Things to do in
Paracas

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Our most recommended things to do in Paracas

From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

1. From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

Your adventure begins with an early-morning pickup from your hostel or hotel. From here, travel to Paracas, a beautiful small town by the sea, on a spacious bus where you'll be able to relax for the 4-hour ride. Once in Paracas, begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, a smaller version of the Galapagos. Spot sea lions, penguins, and plenty of birds up close and all in their natural habitats. You may even get the chance to see a dolphin or two. Around lunchtime, it's time to move on from Paracas to Huacachina, a natural oasis located in the Ica Desert, home to the biggest sand dunes in South America. Enjoy some free time here. Explore and have lunch at one of the local restaurants around the oasis. Following lunch, it will be time for 2 hours of exhilarating dune buggy rides and sandboarding. Dune buggy up the sand dunes and sandboard down these giant hills of sands, a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the only natural desert oasis in South America. In the evening, board your bus back to Lima. Once onboard, sit back and relax on the comfortable seats while you enjoy a movie on board. You will later be dropped off directly at your hotel/hostel upon arrival in Lima.

From Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

2. From Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

After a convenient hotel pickup from either Paracas or Pisco, head to the Marina Turistica to start your islands adventure. Board a speedboat with your bilingual, Spanish and English-speaking guide, and jet out onto the sea towards the stunning Ballestas. Along the way, stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see the Candelabro, an enigmatic glyph carved into the side of the island — whose purpose, and creator, remain a mystery to this day. Afterwards, continue onwards towards the marine sanctuary of Ballestas. Gaze upon the rocky shores, filled to the brim with sunbathing seals and penguins diving into the turbid waters to hunt underneath the surface — all alongside other beautiful specimens, like majestic pelicans, and colorful blue-footed boobies. A protected habitat for the wide swathe of birds and sea-life that call these islands home, Ballestas is truly one of Peru’s natural treasures — and a speedboat tour around their shores is the best way to see the islands, and all they have to offer, up close.

From Paracas: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

3. From Paracas: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

After a convenient hotel pickup from either Paracas or Pisco, head to the Marina Turistica to start your adventure. Board a speedboat with your bilingual, Spanish and English-speaking guide, and jet out onto the sea towards the stunning Ballestas. Along the way, stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see the Candelabro, an enigmatic glyph carved into the side of the island — whose purpose, and creator, remain a mystery to this day. Afterwards, continue onwards towards the marine sanctuary of Ballestas. Gaze upon the rocky shores, filled to the brim with sunbathing seals, and penguins diving into the turbid waters to hunt underneath the surface — all alongside other beautiful specimens, like majestic pelicans, and colorful blue-footed boobies. You’ll then return to the Marina Turistica for a drive to Paracas National Reserve. An almost alien landscape, the Paracas National Reserve is composed of vast, sprawling deserts and high sandstone cliffs directly next to the bright, blue ocean. Driving through the reserve, see the Cathedral, an area where a vast rock formation once stood before being destroyed by a cataclysmic earthquake. Your tour caps things off with visits to Playa Roja and Lagunillas Beach, two stunning maroon-sand beaches that are truly one-of-a-kind. Having seen some of the world's most unique natural features, flora, and fauna, you'll hop back in the car for a convenient transfer back to your hotel.

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

4. Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

Your Paracas coastline adventure departs from the marina in the morning and then heads out onto the open blue waters of the ocean. The first stop of the tour is the famous El Candelabro, also known as the ‘Candelabra of the Andes’, a prehistoric geoglyph on the northern face of the Paracas Peninsula at Pisco Bay. Admire the imposing figure set into the landscape and learn more about the history of the geoglyph from your tour guide. The boat sails onto the Ballestas Islands next, a collection of biodiverse islets that are home to an array of protected and endangered animals and birds. From the boat, admire these beautiful islands and learn about the many marine species it houses, including the curious Humboldt penguins, the playful sea lions, and the exuberant colorful birds. Visitors to the islands are not permitted onto the land because it is a protected natural area, however there is plenty of time to see all that the islands have to offer from the comfort of the boat.

From Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

5. From Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

Pick up from your hotel within Ica/Huacachina between (7:00 am - 7:15 am), to drive towards the Marina Turistica to begin your adventure. Board a speedboat with your guide, and jet out onto the sea towards the stunning Ballestas. Stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see the Candelabro, an enigmatic glyph carved into the side of the island, whose purpose, and creator, remain a mystery to this day. Continue onwards towards the marine sanctuary of Ballestas. Gaze upon the rocky shores filled to the brim with sunbathing seals, and penguins diving into the turbid waters to hunt underneath the surface. See other beautiful specimens, like majestic pelicans, and colorful blue-footed boobies. Return to the Marina Turistica for a drive to Paracas National Reserve. Discover the almost alien landscape of the Paracas National Reserve, with vast sprawling deserts and high sandstone cliffs. Driving through the reserve, see the Cathedral, an area where a vast rock formation once stood before being destroyed by a cataclysmic earthquake. Visit the stunning maroon-sand beaches of Playa Roja and Lagunillas Beach. Having seen some of the world's most unique natural features, flora, and fauna, At the end of the tour will drive back to your hotel in Ica/Huacachina at 16:30 or drop off in Paracas at 15:00 pm (Hotel or bus station).

From Lima: Paracas Full Day Guided Tour

6. From Lima: Paracas Full Day Guided Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Lima at around 05:00 AM, all depents your location in Lima, where you will board the coach for a 03:30-hour journey to Paracas town. Before to get to Paracas, we will stop to have breakfast. On your arrival in Paracas, make your way to teh dock where you will board a speedboat to the Ballestas Islands. During your journey to Ballestas, see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the Peninsula. There are many hypotheses regarding its origin, some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. In the Ballestas Islands you will see a stunningly rugged world filled with birds and sea lions. You will navigate around the islands at a distance allowed, and depending on the sea conditions, visit nearby caves. Return to the port at 11am, and spend some time in Paracas where you will have free time for restrooms or short time to relax. Then, continue to the next destination, Huacachina oasis. Have a small break to prepare for your desert tour; then board a buggy for 1-hour adventure across the sand dunes that surround the water source. Return to Huacachina and have time for refreshment. Continue towards to traditional vineyard and taste the best of the local wine and Pisco or lunch at the wineyard restaurant, then Drive back to Lima arriving and drop off to your hotel. At around 21:30 or 22 pm In this one-day tour you will have an assistant guide on the trip and will help you with your concerns on your trip.

Paracas: Mini Buggy Ride in Paracas National Reserve

7. Paracas: Mini Buggy Ride in Paracas National Reserve

Pick-up will be from your hotel in Paracas to the tour company office. Then you will have a brief health and safety instruction about how to drive the automatic mini buggy. Afterwards, you will be given a vehicle for two persons (driver and co-pilot). Once ready, you will drive and follow the lead vehicle. As you drive along the Paracas Reserve, you will see the beauty and amazing colorful landscape, which makes it such an original place on the Peruvian Coast. You will be able to stop and see many points of interest to see the main attractions of Paracas Reserve. At the end of the tour, you will return to the company office and be transferred back to your hotel.

Lima: 2-Day Tour to Paracas, Pisco Vineyards, and Huacachina

8. Lima: 2-Day Tour to Paracas, Pisco Vineyards, and Huacachina

Day 1: Lima - Ballestas Islands - Huacachina Start with early pickup from your hotel in Lima or meeting point. Travel to Paracas, beautiful small town by the sea, on a 4-hour journey. Upon arrival in Paracas, begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands. These islands are said to be a smaller version of the Galápagos. See sea lions, penguins, birds, and even dolphins up close in their natural habitats. After the boat tour, head to Huacachina, the only desert oasis in South America. Spend 2 hours getting your thrills with dune buggying and sandboarding on some of the highest sand dunes. Then, transfer to your accommodation in Huacachina. Use your free time to grab some food or maybe a beer. Relax after an adrenaline-filled evening and rest up for the next day. Day 2: Huacachina - Lima Leave Huacachina and head off to a 2-hour pisco vineyard tour. See how pisco, Peru's national drink, is made from the grape to the bottle and try lots of free samples. Spend the whole day enjoying Huacachina. Catch some sun by the pool or grab some lunch around the oasis for the perfect end to this trip. Travel by air-conditioned bus back to Lima, and get dropped off either at your hotel or the original meeting point.

