.

    Poetic Valparaíso - Valparaíso, Chile

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