Paracas
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Paracas Nature & Adventure

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.

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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.

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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.

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From Paracas: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

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

5. 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.

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Paracas or Pisco: Private Huacachina Oasis Tour & Buggy Ride

6. Paracas or Pisco: Private Huacachina Oasis Tour & Buggy Ride

Start with pickup from your hotel and travel by private vehicle towards the city of Ica. On the way to Ica, visit a traditional vineyard where you will have the opportunity to learn more about traditional wines and the famous Pisco spirit, the national drink of Peru. Here, you will also have the opportunity to taste some of the products. Then, drive southwest towards Huacachina Oasis, a beautiful lagoon surrounded by palm trees and huge sand dunes with a spectacular view of Ica Valley and desert. Climb the sand dunes and enjoy one of the famous dune buggy tours. This tour will take 2 hours across the Ica desert, and you will also have a sandboard or sand-surfing lesson at the sand dunes. Finally, stop at the highest sand dune to enjoy the sunset. Return to Huacachina, where you can take a shower to wash off the sand, before returning to your hotel in Paracas.

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Paracas: Mini Buggy Ride in Paracas National Reserve

7. Paracas: Mini Buggy Ride in Paracas National Reserve

Pick-up will be from your hotel in Paracas to the tour company office. Then you will have a brief health and safety instruction about how to drive the automatic mini buggy. Afterwards, you will be given a vehicle for two persons (driver and co-pilot). Once ready, you will drive and follow the lead vehicle. As you drive along the Paracas Reserve, you will see the beauty and amazing colorful landscape, which makes it such an original place on the Peruvian Coast. You will be able to stop and see many points of interest to see the main attractions of Paracas Reserve. At the end of the tour, you will return to the company office and be transferred back to your hotel.

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Lima: Luxury Bus Tour to Paracas & Hacienda San Jose Tunnels

8. Lima: Luxury Bus Tour to Paracas & Hacienda San Jose Tunnels

After hotel pickup in Lima between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM, depart for Paracas, a beautiful town on the sea. Travel on a spacious luxury 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. You'll see sea lions, penguins, and plenty of birds up close and in their natural habitat. If you're lucky, you may even see a dolphin or two. Next up, begin a 2-hour tour of the Paracas National Reserve, one of South America's largest protected desert reserves and home to over 400 species of flora and fauna. In this stunning Pacific-coastline location, the desert meets the ocean. Following the reserve, travel by bus to the Hacienda San Jose in Chincha to explore its underground tunnels. Learn about the history of this ex-sugar plantation and the tunnels that lay beneath it on a 1-hour tour. Finally, on the trip back to Lima, sit back and relax on the comfortable seats while you enjoy a movie onboard. At the conclusion of your journey, you will be dropped off directly to your hotel/hostel.

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From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour

9. From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour

Your tour begins with pickup from your accommodation in Paracas from where you transfer to the public dock. From there, move around the island in a comfortable boat whilst receiving explanations on board from your professional guide. You can observe the beauty of the island with its impressive fauna, and can also see El Candelabro - a large geoglyph which serves as a beacon for sailors. This geoglyph is related to the lines and geoglyphs of Nazca and Pampas de Jumana. The arrival of tourists to these islands is forbidden in order to avoid disturbing the animals that live there. Boats however can venture close enough to allow their occupants to enjoy the beauty of these animals. Following the completion of your 2-hour round-trip circuit, travel back to your tour starting point.

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From Lima: Tour to Paracas, Ica and Huacachina

10. 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. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Paracas

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What people are saying about Paracas

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 85 reviews

We thoroughly enjoyed this day trip to Paracas and Huacachina! Paracas is a really interesting area with lots of wildlife. We went in November so the boat ride was a little cold so be sure to be mindful of the weather. Huacachina was so much fun! Definitely the highlight of the day was sandboarding. You have time when you arrive to town to walk around and explore a bit before the sandboarding starts. We did the day trip, but Huacachina seemed like a fun town to overnight in. I believe this group also offered overnight trips.

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 !

Fue una excelente experiencia, Sandra y Alex nos recogieron y explicaron el viaje y nos ayudaron en Paracas, en nuestro caso nos quedamos en Huacachina y ahí nuestro guía fue Christian, la pasamos muy bien, fue de gran ayuda, muy amable en todo momento y muy divertida toda la experiencia. El transporte es bastante cómodo y no tuvimos ninguna complicación durante el viaje.

This was one of my favorite travel days ever! Communication was wonderful and the tour was overall very punctual. Alex was also a fantastic tour guide. He is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and generally just great fun to be around. The dune buggying + Sandboarding was the true highlight - great fun all around!

Sam was a great guide, she explained to us on what to expect in this trip and give us tips for local restaurants.