Ballestas Islands
Culture & History

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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: Ballestas Islands and Tambo Colorado Tour

3. From Paracas: Ballestas Islands and Tambo Colorado Tour

Start with convenient pickup from your hotel in either Paracas or Pisco before heading 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 land 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 colourful blue-footed boobies. Return to the Marina Turistica for a drive to the Inca settlement of Tambo Colorado. Most-likely built at the end of the 15th century, the site was ruled by the Inca Emperor Pachacutec. Wander around the site with your guide and admire the decorated surfaces and structure that has survived remarkably well over the centuries, thanks to the dry climate of the region. The site was built in the typical Incan design, with recessed trapezoidal niches and a rectangular floor plan. Learn about the styles of architecture from this historical period, and the cultural influences from the Ayacucho and Cusco people. Explore the site’s ceremonial plazas, platforms, and houses, as well as the main building known as La Fortaleza. Listen to your guide explain the heritage of the site, that is believed to have been used as an administrative, ceremonial, and military center which controlled the main road from the coast to the highlands. The site was also used as a resting place for many of the Inca army soldiers across the local territory.

Lima: 7-Day Inca Adventure with Flights

4. 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: Ballestas Islands & Nazca Lines with Meals

5. From Lima: Ballestas Islands & Nazca Lines with Meals

Wake up early for pick-up from your hotel at 4:30 AM and travel to the Paracas National Reserve. Enjoy a breakfast box on the way there. Board the first boat to Ballestas Islands and admire the scenery of Paracas Bay, keeping an eye out for wildlife like sea lions, seagulls and penguins.  Travel to the aerodrome of Ica and watch an informative video on the history of the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jump on to a Cessna 208 Caravan plane and fly over the ancient geoglyphs, to view them from above. Take pictures of the whale, astronaut, monkey, hummingbird and many more of the geoglyphs. Head to a traditional Peruvian restaurant and choose between a creole or seafood lunch, complemented with drinks. Indulge yourself with a wine tasting as well as traditional pisco, famously made in the region.  Return to Lima at 7:00 PM.

Lima: 9-Day Peru Express with Ica, Cusco, and Puno

6. Lima: 9-Day Peru Express with Ica, Cusco, and Puno

Day 1: Arrival in Lima, City Tour Your tour will begin as you are picked up from the airport, after which you will begin a city tour. That evening you will stay at the Miramar Hotel or similar in Lima. Day 2: Paracas, Ica, and Huacachina with Buggies and Sandboarding Visit the Ballestas Islands, Candelabrum, before a wine and Pisco demonstration in Ica city. Later that day, take part in riding buggies and sandboarding in Huacachina. That evening you will once again stay at the Miramar Hotel or similar in Lima. Day 3: Arrival to Cusco On your third day you will arrive to Cusco, where you will have a free day for acclimatizing. That evening you will lodge in the Cusco Jungle Hotel or similar. Day 4: Chinchero, Maras, and Moray in the Sacred Valley of the Incas Begin with a visit to the Chinchero textile center, before moving onward to the archaeological sites in Chinchero and Moray. Following that, you will tour the salt mines in Maras before lodging at the Golden Sunrise Hotel or similar in Aguas Calientes. Day 5: Machu Picchu Inca Citadel On day 5 you will explore the breathtaking Machu Picchu, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the world. Following a full day at this sacred site, you will overnight at the Cusco Jungle Hotel or similar. Day 6: Humanatay Lake On your sixth day you will trek to Humantay Lake, which is close to the snowy Salkantay mountain. That evening you will once again lodge in the Cusco Jungle Hotel or similar. Day 7: Rainbow Mountain Trek to Rainbow Mountain, which is very close to the highest mountain of Cusco: the Ausangate Mountain. Following your day of hiking, you will return once more to the Cusco Jungle Hotel or similar to overnight. Day 8: Route of the Sun On day 8 you will take a touristic bus between Cusco and Puno. Throughout this journey you will visit the Andahuaylillas Chapel, Raqchi Archaeological Complex, La Raya Pass, and the Lithic Museum of Pukara. That evening you will stay at the Royal Inn or similar. Day 9: Titicaca Lake and the Uros and Taquile Islands On your final day you will take a speed boat tour of Lake Titicaca, before exploring the Uros and Taquile Islands. In the afternoon, you will transfer to the airport where your tour will conclude.

Ballestas Islands and Tambo Colorado from San Martin Port

7. Ballestas Islands and Tambo Colorado from San Martin Port

Meet your guide at 9:15 AM at San Martin Port and enjoy a transfer to Paracas town. Here you will meet the rest of the group and board a speedboat to begin the adventure to the stunning Ballestas Island. On the way you will stop at the Paracas peninsula to see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the Peninsula. Nobody knows for sure who did it or why. Afterwards, you'll head off to Ballestas Island, where you will see a stunning world filled with birds and sea lions. Here, visit the three islands at a distance and explore some caves, depending on the condition of the sea. On your return to the port, you drive towards Pisco town for a sightseeing tour. Then, travel east to finally arrive at the well preserved Inca Fortress of Tambo Colorado. Tambo Colorado was an Inca settlement and was most likely built at the end of the 15th century and was ruled by the Inca Emperor Pachacutec. The site consists of several structures around a large central plaza. The central plaza is shaped like a trapezoid with its largest side being 150 meters long. Because of the mild local climate, many of the buildings' original colors have been preserved, helping experts reconstruct the site. Finally you will return to San Martin Port to rejoin your ship.

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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 11 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.

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.

The experience is very good, Mr. Edwin, our guide, knew too much about history and culture, which made the tour very enriching. The agency super aware of everything

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

It was very good, we recommend it. Very interesting and we saw a lot. And very good attention.