Ballestas Islands
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Ballestas Islands Cruises & Boat Tours

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 Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

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

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis & Winery Tour

7. 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.

Ica: Ballestas Island & Paracas Reserve Private Tour

8. 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).

Ballestas Islands: Boat Excursion Shared Tour

9. 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 Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis, Desert Buggy

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Ballestas Islands Cruises & Boat Tours

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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 17 reviews

This was so dope! The tour was extremely communicative about pickup and details given we were going easter weekend. We had plenty of time to explore paracas and huacachina - and seeminlgy unlike a lot of other groups were ablt to make it on the boats to see the ballestas islands The bus was clutch as the seats reclined and we were able to sleep the whole time in transit. The activities in Huacachina were so much fine and i'd absolutely recommend this to anyone

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!

The experience was great but had a stressful start because the one of our bookings the guide didn't have, and the booking said Id card or passport, so we took our id's and we're told we needed passport. The guide was great and made it work but stressful start

An entire day packed full of fun! Definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

Si tienes poco tiempo en Lima es una excelente opción!