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Road along coastline of Valparaiso

Treasures of a Coastal Desert

Chile, Peru & Ecuador - Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Greg Mortimer
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Experience a dazzling coastal desert scenery teeming with wildlife on this 14-day voyage aboard Greg Mortimer. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage gems and the ancient pre-Hispanic cultures. Encounter impressive cultural, natural, and archaeological marvels including Nazca Lines, Chinchorro mummies, and Chan Chan ancient city. You may cross paths with guanacos, flamingos, dolphins, fur seals, and Humboldt penguins one day, and sample Peru’s gastronomic flavors in Arequipa and Lima the next as we sail the coast of Chile and Peru aboard the state-of-the-art small ship expedition vessel, Greg Mortimer.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago, Chile
Day 2 : Valparaiso | Embark
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : Pan de Azúcar National Park, Chile
Day 5 : At Sea
Day 6 : Arica, Chile
Day 7 : Arequípa | Mejía Lagoon, Peru
Day 8 : At Sea
Day 9 : Paracas, Peru
Day 10 : Lima, Peru
Day 11 : At Sea
Day 12 : Trujillo, Peru
Day 13 : At Sea
Day 14 : Guayaquil, Ecuador | Disembark

Highlights

  • Marvel at the dazzling desert coastal landscape of the Atacama eco-region
  • Soak up the charm of UNESCO-protected cities such as Valparaíso, Lima and Arequipa
  • Discover the unique flora and fauna at Pan de Azúcar National Park
  • Explore Chan Chan, an ancient pre-hispanic city in northern Peru
  • Take a scenic flight over the Nazca Lines

Ship

Greg Mortimer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A local Peruvian woman A magnificent sunset over Atacama's Valley The ruins of Chan Chan Aerial view of a plaza in Lima. Road along coastline of Valparaiso

Day 1 Santiago, Chile

Arrive in Santiago and make your own way to the group hotel. Dynamic and cosmopolitan, Chile’s capital Santiago is a vibrant and versatile city. Surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Andes, it enjoys a dramatically beautiful setting. The city’s diversity shines through in its many contrasting neighborhoods such as trendy Lastarria and Bellas Artes in downtown Santiago, lively Bellavista that lies at the foot of San Cristobal Hill, and more tranquil yet commercial Providencia, filled with shops, restaurants, bars, and nightlife. After check-in, the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 Valparaiso | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover Santiago on an excursion highlighting the architecture of the city before making your way towards Valparaíso located on the Pacific coast, where your ship awaits. You’ll stop at a local vineyard for lunch and a brief tour to learn about the important wine industry. In nearby Valparaíso, head to one of the old town’s 42 hills – under UNESCO protection - to discover the dazzling street art for which the city is renowned. In late afternoon, board the Greg Mortimer for your journey to Guayaquil.

Day 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Pacific is the largest ocean on Earth, covering approximately 30% of Earth’s surface. The ocean was named after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who after sailing the mighty winds of the Atlantic, found calm and favorable winds in the Pacific, from the Latin word meaning peace. The series of interesting onboard presentations begin, delivered by your hand-picked group of experts. Learn about the wildlife, people, culture, and history of the places you’ll visit on this journey of discovery. You’ll also pick up a few photography tips along the way.

Day 4 Pan de Azúcar National Park, Chile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Pan de Azúcar National Park, located on the north coast of the Atacama Region, is characterized by its abundance of flora and fauna, and its Humboldt penguin colony on nearby Pan de Azúcar island. A unique characteristic of the park is the combination of terrestrial and sea environments, creating an ecosystem of diverse and abundant flora and fauna. A few hiking options will be available to you including Sendero Costero, a trail along the rocky coastline offering superb views of Pan de Azúcar island and Mirador Trail, leading to a lookout that offers a panoramic view of Pan de Azúcar Island and its surroundings. On the hike, you may encounter guanaco, the largest and the only wild species of the camelids. Time and conditions permitting, you may enjoy a Zodiac cruise along the shoreline to spot wildlife inhabiting the island.

Day 5 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The lecture series continues during your voyage toward the Peruvian border. Learn about the rich archaeological history of northern Chile, hear stories about the beguiling Chinchorro mummies that pre-date the Egyptian mummies and considered to be the oldest in the world.

Day 6 Arica, Chile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Affectionately called the ‘city of eternal spring’, Arica’s salubrious weather and warm ocean water are enjoyed by visitors throughout the year. Shore excursions include a visit to San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological and Anthropological Museum to see the famous Chinchorro mummies. On the Atacama Coastal Walk, enjoy the panoramic views of the city, ocean, and the port from The Morro of Arica. At Puntilla, there’s a chance to see playful sea lions as well as soaring seabirds.

