0 comments on “An Insider’s Look at the Nazca Lines

An Insider’s Look at the Nazca Lines

Located in a dramatically dry plateau about 250 miles from Lima in Peru’s Nazca Desert, the Nazca Lines are a mysterious collection of etchings that can be admired from a bird’s-eye view. These etchings, called geoglyphs, were carved into the desert ground thousands of years ago.

First Discovery
This UNESCO World Heritage site was first discovered in the 1920s when a commercial airline flew over the land and passengers mentioned that they saw images on the desert floor. The lines weren’t officially noted until 1939 when American professor Dr. Paul Kosok flew over the desert on a mission to study the irrigation systems of pre-Inca civilizations. The symbols were so exceptional that geologists took interest and have been studying the secrets of these lines for decades. The lack of rain has largely protected these desert drawings from erosion for thousands of years.

The Great Mystery
Today, there are about 300 figures, including animals, plants and shapes, that compose the Nazca Lines. This site has come to be recognized as one of the most perplexing archaeological discoveries in the world. The drawings were created by people in ancient civilizations starting in 200 B.C. and continuing for hundreds of years. The mystery of the lines centers on the reason they were created. Some claim that the lines were created by aliens to be viewed from space, while others say they were made for ancient astronauts. Still more propose that they were created for pilgrims to follow towards temples and others cite water rituals as the central purpose for the lines.

When you travel to Pisco, Peru, experience the intrigue of this UNESCO site firsthand – choose the Nazca Lines Overflight excursion, which takes you soaring over the desert for incredible views of these famous lines. No one knows the truth about the secrets of this site, so enjoy the flight as you ponder the mysteries and come to your own conclusion.

1 comment on “Uncover Bliss in South America, Australia & New Zealand: New Wellness Tours”

Uncover Bliss in South America, Australia & New Zealand: New Wellness Tours

Last month, we shared a few of our exciting new Wellness Tours Inspired by Canyon Ranch across Asia. This month our focus turns toward South America, Australia & New Zealand, with rejuvenating and immersive experiences everywhere from a rainforest village outside of Cairns and geothermal mud baths in Tauranga to a serene island hideaway in Argentina.
Below is a look at our top experiences across South America, Australia and New Zealand. Click the tour name to view the complete shore excursion description and availability, and here to explore the full collection.


Buenos Aires, Argentina
El Descanso Island: Labyrinth of Streams


Cruise to an enchanted island and spend the day at a serene hideaway that art collector Claudio Stamato created more than two decades ago to fulfill his passion for nature, art and the wonder of life. Stroll through a botanical wonderland, crossing bridges such as the Angel of Love, where you may see graceful willows, a maze of bamboo, colorful hydrangeas, and perhaps even a ceibo, the national flower of Argentina. Later, relax with an outdoor yoga class then dine on healthy cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients.

Lima (Callao), Peru
Healthy Peruvian Cooking Class

Learn the key to preparing healthy Peruvian dishes with a local chef and enjoy authentic regional dishes. As you explore one of the city’s most popular markets guide by a chef, you’ll uncover an incredible variety of exotic fruit and vegetables, such as lucuma, cherimoya and many others. Discover the subtleties of Peruvian cuisine by preparing several dishes yourself, using ingredients that pre-Columbian people used centuries ago. Delve into Peruvian gastronomy as you gain insight on the country’s superfoods such as quinoa, cacao and maca.

Manta, Ecuador
Beach Yoga and Cooking Class at Las Tanusas Eco-Retreat


Enjoy a relaxing yoga session on an eco-friendly and secluded beach resort, Las Tunusas, while listening to the sounds of the gently lapping waves and tropical birds. Enjoy the healthy, stress-free natural setting, intended to elicit a sense of well-being and a connection with the inner self. In a hands-on cooking class at the BocaValdivia restaurant, learn how to prepare Ecuadorian cuisine, which traces its roots to more than 10,000 years ago. Then savor your dish of organically grown seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, and seafood that was harvested using ancient fishing techniques.

