HAL Prinsendam
Private Tours – Grand South America Voyage 2012

Dave and I love smaller tour groups – and have been able to organize a few for our cruise in the following cities Peru (all); Coquimbo, Chile; Valpariso, Chile; Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay.

We are not a tour company just passengers like yourself. I will be sending a confirmation email and payment details in late November. Looking forward to touring and cruising with you!

**11.22.11 – 2 spaces left – Jan 14, 2012 – The Wonders of Trujillo – full day tour $140/pp

07:00 am. Pick up and transfer from Salaverry Port (Trujillo).

07:45 am. City Tour of Trujillo where you will have the opportunity to see its old fashion buildings all those located in downtown, and its modern areas. It is a beautiful historic scenery where Martin de Estete started the delineation of the city, under the direction of Diego de Almagro on December, 1534. We will visit Trujillo Main Square, The Cathedral, Urquiaga House, La Merced Church, the Emancipation House and Iturregui Palace.

11:00 am. The Temples of the Sun and the Moon: Visit of the Temples of the Sun and the Moon, capital of the Moche culture. It is possible to see the beautiful murals with the representation of the God Ai-Paec, also known as the “Decapitator.” Huaca de la Luna is composed by 3 platforms and 4 ceremonial squares. Its extension is 290 m. by 210 m. The excavation has been concentrated in the main platform which has an area of 90 m. on each side and 20 m. height. Six superposed temples have been discovered, they were built in about 600 years. Each temple was used for about 100 years, after that, the temple was covered with blocks of adobe to build a new one above it. Probably, this custom was associated with a ceremonial calendar. Inside the temples the Moche opened funerary chambers for the burials of priests.

12:15 pm. Arrival at Chan Chan ruins. The tour begins in The Dragon temple. This site was built by the Chimu culture, and it was part of Chan Chan. After this tour we go to Chan Chan to visit the Site Museum where there is a scale model of Chan Chan city, and then we enter to the Tschudi Citadel that is the only open to the tourism.

13:30 pm. Arrival at Huanchaco Beach (Lunch is included).

15:00 pm. Arrival at Salaverry Port.

 


***FULL
January 15 – Lima, Peru (with or without the Junis Dinner Show) – Full Day ($130/pp please add $40/pp for dinnershow)
PACHACAMAC RUINS, HUACA PUCLLANA, INDIAN MARKET, THE MAGICAL CIRCUIT OF THE WATERS AND JUNIUS (DINNER SHOW)
10:20 am. – Departure from the Callao port.

11:30 pm. – Arrival at Pachacamac ruins and tour.

13:30 pm. – Arrival at Miraflores Main Square (Lunch is included).

15:10 pm. – Arrival at Huaca Pucllana and tour.

16:30 pm. – Arrival at Indian Market and tour.

18:00 pm. – Arrival at The Magical Circuit of the Waters and tour.

20:00 pm. – Arrival at “Junius Restaurant” – Dinner Show optional or return
to the ship
.

22:30 pm. – Arrival at the Callao Port.

 


**11.22.11 – 2 spaces left – January 16 – Lima, Peru – full day tour ($95/pp)
CALLAO CITY TOUR, LIMA CITY TOUR, CATACOMBS, LARCOMAR AND LARCO MUSEUM
09:30 am. – Departure from the Callao port.

09:45am. – Arrival at Callao Main Square (City Tour). Callao Historical Centre:

  • Plaza de Armas (Main Square).
  • Royal San Felipe Fortress.
  • The Municipal Palace.

11:00am. – Arrival at Lima Main Square (City Tour). Lima Historical Centre:

  •  Plaza de Armas (Main Square), San Martin Square, Government Palace, Cathedral Basilica, the Municipal Palace, the convent of Saint Francis and Catacombs

13:30 pm. – Arrival at Miraflores Main Square (Lunch is included).

14:45 am. – Arrival at Larco Mar and tour.

16:00 am. – Arrival at Larco Museum and tour.

17:30 pm. – Arrival at the Callao Port.


**11.22.11 – 3 spaces left –  January 17  – Pisco, Peru, FULL DAY ($115/pp)

Tambo Colorado Ruins + Ica City Tour + Local Wineries + Vineyards + Huacachina Oasis “The best of Ica in one day” 
08:15 am. Pick up and transfer from San Martin international port (Paracas/Pisco).
Assistance and transfer to Tambo Colorado Ruins (55 minutes from Paracas approximately), on the way you will observe different kinds of crops which are part of the agriculture activity of the region: asparagus, corn, cotton, artichoke, etc. and the beautiful and majestic dunes that surrounds the city and are part of the southern coastal desert.

