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24151
Chile/Peru/Ecuador/Panama/Costa Rica

Central Pacific Discovery: A Voyage from Chile to Costa Rica

Voyage along the Humboldt Current to discover the Latin American coasts of Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica onboard the MV Ocean Victory.
Program No. 24151RJ
Length
20 days
Starts at
7,899
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Chile/Peru/Ecuador/Panama/Costa Rica

Central Pacific Discovery: A Voyage from Chile to Costa Rica

Voyage along the Humboldt Current to discover the Latin American coasts of Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica onboard the MV Ocean Victory.
Length
20 days
Starts at
7,899
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Program No. 24151 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside Ship Balcony
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

Accommodation Details

A cabin featuring a verandah, or balcony, that allows you to step outside without going to a public deck.

Mar 31 - Apr 19, 2022
Ship Outside 7,899
Ship Balcony 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Nov. 30, 2021 for free air from Miami! Availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside Ship Balcony
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

Accommodation Details

A cabin featuring a verandah, or balcony, that allows you to step outside without going to a public deck.

Mar 31 - Apr 19, 2022
Ship Outside 10,499
Ship Balcony 11,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Nov. 30, 2021 for free air from Miami! Availability may vary by date. Ask about low-cost air from other cities.

At a Glance

There’s no telling what you’ll discover during this educational voyage along the western coast of South America to Costa Rica! Beginning in Santiago, Chile, journey along the Humboldt Current to explore the coastal cities and fascinating islands of Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica. Get insight into the ancient and modern cultures of South America as you explore the Incan city of Chan Chan, discover the world’s oldest mummies in Chinchorro, explore modern coastal cities and learn about the craft of making Panama hats. Add to your life list as you explore incredible islands and national parks known for howler monkeys, boobies, iguanas, crocodiles and more, and search for humpback whales as they migrate along the coast. Whether you’re fascinated by human or natural history, this voyage has something for everyone!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Spend a night in Santiago and enjoy an opportunity to explore Chile’s capital city with a local expert, then journey to Valparaiso to explore this coastal jewel that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Discover Peru’s capital city of Lima – the second largest desert city in the world — as you explore its Historic Centre and San Francisco church and monastery.
  • Delight in the wildlife of Coiba National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as you learn about the birds, mammals and plants that call this region of Panama their home.
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20 days
19 nights
53 meals
18 B 17 L 18 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Early Check-in, Orientation, Downtown Santiago
Santiago
L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago

Activity note: See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. City walking on mostly flat/paved surfaces; some standing.

Morning: Early check-in and settle into rooms. 12:00 p.m. Orientation at the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Meals on our program feature local cuisine. In many cases, they will be plated and served set meals; in others, we will have buffets with multiple options. Beverages include coffee, tea, water; other beverages are usually available for purchase. Unless otherwise specified, transportation during your program will be provided by air conditioned bus. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Lunch: At the hotel restaurant plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We'll ride and walk through downtown Santiago to view local architecture, shops, and neighborhoods. A local expert will reveal important historical and cultural details throughout our explorations. The capital of Chile is a city where residents have traditionally looked to Europe as a model for architecture and culture.This influence can readily be seen in its stately palaces, plazas, parks and churches. Santiago is the country's colonial center, surrounded by 31 comunas or communities with their own municipal administration.

Dinner: At a local restaurant located nearby the hotel. We will have plated menu options paired with a glass of Chilean wine while we get to know our fellow Road Scholars. A choice of domestic wine or mixed drink plus water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Embarkation tomorrow!

DAY
3
Embarkation
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy a buffet breakfast with a couple of hot and cold dishes, plus assorted fruit, cereals, breads and pastries; juice, coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: We'll board the bus and begin our journey to Valparaiso via the Casablanca Valley. After 1.5 hours ride we will arrive to Valparaiso.This shore side city is the country’s most important seaport and the alleged cultural capital of Chile.

Lunch: At a local family home, where we will try a local dish and have a toast with a local drink, called "terremoto" (earthquake), made by the owner of the house.

Afternoon: Next, we'll continue our exploration of Valparaiso. Our field trip will include an exploratory walk of Valparaiso and a funicular ride for views of the harbor and city. Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is also host to the National Congress of Chile. At the conclusion of our activities, we'll head to the docks, where the ship is ready for embarkation to become our home for the next many days. After the mandatory security review and drill, we sail out from the colorful and artistic city known as Valpo, heading north towards Coquimbo.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to check out the library that offers a wide range of multilingual books ranging from fiction to travel literature. You can curl up with a book, watch a DVD, and broaden your understanding of the region's history, flora, fauna, climate, scientific contributions, and more.