Ballestas Islands and Huacachina Oasis Half-Day Tour

9. Ballestas Islands and Huacachina Oasis Half-Day Tour

Begin your morning with a pickup from your hotel in Paracas or Piso and head to the Paracas Harbor. Here you'll board a speedboat to begin your adventure to the stunning Ballestas Island. On the way you will stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see a stunning design of the enigmatic El Candelabro drawn on the side of a hill on the peninsula. Afterwards, the speedboat will navigate towards to the Ballestas Islands, where you will see a stunning world filled with birds and sea lions. Visit up to three islands, depending on sea conditions, and explore their caves.  Head back to the port for a 40 minute break before boarding a vehicle to drive approximately one hour to go towards the city of Ica. On this portion of the tour you will visit a vineyard to have the opportunity to taste traditional wine and Pisco, the national drink of Peru. Learn about the history and production process of Pisco in one of the bodegas before heading to more sights. Later on you will visit the Cathedral of Senor de Luren, the main square and the Regional Museum of Ica, and an interesting building that houses the remains of the local ancient cultures. After spending time in Ica continue southwest towards the Huacachina Oasis, a beautiful lagoon surrounded by palm trees and huge sand dunes with a spectacular view of Ica Valley and desert. Here you will be able to climb the sand dunes and enjoy a dune buggy tour. After spending time in the sand you will return with a drop-off at your hotel.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis & Winery Tour

10. From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis & Winery Tour

Start your adventure by departing Lima in the early morning. Travel for around 300 km on the Pan-American highway until you reach Paracas Bay, a very important place for Peruvian history which is full of wildlife.  Enjoy a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands and watch out for birds, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. Then drive to drive to a small local winery to learn how Pisco is made and to enjoy a tasting. Stop at the Huacachina Oasis, and take some time to eat lunch and walk around. Test your skills at sandboarding for an additional cost or just enjoy free time at the pool drinking Pisco Sours. At the end of the adventure, head back to Lima via the same route.

Other Sightseeing Options in Paracas

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What people are saying about Paracas

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 354 reviews

We have chosen this trip two days before our departure from Lima as a farewell trip. On the site it was written pickup from San Isidro but the application didn’t wanted to accept our Hotel. We have booked the meeting place version but asked customers service for help. They were prompt and soon have received mail about the hotel pickup. So fine so good. In the morning bus was in front of hotel 10 minutes earlier then they have promised amd have continued the pickups which have taken a long time because the bus was big enough. The tour guide Diego was very helpful and has given us a lot of information about tour, lunch and so on. Balestas islands were beautiful also the experience with the buggies in the desert was exciting. Here I would suggest to change the meeting point because after we have walked around the lagoon and came back to the meeting point we had to go one more time round the lagoon to go up to the buggies. Thank you Peruhop and Diego

I expected this to be good but not this great. My guides were the best. They really explained me every detail of our tour and made sure it was special. They really went out of their way to make this an unforgettable day. I have 0 complaints. This tour was flawless . Thanks again Amigos!

I'm speechless, it was by far the best tour I did in Peru, thanks to everyone involved, especially Get Your Guide for the excellence in partnerships, our guide Ricardo gave a great explanation and language, impeccable in both (Spanish and English ), not to mention the good mood.

A must do despite the journey to and from. The various birds including penguins, sea lions and even orange crabs in their natural habitat was breathtaking.

Was a great day trip. Saw penguins and sealions on the islands