Ballestas Islands
Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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Our most recommended Ballestas Islands Safaris & Wildlife Activities

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis, Desert Buggy

1. 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: Full-Day Tour of Islas Ballestas and Huacachina

2. From Lima: Full-Day Tour of Islas Ballestas and Huacachina

Start your day bright and early at 4:00 AM with a convenient pickup from your accommodation in Lima City. From here, enjoy a scenic 4 hour trip to Paracas (Ballestas Islands). Once you arrive, you will board the 'sliders', from which, you'll be able to appreciate the iconic Candelabro de Paracas geoglyph. This tour will allow you to marvel at the diversity of marina fauna once you arrive at the National Reserve. Keep an eye out for Sea lions, Guaneras Birds, Humbolt Penguins, just to name a few. Continue on your tour and head into the city of Ica where you will visit the Haciendas Pisqueras, a place where they produce the National drink of Peru, "El Pisco". Here, you will be able to taste a diverse range of wines and Pisco, also in the Hacienda, you will get some time to stop for a bite to eat.  After you've eaten, proceed to the Oasis of Huacachina, a natural lagoon surrounded by palm trees and desert dunes. You'll also have the chance to partake in adventure sports such as buggy driving and sand boarding. This is a perfect place to take some truly memorable holiday photos, so don't forget to bring your camera. After this experience, head to the city of Lima for a convenient drop off back at your accomodation. 

From Lima: Paracas National Reserve & Ballestas Islands Tour

3. 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 Paracas or Pisco: Ballestas Islands Private Boat Trip

4. From Paracas or Pisco: Ballestas Islands Private Boat Trip

A protected habitat for the rich array of birds and animals that call these islands home, Ballestas is one of Peru’s natural treasures. See the islands up close on a speedboat tour around the shores. Make a stop at the Paracas Peninsula to observe the Candelabra glyph. After a convenient hotel pickup from Paracas or Pisco, head to the Marina Turistica to start your island adventure. Board a private speedboat with your guide, and jet out onto the sea towards the stunning Ballestas. Along the way, stop at the seaside hill of Paracas Peninsula to see the Candelabra, an enigmatic pre-historic glyph etched into the side of the island—whose purpose, and creator, remain a mystery to this day. Afterward, continue towards the marine sanctuary of Ballestas. Gaze upon the rocky shores, filled to the brim with sunbathing seals. Watch penguins dive into the turbid waters to hunt underneath the surface—all alongside other beautiful creatures, like pelicans, and blue-footed boobies. After an exclusive tour of the islands tailored for just you and your group, be taken back to your hotel or be dropped off around Paracas.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Paracas Reserve & Museum Tour

5. From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Paracas Reserve & Museum Tour

Prepare yourself for an early morning pickup from your hotel in Lima at 4:30 AM. Travel south towards the desert area and coastal region of the Paracas National Reserve. Enjoy a fresh box for breakfast and arrive at Paracas at 7:40 AM. Upon arrival at Paracas, head towards the main port to board the first boat of the day to the Ballestas Islands. Admire the scenery of the Bay of Paracas and Punta Pejerrey en route to the natural habitat of sea lions, seagulls, penguins and other wildlife species. See the incredible "Paracas Candelabra", geoglyph related to the Nazca lines. Its significance is still a mystery. Get a detailed explanation of the history and importance of the Paracas National Reserve, established in 1975 as the oldest marine reserve in Peru. Visit key attractions on the reserve such as the Interpretation Center, the Flamingo Viewpoint, the Cathedral, and beautiful beaches like Playa Lagunillas, Playa Roja, and Playa Yumaque.  Continue the tour with a guided visit to the Paracas Museum. Learn interesting facts about local culture as you explore rooms filled pottery, textiles, and mysterious elongated skulls. Finally, enjoy a fresh seafood lunch in an ocean-view restaurant before beginning your trip back to Lima.

From San Martin: Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserve

6. 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.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Winery & Huacachina Oasis Tour

7. From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Winery & Huacachina Oasis Tour

Depart Lima very early in the morning at 04:30 AM and travel south in a bus while having breakfast and entertainment on board. Arrive at Paracas at 07:30 AM and board a boat to the Ballestas Islands. Discover an uninhabited wilderness rich in marine fauna and animals such as the blue-footed booby, guanay guano bird, Humboldt penguins, sea lions and fur seals. Return to Paracas and take a look at the Candelabro geoglyph on the way. It is thought that it was used as a navigational guide and is part of Nazca culture.  Next, go on a winery tour and taste some of the best wines and piscos (the official Peruvian drink) in all their varieties. Then, enjoy a delicious peruvian lunch with drinks included. Explore the sand dunes and oasis of Huacachina. This is a great place to practice sandboarding and experience extreme buggy rides in the desert with V8 modified vehicles. Get a perfect view of the sunset in the middle of the desert and finally, taste the local sweet of Ica, chocotejas. Return to Lima around 03:00 PM and arrive back to your hotel before 07:00 PM.

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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 31 reviews

Booked this just one hour before the scheduled tour, they were prompt in responding to my booking immediately, from picking us from hotel till dropping us back everything went great. Special appreciation to our guide Alexander who explained about the Ballestas island, paracas and lot of general history of the land with so much details and without any rush!! Highly recommended.

Great experience. Pick up was on time and well organized. Boat driver was great maneuvering so passengers on each side had equal time viewing each site. Guide was informative and clear. Amazing to see so many birds and sea lions up close. The tour into the dessert reserve was equally enjoyable. Such desolate beauty.

We had a wonderful experience! The tour to Islas Ballestas is too beautiful. A huge variety of birds and cute penguins and sea lions. Huacachina has a beautiful natural beauty. The buggy ride is radical, better prepare yourself. Our guide Saul was very attentive and polite.

Tour guide was excellent. Huacachina is an amazing place. Everything was well coordinated. Highly recommended!

Great experience; guide prepared and attentive to our every need Cleaning and hygiene at the highest levels