DAY
4
Cultural City Of Coquimbo
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At leisure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Coquimbo is located in a valley, about 10 kilometers south of the town La Serena, and the two cities combine to create the area Grande La Serena with around 400.000 inhabitants. According to legends Sir Francis Drake has hidden a treasure outside Coquimbo (still unfound!). It is also said that the famous architect Gustave Eiffel left a more visible treasure in the local church, the iron and zink based Iglesia Guyacan. The coast is riddled with stories of Drake and Eiffel and we will “meet” them again as we call upon Arica. Our expedition team leads a short walk around the charming little town of Coquimbo, known for a mix of modern and colonial architecture. The walk normally includes a visit at either Plaza de Armas or Plaza Prat and the promenade at Avenida Costanera. We also set up a shuttle bus service that runs during our visit. The shuttle goes to the neighbouring town of La Serena where the town centre is worth a visit. It is known as Chile’s second oldest town, founded in 1544. The town has 3 different architectural periods in clear view, with traditional Spanish styles mixing in with the neo-classical era and most clearly the new colonial period. The local market (La Recova) is a good place to find local handicrafts and jewelry with lapis lazuli.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Gym facilities and a sauna are available.

DAY
5
Cruising Along the Humboldt Current
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We cruise slowly as we pass the islands known for their penguin nature reserve. If the weather allows it, we will embark our Zodiacs and pass by closer to the islands. We are not allowed to make any landings, but hopefully we can see some of the wildlife that the area is known for. We observe the animals from a safe distance and make sure not to bother them.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: After our visit we continue our journey along the Chilean coast.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
At Sea, Enjoying the Comforts of Ocean Victory
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At leisure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Listen to a lecture from our experienced expedition staff, and go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and hopefully some whales. Even though the whale season is normally considered to run December-March they are also often seen in April. The whales along the Humboldt Current is mostly blue whales, fin whales and humpbacks, all feeding on the krill-filled waters we are moving through.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Iquique, Chile
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At leisure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Iquique, which loosely translates to “quiet place to relax” in the native tongue of Aymará, is a modern city, where travelers in the northern Chile often stop by. Apart from its beautiful location, it is known for wonderful beaches and the old central Plaza Arturo which marks the city centre. At the centre you can find the clocktower Torre de Reloj and the old Teatro Municipal. Iquique also has an important share of Chiles trade, as it has one of South Americas largest duty-free commercial zones (the Zona Franca Iquique also known as Zofri). The local fishing port also adds to the tally by being the world’s largest export harbor for fishmeal (used mostly for animal feed). Our coaches are waiting for us at the pier, driving us through the indescribable beauty of the Atacama desert. Initially we enjoy the panoramic view of Iquique, its beaches and the ridged Cerro Dragon (dragon hill). Our destination is the nitrate ghost town of Santa Laura, that operated from 1872 to 1960. The processing plant and smokestacks are still visible along with the administration building and the warehouse. Along with the town we are visiting next, Humberstone, these two form a National monument that also since 2005 is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only a short drive away we find Humberstone that was founded in 1862. The town is well worth a visit, if nothing else for its theater built of Oregon pine.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Arica City Tour and the World's Oldest Mummies
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At leisure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Chile's most northern city, is only 12 kilometers from Peru’s border in the area Norte Grande. The milder climate and easier access to water has always made Arica into an important area, witnessed by the first settlements that are as old as 6,000 BC. The local tribes grew corn (maize), zucchini and cotton, made ceramic pottery and was later a part of the Tihuanaco culture in Bolivia and subsequently the Inca empire. The Arica of today is a lively place, with golden sandy beaches, duty-free shopping and a vibrant nightlife. Culturally many use Arica as a base to explore the ruins found inland. Within the town you can find Sir Francis Drakes grave and the cathedral de San Marcos, that was designed and constructed in steel and zink by Gustav Eiffel. As we climb aboard the awaiting buses, we drive towards the Azapa valley. On our way, we can hopefully catch a glimpse of several of the geoglyphs that adorn the sides of the hills. The geoglyphs were created centuries ago. We stop at the San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum, where are to see one the most amazing things on this planet, the Chinchorro mummies. They are the oldest on earth, dating 6.000-8.000 BC. They are classified as the oldest examples of artificial mummified human remains, considerably older than their Egyptian counterparts. After our visit we return to Arica where we take a city tour, visiting some of the highlights.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At lesiure.

