Ballestas Islands
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From Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

1. 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.

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.

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

3. 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.

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 Paracas or Pisco: Ballestas Islands Private Boat Trip

5. 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, Winery & Huacachina Oasis Tour

6. 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.

From San Martin Port: 2-Hour Ballestas Island

7. From San Martin Port: 2-Hour Ballestas Island

You will be met by your guide at 9:15 AM at San Martin Port, and then you will be transferred to Paracas town. At this point, you will meet the rest of the group and board a speedboat to begin your adventure to the stunning Ballestas Island. On the way, you will stop at Paracas Peninsula to see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the peninsula. No one knows for sure who did it or why. There are many hypotheses regarding its origins, some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still have found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. Afterwards, head off to Ballestas Island, where you will enjoy a stunning world filled with birds and sea lions. Here, you will visit the three islands from an allowed distance, navigating in some caves (this will depend on the conditions of the sea). On your return to the port, you will board a vehicle to drive towards San Martin Port. 

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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 23 reviews

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 !

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.

Joel was awesome! From just the excellent customer service & knowledge that Joel provided, to transportation, to the boat ride - everything was flawless! I would 10/10 recommend Joel & this whole activity to anyone & everyone. Can't say enough great things!

We were picked up at our hotel for this trip. Lots of communication beforehand so things went smoothly. We were met at the dock and given all our paperwork by the GetYourGuide people. The boat tour around the island was bilingual and very enjoyable.

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