Deserts of the Pacific Coastline: Chile & Peru

M09VALCAL05MAR22/10
Dates
05/03/22 to 15/03/22
Ship
SH Minerva
Duration
11 Days
Guests
2 Guest
Price From
$ 6,259
Per Person
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Trip Details

Explore beyond world class coastal towns and bustling cosmopolitan cities. Discover uninhabited wildlife havens, arid deserts and cultural hotspots on this 11-day cruise along the Chilean and Peruvian coastline. This varied itinerary offers a little bit of everything, ideal for those that love to keep things interesting. You’ll experience the very best of this incredible stretch of the Pacific coastline in style and luxury aboard your boutique cruise ship.

Trip Highlights
Take a scenic flight over the vast, ancient and mysterious Nazca Line drawings
Visit the Ballestas Islands for the chance to spot rare marine birds and mammals
Take in the iconic view of the Pomerape and Parinacota volcanoes across Chungara Lake in Lauca National Park
Explore the abandoned mining town of Humberstone in the Atacama Desert, a UNESCO World Heritage site
Look out for Humboldt penguins and other local wildlife as we explore the shores of Isla Pan de Azúcar
Itinerary Map
Itinerary
Valparaíso Day 1

One of Chile’s oldest cities, Valparaíso is known for its steep hillsides overlooking the ocean as well as its historical but perfectly functional funicular. The UNESCO-listed city is a maze of monuments, wonderful architecture, churches, cobblestone alleys, colourful houses and bustling plazas. It’s definitely worth allowing some time for exploring this wonderful city before you board your boutique cruise. Follow in the footsteps of Chile’s most famous poet, Pablo Neruda by visiting his former home. Or perhaps enjoy a wine tasting on a trip to the Casablanca Wine Valley. There are also plenty of wonderful cafes, restaurants, art galleries, museums and shopping opportunities.

Coquimbo (La Serena) Day 2

Situated on the rocky hills of Península Coquimbo, the pretty harbour town of Coquimbo was once the centre of Chile’s thriving gold and copper industry. Coquimbo is twinned with nearby La Serena, which was founded in 1944 and is home to many well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings. Here you can also make the most of the clearest night sky in South America at the Mamalluca Observatory or pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum. Further inland, the fertile plains and orchards of the Elqui Valley provide plentiful fresh papaya and fine wine grapes. This region also produces Chile’s famous Pisco drink. Enjoy a taste at one of the many local vineyards and perhaps join in the debate as to whether the drink is Chilean or Peruvian, a matter yet to be unanimously agreed upon!

Isla Pan de Azucar Day 3

Find the spot where the Atacama Desert meets the sea and set your gaze a short distance offshore. That’s where you’ll find the Camanchaca mist-shrouded Isla Pan de Azúcar. The island is home to around 2000 Humboldt penguins as well as otters, sea lions and a variety of other birds. Landing is forbidden here, so conditions permitting we will explore the shores from our zodiac boats.

Antofagasta Day 4

Steeped in culture and located on the pristine South Pacific coast, Chile’s second-largest city has a turbulent and interesting history. Antofagasta was once part of Bolivia’s coastline until the late 1800s when the War of Pacific reshaped the borders of Chile, Peru and Bolivia. In 1883, a victorious Chile took possession of the horseshoe-shaped bay along which stretches the long, narrow city of Antofagasta. As a result, Bolivia lost its coastline and became a landlocked country. Once prosperous as a mining town, Antofagsta now draws visitors thanks to its coastal location and natural beauty. Venture inland through the arid Atacama Desert and you’ll discover moonscape salt flats, lagoons and vast deserts. Travel back along the coast to see the impressive Monumento Natural La Portada, a stone archway perched in the sea below the cliffs.

At sea Day 5

You can spend your day at sea enjoying the many facilities available. Head to the sauna, get in a workout in the state-of-the-art gym or relax in the jacuzzi whilst taking in incredible views along the way. If you prefer to learn a little more about your surroundings, listen to an informative talk or have a chat with one of our knowledgeable on-board experts.

Iquique Day 6

A former saltpeter mining town, these days Iquique is more likely to attract paragliders than prospectors. With its excellent surf, long sandy beaches and favourable weather, Iquique is regarded as one of Chile’s premier beach resorts. Whilst here we will be visiting the nearby abandoned town of Humberstone in the Atacama Desert. The town was once home to a thriving community of miners from the Santiago Humberstone Saltpeter Works. The abandoned settlement and surrounding relics of industry are now protected as UNESCO World Heritage sites and offer a fascinating insight into the region’s past. Back in town, enjoy the laid-back beach life on the sands of Playa Cavancha. Or head further into town and experience the hive of activity and impressive 19th-century Georgian architecture. There are plenty of on-street chic cafés, bars and restaurants to observe the sights and sounds of the city from. Iquique is also a duty-free city; a perfect spot for some shopping.