We will take the diversion to the highlands till the famous Tambo Colorado ruins which was considered an important administration center and a sacred place in the Andean world. This splendid construction has its name thanks to the red color which was covered the most of its walls (Indian red) and it is possible to see it yet. It is considered the best preserved adobe construction in all the whole country.
11:00 am. City Tour of  Ica  where you will have the opportunity to see its old fashion buildings all those located in downtown, and its modern areas, The Senior de Luren sanctuary, The Regional Museum (the most important museum in this part of the country) which host a really interesting and impressive collection of pottery and textiles owned to Paracas, Nazca, Ica, Wari, Chincha, and Inca cultures and an special room of Bio-anthropology where you will find the mummies of these different civilizations that were developed in this  region.
At 13:15 pm. Lunch in a local restaurant (Lunch is included).

After Lunch you will visit the local wineries and vineyards that still conserve the old traditional way to produce wines and the famous Pisco (local brandy like) which is our national liquor and also it is use to prepare our national drink called Pisco sour. Finally you will visit the famous and truly oasis of America called “la Huacachina”, which is a spectacular oasis surrounded by dunes and it is consider the jewel of Ica city.
15:30 pm. Time for the return to Pisco-Paracas
16:00 pm.  Arrival at San Martin port

 


**FULL – January 19,  Matarani/Arequipa, Peru – full day ($95/pp)
Arequipa City Tour + Santa Catalina Monastery + Viewpoint of Yanahuara “The Grand tour of Arequipa”   
08:00 am. Pick up and transfer from Matarani port). Assistance and transfer to Arequipa City and its three volcanoes that surrounding the magic city.

09:50 am. Arrival at Arequipa City, then we will visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, which is one of the most beautiful monasteries of the Americas and is the only one with a “citadel” in the world. It was built in 1580 and was enlarged in the 17th century. It is the most fascinating colonial religious building in Peru. It is enormous over 20,000 square meters and covering and entire city block. Today, the approximately 20 remaining nuns continue to live a cloistered life, but only in the northern corner of the complex. As visitors walk down the maze of the narrow interior streets, they can try to imagine what life might be like for the closeted nuns–open to the skies and the city sounds, yet bounded by the monastery’s high walls.

 

11:30 am.Arequipa City Tour: The Main Square is the best starting point for touring Arequipa, this is the city center surrounded by beautiful colonial architecture made of sillar stone (White volcanic Stone). Gardens and a central fountain make this a pleasant for sit and relax.  The highlights in the Main Square with its beautiful balconies are one of the most impressive main squares in Peru. Arequipa was rocked by major earthquake in 2001 which caused considerable damage to some of the buildings in the Main Square but it has been done to repair the damage and restore the buildings.

 

12:00 pm.Lunch in a nice local restaurant (Lunch included).
13:10 pm. After lunch you will go to the viewpoint of Yanahuara, we can observe the volcanoes Misti (the most representative), Chachani and Pichu Pichu, even part of the city of Arequipa. It was built in ashlar century XIX, this present recorded in the arcs, which are phrases made by poets Arequipeños.

 

14:10 pm.  Departure from Arequipa city

 

16:00 pm.  Arrival at Matarani port


January 23, 2012  Coquimbo, Chile

**11.22.11 – 2 spaces left – openings – max 15
cost per person $122
this company does require payment in full prior to tour – a deposit is required
we worked with them on our 30 day (just completed – very pleased with them)
Tour: PETROGLYPHS & LIMARI VALLEY VINEYARDS – WITH LUNCH

Duration: 6 1/2 HRS
Description:
A drive on the scenic coastal road acquaints you with some of the beautiful beaches of Coquimbo. As you leave the coast behind, you’ll come upon an area immersed in a permanent thick fog called the “camanchaca” – a coastal cloud phenomenon.

You’ll head inland into the Limari Valley where you’ll first pass through an area called the Enchanted Valley – an area of great archaeological importance and considered an open-air museum of scientific and cultural interest. The area contains an incredible number of petroglyphs depicting masks, sun symbols, and human heads among other shapes engraved in the rocks.

Continue towards a small and picturesque village where the Tamaya Vineyard is located. This vineyard is known for its unique blends of wines. Here, you’ll visit the vineyard and enjoy sampling while taking-in the fresh air and natural surroundings framed by the majestic Andes Mountains.

