Ballestas Islands Tours & Activities

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Ballestas Islands: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Oasis Tour by Luxury Bus

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Oasis Tour by Luxury Bus

Discover the serene landscapes of the Peruvian countryside on a day trip from Lima to Paracas and Huacachina with hotel transfers included. See Humboldt penguins and sea lions on the Ballestas Islands and slide down the Huacachina dunes by sandboarding and dune buggy ride.  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. We are the ONLY company that offers luxury buses for the long journey, others use small minivans. 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 your own expense) in 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 sand, 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: Paracas and Huacachina Oasis Full Day Tour

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Oasis Full Day Tour

Discover the incredible landscapes outside Lima, on your way to Paracas and Huacachina. Experience a chance to see sea lions and Humboldt penguins on the Ballestas Islands visit the oasis in Huacachina on a buggy ride and slide down the dunes. Begin your day at 5:30 am and relax during direct transportation to Paracas, a beautiful small town by the sea, this is a 4-hour ride. Arrive in Paracas and begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, a smaller version of the Galapagos. Spot sea lions, penguins, and birds up close and all in their natural habitats. Take a lunch break and then travel from Paracas to Huacachina, an oasis located in the Ica Desert, home to some of the biggest sand dunes in South America. Enjoy some free time here before going on the buggy and sandboarding tour. Go up the dunes on a buggy and sandboard down on this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the only natural desert oasis in South America. Board the bus back to Lima in the evening, just sit back and relax. Be dropped off at the same place we pick you up from, approximately arrival in Lima is around 11:45 pm.

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Guided Desert Oasis Trip

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Guided Desert Oasis Trip

After your early morning collection, make a stop at an artisanal bakery to grab something for the road. Arrive in Paracas and head to El Chaco port, located in the Bay of Paracas. From here, sail to the Islas Ballestas in a modern boat and take in the beautiful view of the islands. As you sail, keep an eye out for marine wildlife, such as sea lions, Humboldt penguins, black cormorants called guanays, and different types of marine birds. Then, it's time to eat. Visit a winery called "NIETO" and dine in the restaurant inside. After lunch, it's tasting time. Here, learn how to make the Peruvian pisco with a guide. Then, test your knowledge and taste the different types of pisco produced locally. Continue to Ica (Huacachina) and feel the peacefulness as you walk around the scenic lake. Then, get your adrenaline flowing on a dune buggy and sandboarding tour in Huacachina. Begin with a thrilling 4WD ride through the dunes with an experienced driver. Once you've reached the top of the dunes, you can give sandboarding a try. Finally, begin the return journey. Make one last stop on the road at “Racimo de Uva," where you can pick up some snacks or souvenir gifts, including wine, pisco, Peruvian drinks, and traditional cookies. Return time to Lima - approximately 10:30pm

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Full Day Guided Tour

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Full Day Guided Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Lima at around 05:00 AM, it all depends on your location in Lima, where you will board the coach for a 03:30-hour journey to Paracas town. Before getting to Paracas, we will stop to have breakfast. On your arrival in Paracas, make your way to the dock where you will board a speedboat to the Ballestas Islands. During your journey to Ballestas, see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the Peninsula. There are many hypotheses regarding its origin, some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. In the Ballestas Islands, you will see a stunningly rugged world filled with birds and sea lions. You will navigate around the islands at a distance allowed, and depending on the sea conditions, visit nearby caves. Return to the port at 11 am, and spend some time in Paracas where you will have free time for restrooms or a short time to relax. Then, continue to the next destination, Huacachina Oasis. Have a small break to prepare for your desert tour; then board a buggy for a 2-hour adventure across the sanddunes that surround the water source. Just before the end, of the tour, we will stop at the highest point to appreciate the sunset. Return to Huacachina and have time for refreshment. Continue towards to traditional vineyard and taste the best of the local wine and Pisco or lunch at the vineyard restaurant, then Drive back to Lima arriving and dropping off at your hotel. At around 21:30 or 22:00 On this one-day tour, you will have an assistant guide on the trip who will help you with your concerns on your trip.

