South America Cruise - Santiago to Cartagena
A wise soul once said: “It’s not the destination but the journey that counts.” Those words certainly ring true with respect to this tour. The moment you board the G Expedition you can expect to sail into a journey you’ll remember forever. This 25-day voyage is filled with so many highlights, it would be impossible to list them all; but what we can tell you is that you’ll discover the life-changing beauty of South America’s western coast. Included trips to Machu Picchu, the Darien Jungle, and the Panama Canal will give you plenty to write home about.
20 nts aboard the G Expedition. Arrival transfer from airport in Santiago to hotel. Departure transfer from ship to Cartagena. 1 nt accommodation with breakfast in Santiago. 3 day included trip to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. 2 nts accommodation in the Sacred Valley, 1 nt accommodation in Cusco. Cusco City Tour. Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour. Ccaccaccollo Community and Planeterra-Sponsored Women’s Weaving Co-op visit. Visit the Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley. Machu Picchu Guided Tour. Flights from Lima to Cusco and Cusco to Trujillo. Isla de la Plata Wildlife Excursion. Darien Jungle and Emberá Tribe Visit. The Shaping of Panama and Miraflores Locks Excursion. Transit the Panama Canal. San Blas Islands Excursion. Pick one of the four included excursions in Bahia Solano. Zodiac excursions with the expert expedition team. Lectures and educational programs on board.
Explore the coast of South America on board the G Expedition as you sail from Valparaiso to Cartagena, visit Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, stop in at G Adventures-supported projects, get right into the heart of the Darien Jungle and get to know the locals, transit the Panama Canal before sailing into beautiful Cartagena
1. Please note: While it is our intention of adhere to the route described above , there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day onboard, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.
2. The G Expedition is an adventure Expedition ship and does not offer an elevator
3. PLEASE NOTE: A valid passport with at least 6 months validity from the time you are returning home is required at the time of booking. This trip CANNOT be confirmed without a valid passport.
4. The electricity onboard is 220AC electrical outlets, with European 2 pin round holes, as well as 110-volt shaving sockets in the bathroom for electric razors only. You may wish to bring an international adapter. A limited supply of hair dryers and electrical adapters are available to borrow free of charge at the Purser’s Desk.
Group Leader Description
A carefully chosen team will lead our voyage. Our expedition ships boast an international team of professional naturalists and lecturers. Their goal is to provide an informed and balanced interpretation of the destination, accomplished through stimulating lectures, day-to-day briefings, and informal discussions. Your lecturers and Expedition Leader will cover all aspects of the voyage including ornithology, marine biology, geography, geology, history and the environment, as well as practical things like photography. The expedition staff work conscientiously with you on deck and in the field, improving your observational skills to allow you to experience all that the destination has to offer. Their strong sense of ethics and ecological knowledge make for stimulating and mindful conversation whether onshore or at the dinner table. The Expedition Staff will pilot the Zodiac landing craft used for shore landings and Zodiac cruises; they are experienced drivers who operate the Zodiacs in a responsible manner.
Group Size Notes
Max 134 on board the G Expedition
Onboard our expedition ships you’ll find a diversity of gourmet international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time. There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic are not included and can be purchased in the dining room, pub or the lounge.
G Expedition, Zodiac, private bus, plane, train.
Local flights are not included in the price of this trip. Please make sure that you arrive into Santiago on Day 1. If you require assistance booking local flights please contact your G Adventures representative.
Please note that internal flights in South America generally allow less luggage than international flights.
Twin-share hotel (4 nts), aboard the G Expedition in quad-, triple-, twin-share cabins, or suites (all with en suite bathrooms and porthole or window) (20 nts). Please note that all cabins consist of twin-size berths and are ocean-facing. Suites have one queen-size bed.
My Own Room
Please note that if you have selected the Private Cabin option at the time of booking, you will receive your own room for the duration of this cruise. This includes the Hotel in Ushuaia.
If you are a solo traveller and you have NOT selected the Private Cabin option, you will be paired with another solo traveller for all nights, including the hotel in Ushuaia.
For groups of 3 passengers travelling together who have booked a triple cabin, you will have a triple room in the hotel where available. If we cannot book a triple room, please note that one of you will be sharing with another solo traveller of the same gender for the hotel night in Ushuaia.