Day 7 Arequípa | Mejía Lagoon, Peru

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leaving Chile behind and crossing the border into southern Peru, the first port of call is at Matarani, the coastal gateway to the stunning colonial city, Arequípa, Peru’s second largest. From the port of Matarani, you have the choice to head to the Mejía Lagoons National Sanctuary, a well-recognized refuge for migratory birds or alternatively take a gorgeous drive into the Andes to Arequípa, Peru’s southern capital and one of Peru’s best-preserved colonial towns.

Day 8 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The series of onboard lectures continues as you make your way north along Peru’s coast. Learn more about fascinating pre-Hispanic cultures such as the Icas and the famous Incan empire, which at the height of its power, extended from northern Ecuador to central Chile and north Argentina, with Cuzco as its capital.

Day 9 Paracas, Peru

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Paracas National Park is one of two Protected Natural Areas that preserves samples representing Peru's coastal marine ecosystems. Shore excursions today include a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands located off the coast of the Paracas Peninsula, where you’ll cruise among the rock arches and pink granite caves, encountering sea lions and teeming seabirds, including Humboldt penguins and Inca terns. At Paracas National Reserve, bird-watchers may encounter Peruvian boobies, Peruvian pelicans, whimbrel, American oystercatchers, and turkey vultures. As the center of the pre-Inca culture, Paracan civilization was famous for its textiles and scientific and medical knowledge; evidence of which can be seen at the wonderful Julio C. Tello Archaeological Museum. Enjoy a Nazca Lines Scenic Flight!* Don’t miss your opportunity to witness the enigmatic Nazca Lines geoglyphs on a scenic flyover in a 12-seater light aircraft, where more than 800 images have mysteriously been carved into the desert floor. *Places are limited; surcharge applies.

Day 10 Lima, Peru

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Peru’s eclectic capital enthrals visitors with the shores of its bay washed by the Pacific, its architecture that exudes a colonial past and its multi-faceted origins that sprout up at every corner. The City of the Kings is renowned for its medley of cultures, ethnicities and customs that make it one of the most diverse cities in the world. It is precisely this mixture that has made Lima the Culinary Capital of South America. This ancient and cosmopolitan city is home to hundreds of historical monuments. On a full day excursion, discover the wonders of Lima from its UNESCO listed old town to its bustling modern metropolis, with plenty of free time to explore at your own pace.

Day 11 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In preparation for your arrival into Trujillo, learn about the Chimú kingdom, that was conquered by the Incas in the late 15th century.

Day 12 Trujillo, Peru

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Trujillo, ‘City of Eternal Spring’ is located in the north-eastern part of Peru, and capital of the department of La Libertad. The star attraction in Trujillo are the remarkable pre-Incan archaeological sites nearby. Today’s shore excursion will include visits to the Sun and Moon pyramids, the center of power in the Trujillo Valley during Moche ancient times. At the Temple of the Moon, you’ll see impressive mud-brick friezes on the walls. Afterwards, visit the ‘Dragon ceremonial Temple’ before visiting one of the most significant archaeological sites in the country - the ancient adobe city of Chan Chan.

Day 13 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a few final presentations from the team of experts including how to edit photos; finish that book you’ve been reading, or simply relax on your private balcony or in one of the many shared spaces on board the ship.

Day 14 Guayaquil, Ecuador | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Bid a fond farewell to your fellow travelers and expedition team and disembark in Guayaquil, Ecuador, gateway to the renowned Galápagos Islands, a renowned wildlife hotspot and the place that led Charles Darwin to develop his ground-breaking theory of evolution.

Greg Mortimer

Santiago - Hotels

Per person starting at
$7,000
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
6 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, three single beds, porthole window, desk area and 42" flat-screen TV
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom
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Aurora Stateroom Twin
Greg Mortimer features 8 porthole rooms, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action.
Balcony Stateroom C
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Balcony Stateroom C
14 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Balcony Stateroom B
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Balcony Stateroom B
22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer Balcony Suite
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Balcony Stateroom A
22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Balcony Suite
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Balcony Suite
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Greg Mortimer's two Balcony Suites are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Featuring private balconies, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area, these will sell out quickly!
Greg Mortimer- Junior Suite
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Junior Suite
The Greg Mortimer's four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Greg Mortimer- Captain's Suite
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Captain's Suite
The largest of all the rooms, the Greg Mortimer's singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite.

Notes

This trip includes:
  • One night’s pre-voyage hotel accommodation with breakfast in Santiago on Day 1
  • Tailor-made tour on Day 2
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to ship on Day 2
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • Educational lectures from talented expedition team
  • Access to our onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Complimentary waterproof dry bag backpack
  • Loan of Muck boots during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage (one per booking)
  • Port surcharges and landing fees

This trip excludes:
  • International or domestic flights, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity fees, vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (not mentioned under inclusions), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, WiFi, email or phone charges.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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