From Lima: Paracas, Ica, and Huacachina Day Tour

From Lima: Paracas, Ica, and Huacachina Day Tour

Discover the Huacachina Desert and the Ballestas Islands off the coast of Paracas on this day tour leaving from Lima. Visit the Ballestas Islands and admire the local wildlife like sea lions and seals, and try out sandboarding in an oasis in the Huacachina desert. Early morning start. Pick-up of passengers in Downtown Lima, San Isidro, Westin Hotel and Miraflores. It is only picked up at hotels around Keneddy Park, please consult the hotel list. Then transfer from Lima to Paracas. Visit to the Ballestas Islands: Boat excursion to the Ballestas Islands where We will be able to observe marine fauna, including sea lions, penguins and birds. You will also be able to see the Candelabra, lines very similar to those of Nazca. After the visit to the Ballestas Islands, free time in Paracas to explore the area on foot or relax, in this place there will be a tasting of typical sweets. Then we will go to a vineyard in Ica where you will be able to taste wines, piscos and derivatives, learn how to make a Pisco Sour and we will toast with our flagship drink. Lunch break at a local restaurant in Ica. Transfer to Huacachina, an oasis in the desert. Possibility of doing activities such as tube rides and sandboarding. Possibility of stopping at a store in Chincha to buy souvenirs or local products (depending on time available). Return to Lima: Estimated arrival between 9:00 and 10:00 pm, depending on traffic.

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

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.

From Paracas: Ballestas Islands Guided Boat Tour

From Paracas: Ballestas Islands Guided Boat Tour

The activity begins by meeting our team at one of our offices, where you can leave your belongings if you wish. From there, we'll head to the vibrant port of Paracas, where you'll meet our expert bilingual guide. Before boarding, you'll receive valuable recommendations to make the most of this exciting adventure. Onboard our Eco-friendly boats, we'll venture into the enigmatic bay of Paracas. Our first stop will be the imposing Candelabra of Paracas, a gigantic geoglyph standing 120 meters tall, carved into the side of a cliff. Immerse yourself in the fascinating stories of its origin, some of which even suggest extraterrestrial connections, predating the famous Nazca Lines! Next, we'll journey beyond the bay to the majestic Ballestas Islands, renowned for their diverse wildlife. Get up close to the numerous species that call these islands home, from playful sea lions to adorable Humboldt penguins, and a multitude of guano birds like guanays, boobies, pelicans, and tendrils. Our expert guide will share with you the fascinating history of these islands and their vital role in regional biodiversity. After marveling at the wildlife, we'll return to the port, where you can delight in the breathtaking coastal views and capture unforgettable memories in photographs. Feel the sea breeze caress your face as we speed back to shore. Finally, we'll arrive at the port, where we'll disembark, filled with memories of a truly unforgettable experience in the Ballestas Islands.

From Lima: 2-Day Nazca Lines Flight, Paracas, and Huacachina

From Lima: 2-Day Nazca Lines Flight, Paracas, and Huacachina

Experience a 2-day tour outside of Lima. After your hotel pickup in Lima, depart to Paracas, a beautiful town by the sea. Travel on a spacious 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. See sea lions, penguins, and plenty of birds up close and in their natural habitat. Enjoy free time from 12:00PM to 1:30PM for lunch. Ask your guide for recommendations! At 1:30 PM, move on from Paracas to Huacachina, a natural oasis located in the Ica Desert home to the biggest sand dunes in South America. There, have more free time to explore around the oasis. Next, prepare for 2 hours of exhilarating dune buggying and sandboarding. Dune buggy up the sand dunes and sandboard down these giant hills of sand, a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the only natural desert oasis in South America. The following day, go from Huacachina to Nazca in a shuttle. Arrive in Nazca around 11:00AM and go straight to the airport. Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines, which have left thousands of people baffled for years. Have 2 hours of free time in Nazca, enough time to visit the Cantalloc Aqueducts. At 3:00PM, travel back to Huacachina and later that night, travel back to Lima. Sit back and relax on the comfortable seats. At the end of your journey, get dropped off directly to your hotel or hostel.

From Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

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

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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What people are saying about Ballestas Islands

Overall rating

4.6
(500 reviews)

I recently experienced the Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac tour in the Sacred Valley with Mihai Rivas, and it was outstanding! Mihai's expertise and passion for the region's history and culture truly enhanced the tour. Each site we visited was breathtaking, and Mihai provided fascinating insights and stories that brought the ancient ruins to life. The tour was well-organized, allowing ample time to explore and appreciate each location. I highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to explore the Sacred Valley. Five stars for an unforgettable experience!

We had an excellent trip to the islands and the reserve to see a variety of sea birds including humbolt penguines, sea lions, and pink flamingos. A wonderful day. We strongly recommend this tour.

Incredible day trip. Highly worth it. Would recommend doing research on lunch and dinner restaurants in Paracas and Huacachina in advance. Otherwise, great experience and comfortable transport.

We had an amazing day! Our guide Nilo was great and very helpful. The activities were so much fun. I highly recommend this tour!!!

Excellent work by Deborah and the driver, she cares about the group and it was a large group.