Paracas
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From Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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).

Ica: Ballestas Island & Paracas Reserve Private Tour

5. Ica: Ballestas Island & Paracas Reserve Private Tour

After a convenient hotel pickup, head to 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, hop back in the car for a convenient transfer back to your hotel in Ica or drop-off in Paracas (Hotel or bus station).

Paracas or Pisco: Private Huacachina Oasis Tour & Buggy Ride

6. Paracas or Pisco: Private Huacachina Oasis Tour & Buggy Ride

Start with pickup from your hotel and travel by private vehicle towards the city of Ica. On the way to Ica, visit a traditional vineyard where you will have the opportunity to learn more about traditional wines and the famous Pisco spirit, the national drink of Peru. Here, you will also have the opportunity to taste some of the products. Then, drive southwest towards Huacachina Oasis, a beautiful lagoon surrounded by palm trees and huge sand dunes with a spectacular view of Ica Valley and desert. Climb the sand dunes and enjoy one of the famous dune buggy tours. This tour will take 2 hours across the Ica desert, and you will also have a sandboard or sand-surfing lesson at the sand dunes. Finally, stop at the highest sand dune to enjoy the sunset. Return to Huacachina, where you can take a shower to wash off the sand, before returning to your hotel in Paracas.

From Paracas: Paracas National Reserve Private Tour

7. From Paracas: Paracas National Reserve Private Tour

Enjoy the convenience of the being picked up from your hotel in Paracas or Pisco and transferred to the Paracas National Reserve. The reserve was established in 1975 to protect the bird and marine of life of the Paracas Peninsula. Admire the stunning landscape of the peninsula, formed by a saline desert, islands, and the sea. See one to the largest sea lion colonies in the world. Marvel at the numerous birds along the coastline. Learn about the reserve by visiting the visitor center, which has exhibits about the local flora and fauna. Drive to an area where a great natural rock formation once stood known as the Cathedral. Unfortunately, the Cathedral was destroyed during a 2007 earthquake. Enjoy amazing views of the desert, the blue ocean, and thousands of sea birds. Visit Playa Roja and Lagunillas Beach. After your tour finishes, return to your hotel.

From Paracas: Private Buggy Tour with Desert Picnic

8. From Paracas: Private Buggy Tour with Desert Picnic

Start with a pickup from your hotel and travel by buggy to the California Desert and Costa Rica Lagoon, where you can stroll around the lagoon on foot, or explore by kayak. Enjoy the adrenaline with the buggy and practice sandboard 3 times with a teacher who will give you lessons on the basics. Afterward, a picnic will be waiting for you in the middle of the desert with red carpets, romantic candles, snacks, fruits of the season, dried fruits, and music to your liking. Relax during the sunset by a cozy bonfire with a waiter at your disposal if you need a refreshment such as beer, red wine, white wine, champagne, water, soda, or Pisco.

From San Martin Port: 2-Hour Ballestas Island

9. From San Martin Port: 2-Hour Ballestas Island

You will be met by your guide at 9:15 AM at San Martin Port, and then you will be transferred to Paracas town. At this point, you will meet the rest of the group and board a speedboat to begin your adventure to the stunning Ballestas Island. On the way, you will stop at Paracas Peninsula to see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the peninsula. No one knows for sure who did it or why. There are many hypotheses regarding its origins, some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still have found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. Afterward, head off to Ballestas Island, where you will enjoy a stunning world filled with birds and sea lions. Here, you will visit the three islands from an allowed distance, navigating some caves (this will depend on the conditions of the sea). On your return to the port, you will board a vehicle to drive toward San Martin Port. 

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What people are saying about Paracas

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 23 reviews

The experience was amazing and the service was excellent ! We could observe wildlife of the Balletas islands very closely and learn more about the Paracas culture, Juan was very nice and helpful with everything, and offered to plan the following days of our trip, giving us good tips and contacts in other cities !! We recommend 200% !!! We will definitely use GetYourGuide again :) thanks again Juan !

Joel was awesome! We were in Peru for a week and this was the coolest experience! From just the excellent customer service & knowledge that Joel provided, to transportation, to the activities we did throughout the day - everything was flawless! I would 10/10 recommend Joel & this whole activity to anyone & everyone. Can't say enough great things!

Joel was awesome! From just the excellent customer service & knowledge that Joel provided, to transportation, to the boat ride - everything was flawless! I would 10/10 recommend Joel & this whole activity to anyone & everyone. Can't say enough great things!

We were picked up at our hotel for this trip. Lots of communication beforehand so things went smoothly. We were met at the dock and given all our paperwork by the GetYourGuide people. The boat tour around the island was bilingual and very enjoyable.

I loved it! Everyone was so friendly and they took their time to explain everything. So much fun! High quality tour.