Av Ricardo Lyon 322
An arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour and your driver will be waiting for you with a G Adventures Sign with your name on it.
**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through G Adventures to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities are planned. Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to arrive into Ushuaia before embarkation time (usually 4pm) of Day 2 please use the emergency contact details in this dossier. We highly recommend arriving at least 1 day before sailing in order to make sure that delays do not ruin your trip as the ship is unable to wait for late passengers. If you are delayed in arriving to prebooked accommodations please contact the hotel to advise them when you will arrive. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your booking agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
>From outside Argentina: +54 11 5252 3602
>From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 5252 3602
After hours Emergency number
>From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
>From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 15 3425 0380
What to Take
Most airlines allow one checked bag and two carry-on per person. To avoid any problems at check-in and with possible excess baggage charges, please consult the airline for specific restrictions. For storage on board the expedition ship soft compactible luggage makes storage much easier.
Dress on board is informal. Plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. When packing, we suggest that you do not weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire that can be worn in layers.
In the worlds most remote destinations that the G Expedition travels to we cannot offload our plastics, glass or tin waste for recycling. Therefore, we try to reduce what single use items that we use. You will see on the ship that every effort is being used to stop the use of single use plastic containers, bags and other items. In an effort to prevent plastic waste from entering the waste stream, we are asking for your help. We offer exceptional drinking water on the ship with refilling stations for your re-useable water containers. So bring your favorite water bottle! Plastic Items such as single use shampoo/conditioner plastic containers cannot be recycled, so please plan to bring any plastics back to your home countries for recycling. Please do not bring single use items that you intend to leave behind such plastic bags and throw away razors. Your participating in helping to prevent pollution and promote recycling is greatly appreciated.
-Passport (with photocopies)
-Travel insurance (with photocopies)
-Airline tickets (with photocopies)
-Cash, credit and debit cards
-G Adventures vouchers and trip details
-Any entry visas or vaccination certificates if required
-Fleece jacket or warm layer – it can be cool on deck in the evenings
-Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
-Windproof rain jacket or poncho
-Comfortable walking shoes
-Toiletries – Hotel style shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are supplied on board.
-Motion sickness tablets
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Binoculars – We highly recommend a good pair of binoculars for viewing wildlife at a distance.
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Reusable water bottle
-Walking poles (Optional)
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. Aboard the G Expedition laundry facilities are provided at a nominal charge.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
PLEASE NOTE: A valid passport with at least 6 months validity from the time you are returning home is required at the time of booking. This trip cannot be confirmed without a valid passport.
Before and after the cruise:
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work overseas. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
While on board our Expedition ships, cash and most major credit cards (VISA, Mastercard and AMEX) are accepted to clear incidental bills at the end of the cruise by the ship’s Purser (ie. bar bills, laundry etc.).
Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your expedition. The industry standard and suggested amount is USD $10 – 15 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline. The money is collected by the Hotel Manager at the end of the voyage and distributed amongst the crew and Expedition Staff. The Officers choose not to participate in the tipping pool.
Safety and Security
Trip Specific Safety
We recommend that you wear minimal jewelry and that you keep valuable items safely stored in our complimentary safety deposit box, which is located at the Purser’s Desk.
A Couple of Rules
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Keeping in Touch on the G Expedition
Internet and phone onboard the G Expedition
There is wifi in the public areas on Deck 4 & 5, and in the Deck 4 cabins (Categories 4 and 5). Passengers can bring their own laptop, sign out one of the 2 iPads on board, or use one of the 2 desktops.
Onboard the G Expedition we use a BGAN satellite system for internet and phone, which allows passengers to surf the web and make international calls while on their voyage. Please remember that internet speeds are NOT like the speeds you have at home. We operate with a satellite so speeds can be similar to dialup. To log-on, passengers purchase an internet voucher from the Reception Desk. Once you have the internet voucher, web surfers can log-on through our internet café or with their own wireless laptop. A wireless laptop can pick up a signal anywhere in the public areas on Deck 4, Reception, Discovery Lounge, Library, and Deck 5, Polar Bear Bar. Charges are based on the megabyte downloaded. An amount of 10 megabyte of data would be the equivalent of 5 to 10 web pages. A very graphics intensive web page might be as high as 2-3 megabytes. For example, if a web surfer were to do a Hotmail session of e-mailing, it might generate 3 megabytes in total.