Santiago de Chile (San Antonio), Chile
Wellness and Mindfulness at Viña Casa Marin

Practice yoga, pranayama breathing and mindful meditation at a picturesque boutique winery, Viña Casa Marin, where you will also learn about its history and micro-terroirs. With the help of a professional instructor, learn about meditation techniques used to calm the mind, revitalize the body and increase positive energy. Later, a chef and sommelier will guide you through their selections of their top dishes and wines for you to savor.


Cairns, Australia
Qigong in Rainforest Village


Practice the Chinese exercise qigong in the picturesque rainforest village of Kuranda, which provides an excellent and spectacularly serene location for practicing the slow tai chi-like workout. The goal of this technique is to “master your energy,” which is how the word “qigong” is sometimes translated. Much like yoga and tai chi, qigong is a mind-body exercise, which is known for encouraging a calm, meditative state of mind. After class, browse the shops in Kuranda, where you can find hand-crafted jewelry, locally produced fashions, colorful artwork and traditional goods such as boomerangs and didgeridoos.

Sydney, Australia
Tai Chi with Harbour Views and Sydney

Practice tai chi on the lawn of the Royal Botanic Garden, a tranquil setting overlooking the Sydney Harbour. This graceful form of exercise, originally developed in China for self-defense, is practiced today to reduce stress and anxiety and to increase flexibility and balance. Often described as “meditation in motion,” the gentle flowing movements of this instructor-led practice can be followed by almost anyone. After class, take in the magnificent views of the Harbour, the iconic Sydney Opera House, the vibrant quarter known as Kings Cross, and The Rocks, the historical city center and birthplace of Sydney.

Rotorua (Tauranga), New Zealand
Hells Gate Mud Bath Retreat


Relax in a revitalizing mud bath at Hells Gate thermal park, a place of healing and revitalization where the native Maori have lived for centuries. Emerge from the heated, nutrient-rich mud with your skin feeling silky smooth and rejuvenated as the mud naturally exfoliates, detoxifies and polishes your skin. Try the several different types of geothermal mud, which have been used to treat arthritis, rheumatism and burns. You’ll also enjoy a unique lunch cooked in a mud pool, a variation of cooking in a “hangi” or earth oven, which the Maori traditionally do with heated rocks.

Inspired? Explore our complete collection of Wellness Tours Inspired by Canyon Ranch here by selecting Wellness Tours.

1 comment on “3 Amazon Experiences Not to Miss”

3 Amazon Experiences Not to Miss

Christine ManjencicThe Amazon River is a wild and untamed region of the world whether you’re exploring it for the first time or have cruised up and down it many times like our Vice President of Destination Services, Christine Manjencic. After sailing the Amazon more than 20 times, she’s become intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of sailing this remote part of the world – and yes, she assures us, it is still very remote. Below are the top experiences Christine tells us you really shouldn’t miss during one of our Amazon cruises.

0 comments on “Guest Post: Dogsledding Adventure in Juneau”

Guest Post: Dogsledding Adventure in Juneau

Alaska is a fascinating destination filled with unspoiled wilderness and natural wonders. Our expertly crafted shore excursions invite you to immerse yourself in the region and truly embrace the landscape and culture that surrounds you. Two of our guests, Greg & Joan R., recently shared their memorable dogsledding experience in Juneau from their Alaska cruise last summer. Read about their excursion below – the perfect inspiration to begin planning your own Alaska voyage.

1 comment on “Expert Photo Tips for Tours and Shore Excursions”

Expert Photo Tips for Tours and Shore Excursions

Who doesn’t wish they could better capture the colorful and unique moments of their travels?  David Smith, a world travel & fine art photographer from Vancouver, will join Insignia as a photo coach on several segments of the Around the World in 180 Days voyage. His recent publications include the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, Geo Saison Magazine and USA Today Travel Online. Below, he and his wife, Anna, share simple and effective tips for taking better photos on shore excursions.