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Paracas
Desert safaris

Desert safaris

Our most recommended Paracas Desert safaris

From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

1. From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

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. 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 Full Day Guided Tour

2. 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 Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

3. 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.

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

4. 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 Lima: Paracas, Ica, and Huacachina Day Tour

5. 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. See a desert oasis and natural sights on a full-day tour, ideal for travelers short on time. Begin your tour by traveling to Paracas, and from there embark on a tour of the Ballestas Islands, often compared to the Galapagos Islands, to see colonies of sea lions and seals. Take a boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, a natural paradise in Paracas. You will be able to admire sea lions, seals and rare species of birds in their natural environment. Next, explore the Huacachina Desert by buggy and go sandboarding. Ride a buggy through the dunes and practice sandboarding in the oasis of the Huacachina desert.

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

6. 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: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

7. 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: Paracas and Huacachina Guided Desert Oasis Trip

8. 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.

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

9. 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.

From Paracas: Guided Boat Tour to the Ballestas Islands

10. From Paracas: Guided Boat Tour to the Ballestas Islands

Welcome to our exciting tour to the Ballestas Islands! This thrilling journey is perfect for those who want to explore the nature and history of Peru's coastline. We will start our trip at the port of Paracas, where we will board an eco-friendly speedboat to the Ballestas Islands, also known as the "Galapagos of Peru." On the way, we will be able to observe the famous Candelabro figure, a 120-meter-high geoglyph carved into the side of a cliff that has puzzled researchers for centuries. After reaching the Ballestas Islands, we will enjoy a unique experience as we observe a wide variety of marine animals, including sea lions, Humboldt penguins, pelicans, and a large number of seabirds. Furthermore, our guide will share with us the history and importance of these islands for the region's biodiversity. Join us on this tour that combines nature, history, and knowledge into one unforgettable journey.

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Frequently asked questions about Paracas Desert safaris

What are other things to do than Desert safaris that are worth visiting in Paracas?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Paracas

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What people are saying about Paracas

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 7 reviews

To fly over the Nazca lines was a huge tick off my bucket list and loved the little plane. 4/10 passengers found the banking and turbulence too much but I loved it, The Ballestas lake trip was a speed boat ride (24 passengers) and great fun itself . Saw gatherings of Sea lions and a couple of penguins- geology and was fascinating- excellent English translation which Tour Buddies ensured I had. Huacachina much busier and more commercials than I expected- still a lovely walk round and obviously much dune buggy trips for those who wanted . Long day out but enjoy all - my guide - Sergio, and driver Martin, were both excellent

They picked us up at the hotel at the agreed time. The guide was super polite and attentive. The transport was a little uncomfortable, but the driver was good considering that the traffic in Lima is very bad. The places are beautiful and charming. And the pisco tasting is wonderful.

Really nice tour! Fantastic price-performance ratio and we felt very well looked after. Any time! I can only recommend 💯 Ndet guide was great too, always making sure everyone was having fun and keeping the group together. Really amazing!

Manuel (our guide) was the best! Knowledgeable, courteous and helpful! We had a fun packed day in this amazing region! Great memories to bring home!

This full day trip to Paracas 7 Ica was amazing. Well worth it. I would definitely recommend it.