On a previous article, “Heriberto Sedeno, M.D. Visits South America”,he recounted his experiences travelling on the cruise ship msVeendam that departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida in route toValparaiso, Chile. As he explains to us from Guayaquil, Ecuador thecruise ship continues its voyage to Trujillo, Peru. There he takes atour of the major archeological sites nearby. He visits “El Brujo”, amysterious archeological remnant of the Mochican culture. It islocated 20 miles north of Trujillo in the Valley of Chicama. “El Brujo”excavations began in 1990 and continue to this date. From there, hevisited the ruins of “Chan Chan” citadel, the most important culturalnucleus in the Chimu nation. This citadel is the largest adobe city inthe world and a UNESCO world heritage site.
Visit to CallaoThe next port of call is Callao, entry port to Lima, Peru. Lima was once considered as the Spanish government center in the New World. Its beautiful colonial palaces, museums and churches protect precious treasures. On a drive thru Lima, Heriberto Sedeno visits the modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores and the traditional district of Barranco facing the Pacific Ocean. On the way back to the piers of Callao, Dr. Sedeno visits the Pedro de Osma museum of colonial art and the Casa Solariega de Aliaga, perhaps Lima’s oldest house which is inhabited by descendants of Geronimo de Aliaga who was one of the first Spanish conquistadores to arrive in Peru. From Callao, the ms Veendam heads to Coquimbo, Chile.
Driving to Elqui ValleyAt Coquimbo Dr. Sedeno takes a shore excursion driving on the Pan American Highway heading to the Elqui Valley. This is an astonishingly fertile area at the very heart of an arid desert plateau irrigated by the Elqui river. From there, the Cerro Tololo Inter American Observatory is easily reached within a one-hour car ride. This amazing facility is the largest astronomical observatory in the Southern Hemisphere. After visiting the observatory, Dr. Sedeno headed to Vicuña the main town in the Elqui Valley where Gabriela Mistral, the Nobel Prize-winning poet was born in 1889.
final leg of cruiseOn the final leg of this cruise, the ms Veendam departs Coquimbo to Valparaiso. From this city’s hilly old town, Heriberto Sedeno takes an excursion to the fashionable resort of Vina del Mar. At this resort, he admires its best-known landmark, the famous floral clock and the impressive Casino built in the 1930’s surrounded by beautiful gardens. His tour continues to the Casa Blanca Valley famous for its vineyards and ends in Santiago de Chile.Santiago was founded by Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia on 12 February 1541.After this wonderful exploration of the main sites of Peru and Chile, Dr. Sedeno heads back home to Austin, Texas.