Ballestas Islands
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Ballestas Islands Day Trips

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 Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

2. 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.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis & Winery Tour

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina and Nazca Line Tour

6. From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina and Nazca Line Tour

Discover the best of the culture, nature, and wildlife of the Ica region on this all-encompassing tour. Start your tour at 4:30 AM with a freshly prepared, delicious breakfast box, on your journey from your hotel in Lima to the Ballestas Islands, where your guided tour begins. See the "chandelier", a geoglyph used as a reference point for travelers and sailors. Observe beautiful native species such as sea lion colonies and Humboldt penguins, as well as several guano birds. Learn about the importance of these islands to the Peruvian coast and observe other species such as cormorants, pelicans, seagulls, and many other unique species. Next, head to the airport for a flight over the Nazca Lines. After watching an informative video about the lines and their mysteries, board a Cessna plane and enjoy a 1.25-hour flight over the area. Your pilot will show you the location of these mysterious geoglyphs and tell you what they represent. After your flight, visit an artisanal winery and learn all about the production process of some of the best wines and piscos of the region. Enjoy samples of wines, piscos, and local liquors. Sit down to a delicious lunch at the winery before heading to your final stop of the day, the Oasis of Huacachina. Practice sandboarding on this unique oasis' sand dunes and get your adrenaline pumping with a V8 buggy ride through the dunes. Get dropped off back at your hotel in Lima at 9 PM.

Lima: 7-Day Inca Adventure with Flights

7. 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

8. 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.

From Lima: Ballestas Island & Huacachina Oasis Private Tour

9. From Lima: Ballestas Island & Huacachina Oasis Private Tour

Departing from Lima, this tour starts the adventure with an early morning hotel pick-up. The expert driver and local guide provides some background on the history and culture of the area as the tour drives to the first stop of Paracas. There a boat is waiting in the bay. The tour then takes you to the sea to explore the Pacific Ocean and see the local wildlife, including penguins and dolphins.  After breakfast in the port of Paracas, the tour will continue to the wine region of Ica. Upon arrival, guests will see the unforgettable sight of Huacachina, the oasis in the desert with a permanent population of only 100 people. Here you can enjoy the thrill and adrenaline rush of sandboarding and driving buggies on the dunes, as well as touring the stunning natural landscapes. Ica is world-famous for the drink Pisco, and the tour provides a full local lunch with Pisco and wine to accompany the meal. Once lunch is finished, the tour will then depart for the return trip to Lima. 

From Lima: Ballestas Islands & Nazca Lines with Meals

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Ballestas Islands Day Trips

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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 41 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!