Afterwards, you will visit the Santa Cristina Country House where a delicious lunch awaits. Built in the 30’s, this Colonial house maintains it’s original architectural style and decoration. Nowadays, part of the house is used as a museum and has undergone constant restoration and preservation for the past 25 years. Around Santa Cristina, you will find fields where all sorts of crops are planted including cinnamon and carob trees. There is also a traditional cheese factory that processes goat’s milk cheese. You’ll tour the house and have free time to enjoy the grounds before the return drive.

Tour concludes at Pier.

We recommend that guests wear comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat.

 


**11.22.11 – 1 space left – January 24, 2012 Valparaiso, Chile 

Tour guide highly recommended from a passenger on the 2011 Grand SA

Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal (1914), the Port of Valparaiso was the most important in the South Pacific as ships from around the world called here once they crossed Cape Horn or the Strait of Magellan. Explore a labyrinth of streets that stretch over the many tiered hillsides facing the bay and see an antique funicular (wooden cable car elevator) used to transport the resident “Porteños” up and down.

Enjoy the imaginative architecture and bright colors of the centenarian homes built by the first Europeans to settle here. Breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean await you at the “21 de Mayo” promenade and panoramic lookout point. Other city highlights include the La Matriz church, “Plaza Sotomayor” with its impressive Naval Heroes Monument, Ex-Governor’s Palace and the Justice Tribunal building.

Visit the downtown area, including the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, the Presidential House “La Moneda” and Constitution Square. Enjoy a brief stop for winetasting at a local winery in the Casablanca valley, reknowned for producing fine Chilean wine. Then stop for lunch at a local restaurant (at own expense). You will also pass the summer beach resort of Renaca. Continue with a panoramic journey through Vina del Mar, also known as the Garden City.

Pass by the floral clock, Libertad Avenue, Las Salinas and several hilltop palaces — the Brunet Castle (now in the possession of the Chilean police force) and the Palacio Presidencial, the Chilean President’s summer residence, perched on top of Castillo Hill with its magnificent hillside gardens. In Valparaiso, you will drive through the hilly old district of Valparaiso, known as the Pearl of the Pacific. Along the way, you will see El Plan, Sotomayor Square, Promenade 21 de Mayo, the Custom House and the Stock Exchange.

Time permitting, you will also take funicular elevators up the hillsides to view the picturesque city and port below.

From here You will travel out of Valparaiso and into the Casablanca Valley, the youngest Chilean viticulture area which boasts a perfect trilogy: climate, soil and vine who is well known for top quality wines, many of which you will enjoy during this great excursion.


***FULL
January 30, 2012 Punta Arenas, Chile

$62 pp

this tour company does require prepayment in full before the tour – and a deposit will be required

HAL offers Patagonian Experience: Otway Sound & Penguin Reserve $94.00
Tour:
PENGUINS OF OTWAY SOUND 

Duration: 4 HRS
Description:
Begin with a scenic drive into the stark Patagonian countryside, passing undulating land with just enough low shrubbery to offer camouflage for the guanacos (relatives of the llama) and the ñandus (rheas – South American ostrich). At Otway Sound, you’ll walk across flat, grassland interspersed with sandy areas, to the penguin rookery by the seashore.

Here, at a protected sanctuary, you will walk approximately one mile each way to reach the penguin burrows. Named for the straits on which they live, these fascinating birds nest in burrows dug into the sandy shoreline. These penguins return every year to this spot between October and March to lay eggs and raise their young. They bury their eggs in the sandy burrows and under shrubs. At this time of year, most of the chicks will have already hatched. A wooden partition with a special viewing spot separates the beach from the grassy area and the burrows. Penguins are naturally curious and tame, although if approached too quickly they will scamper into their burrows and try to reach the water. You will have plenty of time to view and photograph these delightful birds before the return drive to Punta Arenas.

Tour concludes at the Pier.

Lunch option available at additional cost. Add one extra hour to tour duration for lunch.

Weather is unpredictable in Punta Arenas, so we recommend that guests wear comfortable walking shoes, long pants, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and bring a warm jacket.

Guests must be able to walk approximately two miles over unpaved and uneven surfaces in/out.

Flash photography is not permitted.

The tour is subject to the migration of the penguins, which starts in November through March.