DAY
9
At Sea, Crossing from Chilean Waters to Peruvian Waters
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Another day to enjoy some of the services onboard as we cruise along the last part of the journey following the cold Humboldt Current, soon we will break free of it as our course takes us even more north along the coast of Peru towards the Equatorial counter.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Our expedition staff onboard schedule lectures and activities.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Paracas and the Famous Ballestas Islands
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At leisure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Our first port of call in Peru is Paracas, known as the entrance to Pisco. The small village has ample beaches, hotels and shorefront restaurants. Apart from the lovely sandy beaches, the area is famous for the islands of Ballestas, located not far from the coast. This morning we will tour the islands that are jokingly known as “the poor man's Galapagos islands” for their likeness in both geology and wildlife. The excursion offers excellent chances of seeing wildlife such as: sea lions, cormorants, boobies, pelicans, penguins and more than 200 species of birds (both migratory and native species). The area also has dolphins which will show up if we are in luck. The islands are very important breeding grounds for hundreds of thousands of birds, that are all feeding off the huge quantities of anchovies that live along the Peruvian coast.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
The Port Town of Callao and the Capital City of Lima
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At leisure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We arrive today to the seaside city of Callao, with its historic port. Not only was it the historical main port for all trade coming in from Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, before being shipped to Panama and then Spain, it is also the famed starting point for the Kon-Tiki expedition. Callao is still Peru’s greatest and most important port (and also home to a naval base). The city also boasts of the fort Real Felipe, the Callao cathedral and some wonderful plaza’s, so it’s worth taking an afternoon stroll through the city before we set sail north. We then have around 1 hour bus drive to the city center of Lima, and on the way we will get an idea of this enormous city with more than 10 million inhabitants. Lima is also the second largest desert city in the world, only surpassed by Cairo. As we arrive the Colonial center, we leave the bus and continue by foot and visit the Main Square (Plaza de Armas), where Lima was founded by Conquistador Francisco Pizarro. We also have a chance to enjoy the colonial architecture. Some of the older buildings have disappeared, but fortunately, in recent years, there is a renewed focus on the colonial center where many buildings have been renovated. We then walk the short distance to the San Francisco church and monastery, where we will visit the bizarre catacombs where Catholics were buried until the end of the Spanish era.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Trujillo and Chan Chan.
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At sea.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We are set to arrive in the port city of Salaverry after lunch and from here we will embark on an adventure in both the past and the present. We begin with the past, as we visit the Chimu cultures old capital Chan Chan, renowned for being the largest city in both North- and South America in the pre-colombian era. It is still the largest city built with clay (using the mudbricks or Adobe). The city covers 28 square kilometers and was built around 1300 AD. It is believed that around 60.000 people inhabited the area. The people had amassed great reserves of gold, silver and other valuables, which the Inca’s had never been interested in. Once the Spaniards came along, they plundered the treasures of Chan Chan. The city consists of nine different parts, each built by a ruler and we will visit a few of these “king cities”. We will enjoy the ceremonial yards, wall decorations and the cistern that provided water to the inner city. Our next visit will be in the more modern Trujillo, who albeit being founded all the way back in 1535 by the infamous conquistador Pizzaro. The colonial heart of the city is well preserved with lively colours and wrought iron balconies. Tourism has yet to make a big impact on this part of Peru, allowing us to get a more genuine sense of life. There is a buzz in the city that gives us a good impression of modern Peru. Trujillo is the third largest city in the country, with around 925,000 inhabitants.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
At Sea, Along the Coast of Ecuador
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: During the night we have made our way north and will enter the Ecuadorian waters during the day and continue along the coast towards our next destination. Today there is time to relax, read a book, listen to some of the scheduled lectures and enjoy the company of our co-passengers. As always the ship’s chefs will conjure great meals for us and do their utmost to spoil our taste buds.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: The temperature gets hotter as we encroach on the tropical climates of Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Coastal City of Manta, Ecuador and Isla De La Plata
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Although Manta, Ecuador is not a typical tourist destination, this city has a lot to offer when it comes to seascapes, history, and culture. Manta is the second largest port city in Ecuador and its economy largely relies on the fishing and tourism industry.

