Ballestas Islands
Birdwatching

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Our most recommended Ballestas Islands Birdwatching

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

1. 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 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.

From Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

3. 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 Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

4. From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

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 head to Pisco Airport and take a 45-minute flight over the Palpa desert to see the Nazca Lines. 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.

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).

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis, Desert Buggy

6. From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis, Desert Buggy

See the desert oasis and natural hotspots on a full-day tour from Lima. Sail to Ballestas Island to see colonies of sea lions and penguins. Explore Huacachina Oasis and do dune a buggy tour in the desert. After pickup, head south to make your way to Islas Ballesta's unique natural place. These rocky islands, located off the Pacific coast of Peru, are perfect for animal lovers. Spot several birds and mammals including penguins, sea lions, and pelicans in this wildlife haven. Enjoy the rugged coastline of soaring cliffs, rocky beaches, and remote sea caves. Check out the enigmatic Paracas Candelabra, a giant prehistoric geoglyph in the Paracas Peninsula at Pisco Bay. Continue to Huacachina to see its beautiful oasis. Relax in the lap of nature surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Enjoy your day in the desert, taking a dune buggy tour, so much fun. Soak in the spectacular landscape formed by a lagoon of emerald green waters and large dunes.

Ballestas Islands: Boat Excursion Shared Tour

7. Ballestas Islands: Boat Excursion Shared Tour

Explore the variety of marine life in the spectacular Ballestas Islands, in the South Coast of Peru. Board the boat from Paracas port and see the many caves and arches that have eroded over time, providing shelter to thousands of seabirds and sea lions, all the while admiring the amazing scenery of the Paracas peninsula along the way. See the El Candelabro, a large-scale geoglyph similar to those of the Nazca Lines. Take some photos, while your guide explains the different theories on who created this enigmatic figure. Observe other animals up close, like penguins and pelicans among others. During the tour of the islands, your guide will explain the different species seen, while you enjoy the glorious sunny day and the light breeze.

From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour

8. From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour

Your tour begins with pickup from your accommodation in Paracas from where you transfer to the public dock. From there, move around the island in a comfortable boat whilst receiving explanations on board from your professional guide. You can observe the beauty of the island with its impressive fauna, and can also see El Candelabro - a large geoglyph which serves as a beacon for sailors. This geoglyph is related to the lines and geoglyphs of Nazca and Pampas de Jumana. The arrival of tourists to these islands is forbidden in order to avoid disturbing the animals that live there. Boats however can venture close enough to allow their occupants to enjoy the beauty of these animals. Following the completion of your 2-hour round-trip circuit, travel back to your tour starting point.

Lima: 7-Day Inca Adventure with Flights

9. Lima: 7-Day Inca Adventure with Flights

Day 1: Arrival to Lima and City Tour Upon your arrival to Lima, your representative will be waiting with a sign stating your name. From there you'll be transferred to your respective hotel where you can check-in. You'll soon begin a city tour through Lima, which will begin with panoramic views of the Pucllana Pyramid or Huaca Pucllana, the historical center of Lima. It will be there that you can appreciate more than fifty monuments and colonial buildings, and once the tour has finished you'll return to your hotel. Day 2: Paracas, Ica, and Huacachina with Buggies and Sandboarding Day 2 begins with pickup from your hotel between 4:30AM to 5:00AM. You will begin with a trip to the Paracas Peninsula to visit the Ballestas Islands, which are a national reserve. From there, continue your trip to the city of Ica for a demonstration with wines and traditional Pisco of the valley. Following that, you will taste a typical local lunch according to the menu of the day. You will then travel for approximately 30 minutes to the oasis of Huacachina, where you will enjoy the adrenaline of riding buggies and sandboards. After this great adventure, you will return back to Lima in your private transportation. Day 3: Arrival to Cusco According to your flight schedule in Cusco, your representative will be waiting for you at the Cusco Airport. From there, your day will be spent by you acclimatizing to Cusco's altitude. Day 4: Chinchero, Maras, and Moray You will begin day 4 between 8:00AM and 8:30AM, at which point you will travel to the colorful town of Chinchero. There you will learn about Andean fabrics in a textile interpretation center, before continuing onward to the famous circular cultivation terraces in Moray. After that, descend towards the salt mines in Maras where you will visit the more than 3,000 wells of salt. Finally, you will travel to Ollantaytambo Station where you will board your train to Aguas Calientes. Day 5: Machu Picchu Citadel On day 5 you will encounter one of the 7 Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu. You'll begin by taking the bus from Aguas Calientes, as your tour guide provides you with all the information before your 2-hour tour through this Inca citadel. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo, from where you will be transferred to Cusco by private transportation. Day 6: Rainbow Mountain Between 4:30AM and 5:00AM, your transportation will pick you up from your hotel from where you will drive for 3 hours in the direction of Rainbow Mountain. Following breakfast, you will drive for another 45 minutes to begin your 2-hour trek. Upon reaching the top of the "Mountain of Colors", you will have enough time to take the photographs and enjoy the landscape. In addition, you will also be able to appreciate the highest snow peak in Cusco: Ausangate Mountain. Day 7: Airport Transfer On the final day of your tour, you will be taken to Cusco Airport, at which point your tour will conclude.

From Lima: Paracas National Reserve & Ballestas Islands Tour

10. From Lima: Paracas National Reserve & Ballestas Islands Tour

After pickup, head to the south to discover unique landscapes where the desert, the islands and the sea all meet. Make a brief stop for a delicious breakfast and continue the journey. Then, go to Paracas dock to take a speed boat to the Ballestas Islands. Explore the rocky islands and discover the rich marine fauna. Take photos of sea lions and many types of birds such as penguins. Don't miss the enigmatic Candelabro Geoglyph, used as a navigational guide by ancient cultures. After your tour of the island, visit the impressive and isolated Paracas National Reserve. This natural reserve is part of the Guinness World Record for the driest desert on earth. Admire the stunning landscape of the peninsula. Learn all about dessert formation from your expert guide. If you are lucky you might see the great pink flamingos. Then, return to your hotel in Lima.

Frequently asked questions about Ballestas Islands Birdwatching

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ballestas Islands

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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 35 reviews

Very well organized tour! Very caring and friendly tour guides ( speak English very well) . Tour guides who love there country and will show you the best of it . Thank you very much specially to Herlin ! It is the beautiful country! All hotel clean and located in center. I would really recommend this tour and this company. We really enjoy it! Thank you to make it happen smoothly and safe in this difficult time of Covid.

Had an excellent experience on this trip to Ballestas, Oachachina and the Nazca lines. Was worth every penny and a real highlight of my trip. Both guides (Rudi was one of them, the other I can't remember your name, v sorry!) were very knowledegable, professional and affable. I'd highly recommend this day trip to others!

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!

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!

Exelent tour ! Very organized! Help 24/7! All guides very polite and caring. Hotel according prize 3* but very clean and in the center. Thank you very much! We really enjoy the trip.