Internet Packages & Prices:
Passengers may take the opportunity to set up an onboard e-mail account. This will be of interest to those who need to stay in touch, but are not interested in surfing the web. Passengers will have their own unique email account including email address, username and password. E-mail accounts may be accessed either through our public computers in the Internet Room, or passenger may access their account through their wireless laptop in the common areas of Deck 4 and 5, in the Polar Bear Bar. $35.00 includes set up and use of the account for the entire trip and unlimited messages. Messages over 200KB in size will be charged at a rate of .03 cents per KB exceeded.
On board we have a telephone room on Deck 4, where calls can be made in private to any destination in the world. Telephone cards are available at reception. Prices will change each year. Satellite: $22.00 phone cards are available at reception, roughly 25 to 30 minute per phone card.
Allow USD30-40 for meals not included. Drinks and tips on board not included.
24 breakfasts, 22 lunches, 23 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: XVSCSX, ID: 23554
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.
Day 1 Santiago
Arrival transfer is included.
Day 2 Santiago/Valparaíso (1B, 1D)
Travel by private bus to the colourful port town of Valparaiso. Visit a local winery for lunch before joining the ship for a 4pm embarkation.
Day 3 South Pacific Ocean (1B, 1L, 1D)
Opt to spend this time at sea out on deck or join one of the lectures or painting classes.
Day 4 Caldera (1B, 1L, 1D)
Take an tour to the Pan de Azúcar National Park to see sealions, Humboldt penguins and spectacular scenery.
Day 5 South Pacific Ocean (1B, 1L, 1D)
Another day at sea gives you the opportunity to spend some time out on deck. Keep your cameras and binoculars on hand for scenery or wildlife viewing opportunities.
Day 6 Arica (1B, 1L, 1D)
With a warm climate year round, Arica is known as the City of Eternal Spring. With some of the best beaches in Chile, spend a relaxing day catching some sun, or opt to explore the San Miguel de Azapa Archeological Museum for some local cultural history.
Arica City and Geoglyphs Excursion
Day 7 South Pacific Ocean (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a day at sea. Grab a book from the library and enjoy some quiet down time.
Day 8 San Juan de Marcona (1B, 1L, 1D)
Travel to Nazca for a guided tour of the Chauchilla desert cemetery and potter’s studio. Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines (available for pre-purchase) before returning to the ship. Along the coast there may be opportunities to spot local wildlife.
Please note: If you choose to book the Nazca lines flight, please be aware that these flights are subject to cancellation in the event that the weather is too bad to safely take off and land. Pilots may also choose not to fly if the visibility is low and there is no possibility of seeing the Nazca lines. All flights are weather permitting.
Nazca Desert Cemetery and Potter’s Studio Guided Tour
Day 9 San Juan de Marcona (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy getting a closer look at sea lions, penguins and seabirds with a Zodiac cruise to the nearby nature reserve.
Zodiac Excursion (South America)
Day 10 Callao/Cusco (1B, 1L, 1D)
Travel from the port in Lima to the airport for a short flight to the colonial city of Cusco set high in the Andes Mountains. Take a tour of the city to learn more about the history, soak in the architecture and the valley’s atmopshere. Continue on to a hotel for the night in the Sacred Valley.
Cusco City Tour
Private Vehicle (1.75 hour(s))
Day 11 Ollantaytambo (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend the day getting to know the Sacred Valley a little better. Enjoy guided visits to the Incan ruins sites of Pisac and Moray with a visit to a local handicraft market. After, meet the women at the G Adventures-supported Ccaccaccollo community and Women’s Weaving Co-op. Learn about their ancient traditions. Stop in the indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant. Enjoy a delicious lunch and know that your visit is helping to support a remote community. Later, visit the pre-Incan salt pans of Las Salineras and learn more about the Incas with a tour of Ollantaytambo ruins.
Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour
Ccaccaccollo Community and Planeterra-Sponsored Women’s Weaving Co-op visit
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley
Day 12 Machu Picchu (1B, 1L, 1D)
Rise early and journey to the Ollantaytambo station to catch the scenic train to Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins and soak in the famous views. Enjoy free time to explore the ruins on your own before returning to Cusco for the night.
Machu Picchu Guided Tour
Train (1.50-2.00 hours)
Local bus (0.75 hour(s))
Train (1.50 hour(s))
Local bus (1.50 hour(s))
Day 13 Cusco/Trujillo (1B, 1L, 1D)
Fly to Trujillo and return to the Expedition. Opt for a guided visit to the ancient Chimu capital of Chan Chan. Wander this UNESCO site and marvel at the carvings and gain unique insight into the ancient history of the region.
Flight (3.50-5.00 hours)
Day 14 South Pacific Ocean (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend some time on board with your fellow travellers, while enjoying an optional painting class or photography workshop.
Day 15 Salinas/Isla de La Plata (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend a leisurely day shopping and exploring the waterfront of Salinas. Some travellers may end their cruise here, while others may join this evening.
Day 16 Isla de La Plata (1B, 1L, 1D)
Head out on a full-day wildlife tour to experience the best of Isla de la Plata. Similar to the Galápagos, prepare to see blue- and red-footed boobies, Peruvian pelicans, frigatebirds and waved albatrosses. Explore more of the area on easy hikes.
Isla de la Plata Excursion
Day 17 North Pacific Ocean (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy the on board lecture program with this day at sea.
Day 18 Bahía Solano (1B, 1L, 1D)
The G Expedition will dock in Bahia Solano just after lunch. Pick one of the four included excursions. Options include hikes through the jungle to see waterfalls, visits to a nearby fishing village, or free time to wander the town and relax on gorgeous beaches.
Playa Mecana – Botanical Garden Excursion
Chocolatal Waterfall Excursion
Huina Fishing Village Excursion
Playa de los Deseos Excursion
Day 19 Punta Alegre/Darien Jungle Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D)
Leave the ship in Punta Alegre for the day and transfer to a motorized canoe to journey into the lives of the Emberá Indian Tribe nestled in the pristine Darien Jungle. Navigate up the Mogue River to this community of the indigenous people of the area. Wander the village and get to know your hosts. Enjoy a presentation of traditional dances.
Darien Jungle and Emberá Tribe Visit
Motorized canoe (0.75 hour(s))
Day 20 Pearl Islands (1B, 1L, 1D)
With over 200 islands, the Pearl Islands offer world-class beaches and postcard perfect landscapes. Explore this remote area, taking advantage of included snorkelling gear. Take the Zodiacs to stunning snorkelling areas, beautiful beaches or opt to spend time in the sleepy town.
Beach BBQ (Pearl Islands)
Day 21 Panama City (1B, 1L, 1D)
The G Expedition will reach the Panama Canal with the opportunity to explore this marvel of engineering before the transit through the canal begins tomorrow. Enjoy an included visit to the Miraflores Locks Observation Center to learn more. Walk through the old French Quarter of Panama City to the coast, learning about the history of the area along the way.
The Shaping of Panama and Miraflores Locks Excursion
Day 22 Panama Canal (1B, 1L, 1D)
With an understanding of the history of the canal and how it works, see it all first hand as the Expedition navigates her way through the canal. Enjoy your first views of the Caribbean when you reach the other side.
Panama Canal Transit
Day 23 San Blas Islands (1B, 1L, 1D)
Arrive on the San Blas Islands – full of white-sand beaches, palm trees, and crystal-clear blue waters. Spend this free day relaxing on the beach or snorkelling and swimming. Enjoy a visit to a local market and a small town to learn more about the life of the local Kuna Indians.
San Blas Islands Excursion
Day 24 Capurganá (1B, 1L, 1D)
This seldom visited area is a gem in the Caribbean. Take part in excursions to visit the locals, walk through the jungle and enjoy a traditional meal with your new native friends. Enjoy an included walk through the Eco Reserve El Cielo.
Day 25 Cartagena (1B)
Arrive in colonial Cartagena. Catch a departure transfer to a centrally located hotel where the tour ends on arrival.