Port of call & excursions
Larco Herrera museum & Indian market
- Length : 4h45
Depart from the pier by coach for a 45-min drive to Larco Herrera museum.
The Larco Herrera Museum was founded in 1926; it is housed in an elegant vice-royal colonial mansion of the 18th century. The museum has an extensive private collection of pre-Inca ceramics – probably the largest collection of its kind in the world.
After the museum visit, reboard your coach and enjoy a panoramic drive through Pueblo Libre and Miraflores, where the Indian market is located. A stop will be made in this giant handicraft market with dozens of stalls. There, handicrafts from all over Peru, from the jungles of Iquitos to the Andean city of Cuzco, can be found.
After some free time, reboard your coach for the one-hour drive to the pier and your ship.
- This tour includes 2 ½ hours of driving. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun. Only USD and Soles are accepted at the market.
Highlights of La Serena
- Length : 3h15
During this tour, you will visit the main highlights of La Serena, an important city and resort. This is the northern region of Chile known as “Norte Chico” (little North), and the entrance to the beautiful Elqui Valley.
Leave the pier to drive to La Herradura Bay (“Horseshoe Bay”, due to its shape) in Coquimbo, an old fisherman town and place of pirate's legends, visited in 1578 by Francis Drake. Enjoy seeing the fishermen village with its handmade boats. Its 1.25-mile (2 km) long beach with a calm sea made it a must for windsurf and diving.
Continue the tour towards La Serena city, following the waterfront avenue, Avenida del Mar. The 12 km (8 miles) of nice beaches make this city one of the most popular ones during summer vacations.
Your first stop will be by the Costanera, near the monumental lighthouse, a 28 metres (92 feet) high structure built in 1951 as a symbol of the city, where you will have the opportunity to take some photos of the beaches and the lighthouse. Back on your coach, drive through the beautiful Francisco de Aguirre Boulevard, and appreciate many reproductions of historical marble statues set between the trees of this popular park. Then reach La Serena downtown, the most typical area of this old city founded in 1544, being the second oldest city of Chile. The city has three architectural periods: the traditional Spanish style, the Neoclassical style and the Neo-colonial period. View the different architectural styles in its gardens, houses and avenues.
Before joining your coach, visit the famous La Recova popular market, where you will find interesting local produce and handicrafts shops.
Drive back to the pier and your ship.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun. Leave your valuables on the ship, there have been cases of petty-theft at La Recova market. USD are accepted at the market.
Alpha Altea Observatory
- Length : 4h30
Enjoy a panoramic drive towards the Elqui Valley, one of the most important areas of the region, unique due to its geographical configuration and beautiful landscapes including wide prairies cultivated with local fruits as papayas, cherimoyas and grapevines. The blue skies and the pure valley air allow for some spectacular stargazing opportunities.
After a 1½ hour-transfer, arrive at the Alpha Aldea Amateur Observatory, located nearby downtown Vicuna and overlooking the scientific observatories Gemini and Soar, between the stunning mountain range and green vineyard fields.
At this natural planetarium, explore the basics of astronomy before enjoying an unforgettable stellar experience in this mystical area, mirroring the way the first ancient astronomers watched the skies.
After the visit, re-board your coach for the 1 ½ hour return drive to the pier and your ship.
- Tour duration may vary, depending on traffic conditions. Solar observation is subject to weather conditions. This tour is limited to 50 participants and is only conducted in English. We recommend you wear comfortable shoes and protect yourself from the sun.
Santa Laura & Humberstone
- Port of call : Iquique
- Length : 4h15
From the pier, embark your coach for the one-hour drive to the nitrate towns. En route, enjoy magnificent panoramic views of this coastal city with its beautiful beaches and the ridged Cerro Dragón (dragon hill). Continue through the magical and indescribable beauty of the Atacama Desert, before finally reaching the nitrate ghost towns of Santa Laura and Humberstone, both declared National Monument.
The Santa Laura plants and the town of Humberstone are the oldest saltpetre extraction sites. Workers from Chile, Peru and Bolivia lived there and formed a common “pampina” culture. They lived and worked there from 1880 onwards, exploiting the world's largest saltpetre deposit, transforming the agricultural landscape of North, South America and Europe, while at the same time providing Chile with great wealth. These cities, now abandoned, were vast places of exchange with their own language, organization and customs. These sites for converting saltpetre into fertilizer closed their doors around 1960, and the buildings abandoned overnight were transformed into museums and placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
First visit Santa Laura, where the processing plant and smokestacks are still visible along with the administration building and the warehouse.