Arica Day 7

Chile’s northernmost city, Arica is one of the driest cities in the world. It does after all neighbour the world’s driest desert, the Atacama. With year-round sunshine and wonderful beaches, the city is a popular destination for travellers. And it’s not just the sun and sea that are the main attraction. Arica is home to a fascinating archaeological museum that claims to house the world’s oldest mummies. A visit to San Marcos Cathedral is also recommended. The cathedral was designed by Gustave Eiffel of Parisian tower fame and features a door from his workshop in Paris. From Arica we will see some of the tallest sand dunes in the world as we travel through the Atacama Desert on our way to Chungara Lake. The view of the Pomerape and Parinacota volcanoes across the lake is one of the most iconic sites in Chile. The surrounding land and mountains are home to a plethora of wildlife including alpacas, pumas and llamas. You may also be able to spot some local birdlife including the Chilean flamingo, puna partridge and condor.

Matarani (Arequipa) Day 8

The port of Matarani is your first stop in Peru and is also a gateway to Arequipa, Peru’s White City. A type of local white volcanic stone, sillar, is the primary building material used in much of the architecture here, hence the moniker. Volcanic activity still dominates the landscape, with a trio of volcanoes, including the still-active El Misti, overlooking the city. In 1995 American anthropologist Johan Reinhard came across a bundle wrapped in cloth in the nearby mountains whilst researching Inca ceremonial sites in the area. The cloth contained the mummified remains of a girl who would come to be known as Juanita, one of Peru’s most famous mummies. You can visit Juaniti in her display case at the Museo Santuarios, not far from the Plaza de Armas. You may also wish to stop in at the Santa Catalina Convent, one of the oldest structures in Arequipa. Guarded by imposing high walls, this interesting building is often described as a city within a city. Explore the fascinating and colourful alleys of the convent whilst learning about its long and interesting history.

At sea Day 9

As you continue north along the Peruvian coastline aboard your boutique ship, you can spend your day at sea enjoying the many facilities available. Head to the sauna, get in a workout in the state-of-the-art gym or relax in the jacuzzi whilst taking in incredible views along the way. If you prefer to learn a little more about your surroundings, listen to an informative talk or have a chat with one of our knowledgeable on-board experts.

Pisco Day 10

Famous for its beverage of the same name, the quaint colonial town of Pisco is an excellent base for exploring the nearby Paracas Reserve. The reserve consists of a mix of marine and desert terrain. The area is home to a high concentration of marine birds, some of which are extremely rare. Here you may spot elegant Inca terns, Humboldt penguins, fur seals, pelicans, dolphins, whales and many other species. You will also have the opportunity to take a scenic flight over the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with huge historical and cultural significance. Created around 300BC by the Nazca people, these vast ancient line drawings can only be appreciated from above.

Callao (Lima) Day 11

Situated on a strip of desert between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains is Peru’s capital city of Lima. The city is served by the seaport of Callao, where we will be disembarking. The bustling metropolis of Lima has much to offer, including its internationally renowned culinary scene. There are many award-winning eateries to explore and local dishes to sample. A local favourite is ceviche, fresh fish marinated in tangy lime juice and other seasonings. You’ll find the dish on offer just about everywhere in the city, from up-market restaurants to local fishing dock cevicherías. Culture is also in plentiful supply, with the UNESCO World Heritage historic centre packed with colonial-era architecture like Plaza Mayor and San Francisco Monastery. You can also visit the clay ruins of ceremonial pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca, reminders of the long-lost Inca civilisation.

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Rates Include
One night pre-cruise 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation with breakfast
All transfers between the hotel, port and airport
Onboard accommodation
All meals onboard including room service 24 hours a day
Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
Shore excursion programme led by our expert expedition team
Standard WIFI inclusion (Premium WIFI available)
Onboard gratuities & port taxes
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Itinerary Map

09:00 AM – 05:30 PM (EST)

+1 (800) 537 6777
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Stateroom
Number of Guests
Oceanview
19 m2 Sleeps 2
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
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Balcony D5
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located at the forward and aft of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
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Balcony M5
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located at the centre of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
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Balcony D6
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located on deck six, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
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Suite
44 m2 Sleeps 2
Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
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$ 0
Premium Suite
49 m2 Sleeps 2
Our grandest suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, spacious walk in wardrobe and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
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$ 0
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If you really like this cruise but the date is not suitable for you, we are glad to offer other dates for the itinerary.
Please find below all our date offerings.
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09:00 AM – 05:30 PM (EST)

+1 (800) 537 6777
ARRANGE A CALLBACK