Ballestas Islands
National Parks

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Our most recommended Ballestas Islands National Parks

From Paracas: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

1. 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.

Ica: Ballestas Island & Paracas Reserve Private Tour

2. 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

3. 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: Paracas National Reserve & Ballestas Islands Tour

4. 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 San Martin: Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserve

5. From San Martin: Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserve

Meet your guide at 9:15 AM at San Martin Port, from where you will travel to Paracas town to meet the rest of the group and board the speedboat to begin this adventure to the stunning Ballestas Islands. 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. Some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines, but still found no proof or evidence that can define its creation.  Afterwards head off to Ballestas Island where you will enter a world filled with birds and sea lions. Here you will see the three islands and, if conditions allow, navigate in some caves. On your return to the port, you will board a vehicle towards Paracas Reserve. At Paracas Reserve you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Reserve by visiting the interpretation center, an interesting building that explains all the fauna, flora, and many other important facts about the Paracas Peninsula through photographic displays. Then you will be driven through the lifeless desert until the area where once a great natural rock formation stood, known as the Cathedral, which was destroyed during the 2007 earthquake. From this place you will have amazing views of the desert and the blue ocean and after, you will visit Playa Roja and Lagunillas beach for some refreshment. Finally you will return to San Martin Port to rejoin your ship.

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.

Frequently asked questions about Ballestas Islands National Parks

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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 12 reviews

It was simply magical!! A big thank you to our guide and our super driver for this very rich private tour. We greatly appreciated your time and your patience, but especially the knowledge that you imparted to us.

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.

Everything was amazing!!!!!!! Yuri our driver and guide was excellent!!!