A couple of miles ahead is Humberstone, founded in 1862, the place where the workers lived. You can still see the theatre with the seats still in place, the church, both built of Oregon pine, the hotel, a general store, administration buildings and a full-sized swimming pool built on iron. It will take you back in time to the splendour of this important period in Chile's history.
Before returning to the port, enjoy a nice cocktail drink at the old market.
- This tour involves approximately 2 km (1.4 mile) walking over even surfaces. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes, dress lightly and protect yourself from the sun.
Highlands ancient traditions
- Port of call : Arica
- Length : 10h00
From the pier, embark your coach for the drive towards Lluta valley to visit the interesting geoglyphs at Rosario, drawn on the hills by the old inhabitants of the region.
After almost 25 miles (40 km), make a stop at a rustic Inn to have a coca leaves tea to avoid altitude sickness, as Aymara people still do before going up the mountain to these days. Continue your trip to visit the Copaquilla Pukara, an archaeological remain of an old fortress which protected the surroundings.
Then proceed to Putre, the capital of the Parinacota region, where you will visit its interesting church and square, and stroll around town to admire the houses. Later on, proceed to a local basic restaurant for lunch.
Back on the coach, take the road back and stop to visit Socoroma village. Climbing through uneven terrain surrounded with agricultural terraces, going through its narrow streets leads you to its church and main Plaza. This village was part of the famous Inca trail.
After the visit, drive back to the pier.
- The tour brings you to an altitude of 3,200 m (9,600 feet) in order to get in touch with the local people. This tour is not recommended for guests suffering from altitude sickness, heart or breathing problems. Consult your doctor before your cruise and get a written approval to participate on this tour. A basic lunch is served in the best restaurant available. Bring binoculars, wear comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers - it will be very cool at high altitude. Please note local churches do not have daily service so they may not be open.
City tour & geoglyphs
- Port of call : Arica
- Length : 3h30
Your tour begins with a drive towards the beautiful Azapa Valley, well-known for the olive production. On the way, seen in the distance, are several geoglyphs that are the unique drawings of human and animal forms created centuries ago by the native aboriginals scratching the salty surface of the brightly coloured rocks.
Return to El Morro de Arica where you'll enjoy the same panoramic view of the port and city that the Chilean military used to its advantage during the Pacific War.
Before your return to the pier, stop in Colon Square for a visit of San Marcos Cathedral, a 19th-century Gothic edifice designed by Gustave Eiffel and the colonial age Customs Building.
Afterwards, enjoy some free time to stroll around and visit the little handicraft shops located at the plaza.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and light clothes, protect yourself from the sun.
- Port of call : Arica
- Length : 4h15
From the pier, embark your coach for the scenic drive along the southern coastline. Stop at the Chinchorro and Las Machas Beaches, some of the most beautiful of the region.
The Chinchorro Beach owes its name to an old fishing system used by native inhabitants since remote times. This name was also given to the mummified human remains and the culture they belonged to, which were found buried in the sand by the German archaeologist Max Uhle. They are nowadays considered to be the oldest mummies in the world.
Stop at Las Machas Beach and enjoy a short walk of around 150 yards (500 m) to observe a wide variety of birds at the wetlands. After some time at leisure, return to your coach for the drive to La Frontera Plain, where while admiring the immensity of the area and ocean, you will learn about the importance of the Chinchorro culture in the region.
Afterwards, drive to the beautiful Azapa Valley to visit the archaeological museum of San Miguel de Azapa and its special building exclusively dedicated to the Chinchorro culture, where you will learn and understand the different processes used to mummify their relatives and have the opportunity to see a wide variety of mummies, from foetus to child and adults, all preserved according to different and unique techniques that no other culture continued.
Finally, drive downtown Arica to visit the on-site museum, formerly a house at Colon 10 Street where, while working to build a restaurant, mummified remains were found. Considering their fragility, archaeologists decided to develop an “in situ” museum (the only one in South America) and left the mummies at the same place where they were buried thousands of years ago.
