Ballestas Islands
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Our most recommended Ballestas Islands Rentals

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.

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From Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

2. 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.

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From Paracas: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

3. 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.

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

4. 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.

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Lima: Luxury Bus Tour to Paracas & Hacienda San Jose Tunnels

5. Lima: Luxury Bus Tour to Paracas & Hacienda San Jose Tunnels

After hotel pickup in Lima between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM, depart for Paracas, a beautiful town on the sea. Travel on a spacious luxury bus and relax for the 4-hour ride. Once in Paracas, take a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, a smaller version of the Galapagos Islands. You'll see sea lions, penguins, and plenty of birds up close and in their natural habitat. If you're lucky, you may even see a dolphin or two. Next up, begin a 2-hour tour of the Paracas National Reserve, one of South America's largest protected desert reserves and home to over 400 species of flora and fauna. In this stunning Pacific-coastline location, the desert meets the ocean. Following the reserve, travel by bus to the Hacienda San Jose in Chincha to explore its underground tunnels. Learn about the history of this ex-sugar plantation and the tunnels that lay beneath it on a 1-hour tour. Finally, on the trip back to Lima, sit back and relax on the comfortable seats while you enjoy a movie onboard. At the conclusion of your journey, you will be dropped off directly to your hotel/hostel.

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From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour

6. 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.

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Lima: Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands Tour

7. Lima: Paracas National Reserve and 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.

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From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina and Nazca Line Tour

8. 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.

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Lima: 3-Day Tour to Paracas, Ballestas Islands & Huacachina

9. Lima: 3-Day Tour to Paracas, Ballestas Islands & Huacachina

Day 1: Lima - Chincha - Paracas Pickup from your hotel or hostel in Lima. Stop at Chincha for a tour of the secret slave tunnels. Walk around the tunnels that were used to illegally smuggle slaves during the 17th century. After the tour, continue to Paracas, a small beach town, where you will have the rest of the day to explore. Overnight in Paracas. Day 2: Paracas - Ballestas Islands - Huacachina Leave your hotel and embark on a 2-hour boat tour to the Ballestas Islands. These islands are known to be a smaller version of the Galápagos, and you will have the chance to see sea lions, penguins, birds, and even dolphins up close in their natural habitats. After the boat tour, go on a 2-hour tour of the Paracas National Reserve, which is one of South America's largest protected desert regions and home to more than 400 species of flora and fauna. Discover a stunning landscape where the vast desert meets the Pacific Ocean.  After that, it's time to head to Huacachina, the only desert oasis in South America. Experience 2 hours of exhilarating dune buggying and sandboarding on some of the continent's highest sand dunes. Overnight in Huacachina. Day 3: Huacachina - Pisco Vineyard or Nazca Lines - Lima Option with Pisco Vineyard: Join a 2-hour vineyard tour and see how Pisco, Peru's national drink, is made. Follow the process from grape to bottle and try different samples of Pisco. After, you will have the whole day to explore the desert oasis of Huacachina. Later travel by bus back to Lima.  Option with Nazca Lines: Take a private mini bus to go to Nazca to fly for 30 minutes over the mysterious Nazca Lines. After the flight, have some free time in Nazca to discover some of its landmarks, like the Plaza de Armas. Take the bus back to Huacachina, rest and get ready for the bus back to Lima.

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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.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ballestas Islands

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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

We thoroughly enjoyed this day trip to Paracas and Huacachina! Paracas is a really interesting area with lots of wildlife. We went in November so the boat ride was a little cold so be sure to be mindful of the weather. Huacachina was so much fun! Definitely the highlight of the day was sandboarding. You have time when you arrive to town to walk around and explore a bit before the sandboarding starts. We did the day trip, but Huacachina seemed like a fun town to overnight in. I believe this group also offered overnight trips.

The experience was amazing and the service was excellent ! We could observe wildlife of the Balletas islands very closely and learn more about the Paracas culture, Juan was very nice and helpful with everything, and offered to plan the following days of our trip, giving us good tips and contacts in other cities !! We recommend 200% !!! We will definitely use GetYourGuide again :) thanks again Juan !

Fue una excelente experiencia, Sandra y Alex nos recogieron y explicaron el viaje y nos ayudaron en Paracas, en nuestro caso nos quedamos en Huacachina y ahí nuestro guía fue Christian, la pasamos muy bien, fue de gran ayuda, muy amable en todo momento y muy divertida toda la experiencia. El transporte es bastante cómodo y no tuvimos ninguna complicación durante el viaje.

This was one of my favorite travel days ever! Communication was wonderful and the tour was overall very punctual. Alex was also a fantastic tour guide. He is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and generally just great fun to be around. The dune buggying + Sandboarding was the true highlight - great fun all around!

Sam was a great guide, she explained to us on what to expect in this trip and give us tips for local restaurants.