***FULL
January 31, 2012  Ushuaia, Argentina

$92/pp

this tour company does require prepayment in full before the tour – and a deposit will be required

BEAGLE CHANNEL CATAMARAN TO SEA LION ISLAND

From the Port of Ushuaia, board your catamaran for a trip to admire the stunning landscapes and natural wonders that surround the town. As you cruise out of Ushuaia harbor, enjoy great panoramic views of this southernmost town and its dramatic setting, with jagged mountain peaks as a backdrop.

Your narrated trip will take you into the waterways of the Beagle Channel past the “Isla de los Pajaros” where many species of birds congregate, including a large colony of cormorants. Farther along you will cruise around “Isla de los Lobos”. This rocky outcrop is home to a large number of seals and sea lions. The catamaran, with both enclosed rooms and open deck space, manages to get quite close, offering great photo opportunities.

On the return trip back to Ushuaia, you will cruise past the “Les Eclaireures End-of-the-World Lighthouse”.

 


February 11, 2012 – Private Tour – Montevideo, Uruguay with wine tasting

**11.22.11 – 4 spaces left

Tour guide highly recommended from a passenger on this years SA 2011 Prinsendam cruise

Montevideo is a charming city with pleasant 19th and early 20th century buildings, beautiful parks and historic monuments. Your highlights tour includes the Old City and waterfront area where you will see the German battleship the Graff Spee that was held here during World War II, Constitution Square, the Cathedral and Colonial Town Hall, and Independence Square – at the center of which stands a monument dedicated to national hero José Gervasio Artigas.

Visit the Government House and the Congress Building constructed between 1908 and 1925 with local marble and 12 different types of wood. Drive through the Prado neighborhood – where you’ll find one of the oldest parks in the city that features the famous sculpture La Diligencia, Monument to the last Charruas Indians, and the Rose Garden.

Continue to the Vineyard. Stimulated by the love of the countryside and its products, Uruguay boasts an impressive wine making tradition. At the vineyard you will enjoy a wine making tour that includes sampling.

From the vineyard you’ll drive back to Montevideo and through the Batlle and Ordonez Parks, passing by the Obelisk, La Carreta Monument (Covered Wagon) and the Soccer Stadium – site of the first World Soccer Cup organized by FIFA.

Continue travelling through the Carrasco residential area with its magnificent private residences and the Hotel Casino Carrasco – an imposing building overlooking the coast and filled with tradition and history. The return drive will be along the coast to see the long stretches of world-class beaches. Tour concludes at the Pier.

Santa Marta Columbia – finally dry land…

Ok after sailing all the way from Florida we docked in Columbia for the day. We had a great tour today seeing all there is to see in this port. Mac enjoyed himself, as you can see. In the picture he is sitting in a Banyan tree on the grounds where Simon Bolivar lived – yes himself!!! We got to see the last house he lived in, his bed and furniture too! We even got to sample some real Colombian fast food. Actually is was fun to try and educational too. Glad we had a guide to explain it all to us.
Well we are pulling away and I will lose this free internet connection if I don’t post now.
Tata until next time

Legend of Mt. Cotacachi and Mt. Imbabura

I started thinking about how much we were using the names of these Mountains and thought I would pass on a legend about them. Now I can’t credit where I found this out, because I have read so much and searched so much information about Ecuador, I really don’t know the source. Ok now for the Legend…

Mama Cotacachi (the mountain) is a pale-skinned woman with long white hair, and took care of the children at her feet [read the people in the villages]. She was married to Papa Imbabura. When they argued the thunderbolts fell.

Imbabura cheated on Cotacachi with Cayambe, a snow covered mountain to the south. He gave Cotacachi grain, but gave Cayambe rain and water.

When Cotacachi found out about Imbabura cheating on her she cried and those tears formed the lakes at the bottom of Cotacachi.
From the lake is the birth place of the Inca nation – but that is another legend for another day

Antigua – Guatemala

Antiqua

Antiqua

Just had to include a picture of the famous Arch in Antigua. What self respecting tourist wouldn’t? I can tell you first hand, I do a lot of self respecting too. Now to use some platitudes that usually accompany tourist pictures…

The pictures just don’t capture the natural charm of the city. Nor do they show that there are 45 churches and 43 convents in this little city that was so central to the foundation of settling Central America. The city dates back to the mid 1500’s I believe, March 10, 1543 if you want to be exact, (and you thought I don’t remember birthdays). Now back to the normal dry narration.

If you get a chance it is worth spending some time enjoying the city. There are MANY people trying to sell you things every time you turn around though. So the trick is DLAT (Don’t Look At Them). If you make eye contact with them or pause to look at what they have you are doomed to have them nagging you the rest of the day. So there you go.