Lunch: Boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Today we offer an exciting excursion by boat to the nearby island Isla de la Plata. We will transfer by coach to the small port town of Puerto Lopez where we board a smaller boat that can land at the islands. The excursion offers excellent chances of seeing the teeming wildlife which is reminiscent of Galapagos such as: frigate birds, albatrosses, boobies, pelicans, manta rays, sea lions, dolphins, green turtles and more than 30 species of birds (both migratory and native species). The trip takes around 1.5 hours each way.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Manta with Panama Hats and Jungle Wildlife
At Sea
B,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Today we have more time in lovely Manta, but also more time to get to know the area and crafts. We set off directly from the dock in Manta and go to Montecristi, a place known for the quality of handicrafts made with wicker, wood, and ancestral fibers like piquigua and toquilla palm. It is with the latter that the famous Panama Hats are made, and Montecristi is recognized worldwide for its very high quality. These hats are hand-woven by following a process that can take from 4 to 6 months, depending on the fineness and complexity of the materials and weave. A visit that will change our views of the famous hat for sure!

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Following our visit in Montecristi, we will head to Pacoche, a private reserve of 10 hectares that is part of the Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, just 20 minutes away from the city of Manta. It is a unique and special place surrounded by the jungle, home to many endemic bird species and mammals such as the howler monkeys. The reserve has two trails that will allow you to get into the jungle and feel part of the nature of the place. Pacoche is famous for the presence of families of howler monkeys that wander freely through the forest. Additionally, there are capuchin monkeys and over 250 species of birds, of which 50 are endemic to the place.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
At Sea, Crossing Gulf of Panama
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This day allows us to relax and let some of our recent explorations sink in. Our onboard team will offer lectures and activities. The route takes us over the Gulf of Panama during the end of the dry season that runs from January to April. From May the area experiences downfall and undergoes its wet season until December.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We continue towards Coiba Island off the Pacific coast of Panama.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
17
Natural Wonder of Coiba National Park and Granito De Oro
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At leisure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: It’s time for a tropical visit in Panama, as we lay anchor near Coiba island. We sail to land by Zodiacs and visit the Coiba National Park. The Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005, because of the multitude of endemic mammals, plants and birds found here. The Park area encompasses 38 islands of the coast of Panama. We go for a walk along the beach and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
18
Golfito Bay and Visit of Research Station and Rainforest
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Victory

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At leisure.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Golfito of today is a sleepy fishing village, whereas in the 1960’s a booming banana export told a very different story. In 1985 the banana adventure on the west coast grinded to a halt, as declining foreign markets, rising export taxes and banana disease forced the closing of the local United Fruit Company. Costa Rica still exports a lot of the yellow skinned fruits, but now mostly from the east coast. Now Golfito Bay is known for its beaches and sport fishing, giving the village some tourism income. The opening of a duty-free shopping center has also generated some domestic visitors. As we arrive in Golfito, we are picked up and go directly towards the La Gamba research and teaching field station. The field station plays a significant role in research into tropical rainforests and rainforest conservation awareness. Many students from all over the world come to spend some time here to do field research. We have the chance to hear about the research stations work as well as having a short tour of the premises. After the visit we are ready for our own stint into the local nature. The National park has a great diversity of plants, animals and species of insects. It is considered one of the best places in Costa Rica for bird watching, since it is one of the main meeting point for birds from North and South America. The National park is also home to some endemic species of both flora and fauna.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
19
Arrival in Puntarenas, Disembark and Transfer to San Jose
San Jose
B,L,D
Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The captain has led the ship northwards along the Humboldt Current and the Latin American coasts of Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica. Today we’ll arrive in Puntarenas, one of the larger cruise ports on Costa Rica’s western coast, and we’ll say farewell to the ship and its crew before disembarking. We'll meet our local expert and board our bus that will take us to San Jose. En route we’ll stop for a crocodile safari boat ride on the Tarcoles River. As we navigate up the river, our local expert will provide background information on the resident crocodiles. The Tárcoles River Basin is one of the most important in the Pacific coastal region, virtually draining the entire western side of the Central Valley. Tárcoles hosts an amazing diversity of wildlife along its banks and in the extensive mangrove ecosystem. Perhaps the most famous of all the river’s inhabitants are its enormous crocodiles. These crocodiles have been studied by numerous local and foreign specialists and featured in TV series and specials.

Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.

Afternoon: After enjoying our typical Costa Rican lunch, we’ll say farewell to Central Pacific and begin our transfer to San José. Upon arrival we’ll check in at the hotel with time to freshen up and relax a bit before dinner.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner at the hotel to celebrate the end of our journey.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy our last evening together in Costa Rica, then prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
20
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel (dependent on flight schedules).

Morning: This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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