Things to do in
Paracas

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Our most recommended things to do in Paracas

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.

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.

From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

3. From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

Start your adventure by departing Lima in the early morning. Travel for around 300 km on the Pan-American highway until you reach Paracas Bay, a very important place for Peruvian history which is full of wildlife.  Enjoy a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands and watch out for birds, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. Then head to Pisco Airport and take a 45-minute flight over the Palpa desert to see the Nazca Lines. Stop at the Huacachina Oasis, and take some time to eat lunch and walk around. Test your skills at sandboarding for an additional cost or just enjoy free time at the pool drinking Pisco Sours. At the end of the adventure, head back to Lima via the same route.

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.

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

5. 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 & Paracas National Reserve

6. 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.

From Lima: Tour to Paracas, Ica and Huacachina

7. From Lima: Tour to Paracas, Ica and Huacachina

Visit a natural oasis in the middle of the desert surrounded by beautiful palm trees. Here, you can also take pedal boat rides around the lagoon, practice sand-boarding and ride in tubular cars. You will be picked up from your hotel at 4:00 AM. Before heading to Paracas. Once you arrive, board the 'sliders' at the pier and begin the excursion to the Ballestas Islands. On the way, we can see the 'Candelabro' (Paracas Chandelier), a large geoglyph that serves as a beacon to the navigators. Continuing to the Ballestas Islands, you'll see the natural habitat of the sea lions. They love to approach the tourist boats, a truly magical spectacle that justifies the visit in itself. You will also be able to view the Humboldt penguins and guano birds.  Continuing to the province of Ica, get to know the culture and gastronomy with a typical lunch. After lunch, you'll go to the Huacachina Oasis and take a high-adrenaline ride in a sand buggies and also be able to try sandboarding. Finally, you'll have free time to walk around the oasis, take a boat ride, take pictures or buy handicrafts. You will return to Lima by bus. 

Lima: 7-Day Inca Adventure with Flights

8. Lima: 7-Day Inca Adventure with Flights

Day 1: Arrival to Lima and City Tour Upon your arrival to Lima, your representative will be waiting with a sign stating your name. From there you'll be transferred to your respective hotel where you can check-in. You'll soon begin a city tour through Lima, which will begin with panoramic views of the Pucllana Pyramid or Huaca Pucllana, the historical center of Lima. It will be there that you can appreciate more than fifty monuments and colonial buildings, and once the tour has finished you'll return to your hotel. Day 2: Paracas, Ica, and Huacachina with Buggies and Sandboarding Day 2 begins with pickup from your hotel between 4:30AM to 5:00AM. You will begin with a trip to the Paracas Peninsula to visit the Ballestas Islands, which are a national reserve. From there, continue your trip to the city of Ica for a demonstration with wines and traditional Pisco of the valley. Following that, you will taste a typical local lunch according to the menu of the day. You will then travel for approximately 30 minutes to the oasis of Huacachina, where you will enjoy the adrenaline of riding buggies and sandboards. After this great adventure, you will return back to Lima in your private transportation. Day 3: Arrival to Cusco According to your flight schedule in Cusco, your representative will be waiting for you at the Cusco Airport. From there, your day will be spent by you acclimatizing to Cusco's altitude. Day 4: Chinchero, Maras, and Moray You will begin day 4 between 8:00AM and 8:30AM, at which point you will travel to the colorful town of Chinchero. There you will learn about Andean fabrics in a textile interpretation center, before continuing onward to the famous circular cultivation terraces in Moray. After that, descend towards the salt mines in Maras where you will visit the more than 3,000 wells of salt. Finally, you will travel to Ollantaytambo Station where you will board your train to Aguas Calientes. Day 5: Machu Picchu Citadel On day 5 you will encounter one of the 7 Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu. You'll begin by taking the bus from Aguas Calientes, as your tour guide provides you with all the information before your 2-hour tour through this Inca citadel. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo, from where you will be transferred to Cusco by private transportation. Day 6: Rainbow Mountain Between 4:30AM and 5:00AM, your transportation will pick you up from your hotel from where you will drive for 3 hours in the direction of Rainbow Mountain. Following breakfast, you will drive for another 45 minutes to begin your 2-hour trek. Upon reaching the top of the "Mountain of Colors", you will have enough time to take the photographs and enjoy the landscape. In addition, you will also be able to appreciate the highest snow peak in Cusco: Ausangate Mountain. Day 7: Airport Transfer On the final day of your tour, you will be taken to Cusco Airport, at which point your tour will conclude.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis & Winery Tour

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

Start your adventure by departing Lima in the early morning. Travel for around 300 km on the Pan-American highway until you reach Paracas Bay, a very important place for Peruvian history which is full of wildlife.  Enjoy a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands and watch out for birds, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. Then drive to drive to a small local winery to learn how Pisco is made and to enjoy a tasting. Stop at the Huacachina Oasis, and take some time to eat lunch and walk around. Test your skills at sandboarding for an additional cost or just enjoy free time at the pool drinking Pisco Sours. At the end of the adventure, head back to Lima via the same route.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina and Nazca Line Tour

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Paracas

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What people are saying about Paracas

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 354 reviews

This was so dope! The tour was extremely communicative about pickup and details given we were going easter weekend. We had plenty of time to explore paracas and huacachina - and seeminlgy unlike a lot of other groups were ablt to make it on the boats to see the ballestas islands The bus was clutch as the seats reclined and we were able to sleep the whole time in transit. The activities in Huacachina were so much fine and i'd absolutely recommend this to anyone

Had an excellent experience on this trip to Ballestas, Oachachina and the Nazca lines. Was worth every penny and a real highlight of my trip. Both guides (Rudi was one of them, the other I can't remember your name, v sorry!) were very knowledegable, professional and affable. I'd highly recommend this day trip to others!

The experience was great but had a stressful start because the one of our bookings the guide didn't have, and the booking said Id card or passport, so we took our id's and we're told we needed passport. The guide was great and made it work but stressful start

An entire day packed full of fun! Definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

Si tienes poco tiempo en Lima es una excelente opción!