Paracas
Birdwatching

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Our most recommended Paracas Birdwatching

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.

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From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

2. 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

3. 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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From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour

4. 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 Paracas: Paracas National Reserve Private Tour

5. From Paracas: Paracas National Reserve Private Tour

Enjoy the convenience of the being picked up from your hotel in Paracas or Pisco and transferred to the Paracas National Reserve. The reserve was established in 1975 to protect the bird and marine of life of the Paracas Peninsula. Admire the stunning landscape of the peninsula, formed by a saline desert, islands, and the sea. See one to the largest sea lion colonies in the world. Marvel at the numerous birds along the coastline. Learn about the reserve by visiting the visitor center, which has exhibits about the local flora and fauna. Drive to an area where a great natural rock formation once stood known as the Cathedral. Unfortunately, the Cathedral was destroyed during a 2007 earthquake. Enjoy amazing views of the desert, the blue ocean, and thousands of sea birds. Visit Playa Roja and Lagunillas Beach. After your tour finishes, return to your hotel.

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Lima: 7-Day Inca Adventure with Flights

6. 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.

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Desde Lima: Full-Day Tour of Islas Ballestas and Huacachina

7. Desde Lima: Full-Day Tour of Islas Ballestas and Huacachina

Start your day bright and early at 4:00 AM with a convenient pickup from your accommodation in Lima City. From here, enjoy a scenic 4 hour trip to Paracas (Ballestas Islands). Once you arrive, you will board the 'sliders', from which, you'll be able to appreciate the iconic Candelabro de Paracas geoglyph. This tour will allow you to marvel at the diversity of marina fauna once you arrive at the National Reserve. Keep an eye out for Sea lions, Guaneras Birds, Humbolt Penguins, just to name a few. Continue on your tour and head into the city of Ica where you will visit the Haciendas Pisqueras, a place where they produce the National drink of Peru, "El Pisco". Here, you will be able to taste a diverse range of wines and Pisco, also in the Hacienda, you will get some time to stop for a bite to eat.  After you've eaten, proceed to the Oasis of Huacachina, a natural lagoon surrounded by palm trees and desert dunes. You'll also have the chance to partake in adventure sports such as buggy driving and sand boarding. This is a perfect place to take some truly memorable holiday photos, so don't forget to bring your camera. After this experience, head to the city of Lima for a convenient drop off back at your accomodation. 

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Lima: Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands Tour

8. Lima: Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands Tour

After pickup, head to the south to discover unique landscapes where the desert, the islands and the sea all meet. Make a brief stop for a delicious breakfast and continue the journey. Then, go to Paracas dock to take a speed boat to the Ballestas Islands. Explore the rocky islands and discover the rich marine fauna. Take photos of sea lions and many types of birds such as penguins. Don't miss the enigmatic Candelabro Geoglyph, used as a navigational guide by ancient cultures. After your tour of the island, visit the impressive and isolated Paracas National Reserve. This natural reserve is part of the Guinness World Record for the driest desert on earth. Admire the stunning landscape of the peninsula. Learn all about dessert formation from your expert guide. If you are lucky you might see the great pink flamingos. Then, return to your hotel in Lima.

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Lima: 3-Day Tour to Paracas, Ballestas Islands & Huacachina

9. Lima: 3-Day Tour to Paracas, Ballestas Islands & Huacachina

Day 1: Lima - Chincha - Paracas Pickup from your hotel or hostel in Lima. Stop at Chincha for a tour of the secret slave tunnels. Walk around the tunnels that were used to illegally smuggle slaves during the 17th century. After the tour, continue to Paracas, a small beach town, where you will have the rest of the day to explore. Overnight in Paracas. Day 2: Paracas - Ballestas Islands - Huacachina Leave your hotel and embark on a 2-hour boat tour to the Ballestas Islands. These islands are known to be a smaller version of the Galápagos, and you will have the chance to see sea lions, penguins, birds, and even dolphins up close in their natural habitats. After the boat tour, go on a 2-hour tour of the Paracas National Reserve, which is one of South America's largest protected desert regions and home to more than 400 species of flora and fauna. Discover a stunning landscape where the vast desert meets the Pacific Ocean.  After that, it's time to head to Huacachina, the only desert oasis in South America. Experience 2 hours of exhilarating dune buggying and sandboarding on some of the continent's highest sand dunes. Overnight in Huacachina. Day 3: Huacachina - Pisco Vineyard or Nazca Lines - Lima Option with Pisco Vineyard: Join a 2-hour vineyard tour and see how Pisco, Peru's national drink, is made. Follow the process from grape to bottle and try different samples of Pisco. After, you will have the whole day to explore the desert oasis of Huacachina. Later travel by bus back to Lima.  Option with Nazca Lines: Take a private mini bus to go to Nazca to fly for 30 minutes over the mysterious Nazca Lines. After the flight, have some free time in Nazca to discover some of its landmarks, like the Plaza de Armas. Take the bus back to Huacachina, rest and get ready for the bus back to Lima.

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From Lima: Ballestas Islands & Nazca Lines with Meals

10. From Lima: Ballestas Islands & Nazca Lines with Meals

Wake up early for pick-up from your hotel at 4:30 AM and travel to the Paracas National Reserve. Enjoy a breakfast box on the way there. Board the first boat to Ballestas Islands and admire the scenery of Paracas Bay, keeping an eye out for wildlife like sea lions, seagulls and penguins.  Travel to the aerodrome of Ica and watch an informative video on the history of the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jump on to a Cessna 208 Caravan plane and fly over the ancient geoglyphs, to view them from above. Take pictures of the whale, astronaut, monkey, hummingbird and many more of the geoglyphs. Head to a traditional Peruvian restaurant and choose between a creole or seafood lunch, complemented with drinks. Indulge yourself with a wine tasting as well as traditional pisco, famously made in the region.  Return to Lima at 7:00 PM.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Paracas

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What people are saying about Paracas

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 37 reviews

To say it from the start: the tour is a real day trip. From 4.30 a.m. bus 10.30 p.m. and easily covers 600km by road and is exhausting. But, it's definitely worth it. The Islas Ballestas with good bilingual explanation and care with many penguins and birds. The 2 hour flight to the Nazca Lines, with the pilot circling over the geoglyphs and giving everyone with a right or left turn an optimal view. Also the Huacachina oasis, which is idyllically situated with the huge sand dunes, especially at sunset. My touguide Alfonso Choji was well trained and was able to answer all questions about the history, the excursion and also the political / social situation in Peru. I felt very well looked after and can recommend this tour

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 !

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.

Although it seems that it will be a lot, give time to everything. Pedro, the driver and Jacie, the guide, very friendly and attentive. It has been an unforgettable day. Listen to Jacie and take a sickness pill!

Joël is a great guide. He taught us a lot of things, both about the visit and about life in Peru. He arranged our transfer to Huacachina and gave us a good restaurant address. I highly recommend it !