After this unique experience, drive back to the pier and your ship.
- This tour involves some walking on a flat but sandy terrain and some steps at museums. At the in situ museum, participants will have to walk on a steep climb. We recommend you to wear comfortable walking shoes, dress lightly and protect yourself from the sun.
Atacama coastal walk
- Port of call : Arica
- Length : 3h30
From the pier, embark your vehicle and head towards El Laucho and La Lisera famous beach resorts. This will be a slow drive to allow you to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful views. Upon arrival at El Morro de Arica viewpoint, take in the panoramic view of the city, ocean and port. The Morro de Arica was an important place that the Chilean military used to its advantage during the Pacific War.
Continue South along the Coastal road to Corazones/Anzata. Here your coastal walk will start. Most of the walk is done on the sidewalls of these sandy mountains, walking through some caves, caverns and other spectacular sites. The final point of this trekking will lead you to the Puntilla, where sea lions may be seen from a short distance as well as local birds. After spending some time at this point to rest, get good pictures and breath this ocean air, walk back to the buses to return to the pier.
- This tour involves 3km / 1.5 mile of walking on a sandy and rocky terrain. Participants must be at least 08 years old and should be in excellent walking conditions. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes, protect yourself from the sun and bring binoculars. The observation of sea lions is not guaranteed. There are no restroom stops available during the walk.
Iquique city tour
- Length : 3h15
Enjoy a leisurely excursion through this lovely 19th century, adventurous, cosmopolitan city known in those years as the World's Nitrate Capital.
Begin by exploring the main avenues of the historic centre city, including the beach front southern section with sandy beaches. Enjoy the unique Baquedano Avenue with its gay and brightly painted Georgian style wood houses, built between 1880 and 1920 to emulate the current North American fashion.
Visit Astoreca Palace, formerly the mansion of a baron of the nitrate; today it is the city's Culture House. Afterwards, stroll downtown Plaza Prat by Baquedano Boulevard, which still boasts the exotic palm trees and other plants that wealthy “Iquiqueños” brought to decorate their city.
This luxurious legacy lives on in other establishments which you will visit, including a carefully preserved clock tower, the imposing Municipal Theatre - Iquique's most precious jewel - the Regional Museum and the Centro Español erected in Moorish style, where you will enjoy a “Pisco Sour”.
Enjoy some free time at leisure before re-embarking your coach for the return drive to the port and your ship.
- We recommend you to wear comfortable shoes and to protect yourself from the sun.
- Port of call : Callao
- Length : 4h40
This tour offers the best of colonial and modern Lima and gives you an overview of the city. Explore the Main Square, designated as the centre of the city by Lima's founder, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, in 1535. Although city planning was uncommon then, he laid out 117 blocks in neat rectangles on the south bank of the Rimac River, a plan that still exists today. As you stroll around this attractive square with your guide, you will see the Government Palace, the City Hall and visit the Cathedral with its ornate choir stalls, the chapel, the main altar and a Christ made of carved ivory, as well as the crypt with Pizarro's remains.
Visit the Santo Domingo Convent, the oldest church and convent in Lima. The foundation of Santo Domingo was conceived by a friar named Tomas de San Martin, who later served as the Preceptor Prior of the Dominican Order. As in all convents located between the avenues of Lima and Camana, Santo Domingo is sort of a city within a city, and is comprised of a succession of cloisters and yards surrounded by service areas and communal rooms. Both Saint Rose and Saint Martin de Porres are buried in Lima, as is the Spanish Saint San Juan Masias. Construction of the Santo Domingo Convent began in 1540, but it was later modernized into its present neoclassical style in the 18th century. In 1730, the greater hall was built - a work of art that later became a part of the city's more unified ornamental groups.
Reboard your coach and drive to La Casona De San Marcos Cultural Centre, an architectural monument built in 17th century that lodged the Jesuit novitiate San Antonio Abad, the Real Convictorio of San Carlos, and later was donated to the University of San Marcos. See its baroque Chapel and neoclassical debate room, recently remodelled.
Continue through the fashionable residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores. A brief stop will be made at Parque del Amor which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, before the return to Callao and your ship.
- This tour involves approximately 1 ½ hour of walking on flat and even ground. Wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun. Note that Casona de San Marcos is not equipped with A/C.
* Subject to availability