Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve Day Trip from Paracas
This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Ballestas Islands, Paracas National Reserve, Pisco Peru
Depart from the boat dock in Paracas at 8:00 am for your visit to the Ballestas Islands archipelago. As you cruise west from the tiny beach town of Paracas, you won't be able to miss the Candelabra geoglyph, a 150m high and 50m wide figure of a candlestick etched into the mountain, rumored to have been an ancient guide for sailors or a connection to the Nazca lines. A short description and time for photos is given before cruising on to the famous Ballestas Islands.
Ballestas islands is an excellent opportunity to see large families of over 100 sea lions sleeping on the shores, basking in the sun on the rocks or some barking loudly in efforts to protect their territory. Spot cormorants, the Peruvian booby and Peruvian pelican as well as other impressive varieties of sea bird species and Humboldt penguins nesting together in small groups. Feeling lucky? Watch the waters for dolphins.
Apart from the abundant marine and bird life found here, the Ballestas Islands are also very well known for the guano (seabird droppings) deposited on the island over thousands of years which creates a natural reserve of nitrogen-rich fertilizer over 50 meters deep in some areas. The guano came to be Peru's #1 export in the mid-19th century however today the extraction of guano has been regulated to every 10 years.
The return trip to Paracas is a quick, very windy, direct boat ride to the dock. Upon arrival at 10:00 am, your first tour comes to an end. You should have some time to take photos of the friendly pelicans that hang out on the shoreline beside the dock. Then make your way to the same departure point for your next tour.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Paracas National Reserve, Carr. Punta Pejerrey Peru
At 11:00 am depart to the Paracas National Reserve for a guided tour through this pristine and unique natural reserve located south of the town of Pisco. Visit the Mirador de Flamencos and see flamingos eating at the shore, continue your adventure towards the Centro de Interpretacion to learn about all the fauna in the reserve. In this Centre you can see skeletons of whales, sea lions, and penguins. To finish your tour go off road in the desert towards beautiful Lagunillas Beach, where you can enjoy lunch with a view (not included). At Lagunillas, those who want to go for a swim are welcome to! Return to Paracas.
Duration: 4 hours
- Ballestas Islands Boat Ride
- Paracas National Reserve Tour
- English-speaking guides
- Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve Entrance Fees (18 Soles)
- Food and drinks
- Entry/Admission - Ballestas Islands
- Entry/Admission - Paracas National Reserve
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Suggestions for Ballestas Islands Boat Tour: Make sure you bring adequate clothing to keep you protected from the cool ocean air, the sun and spray from the sea. Bring a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the birds and sea lions. If you are prone to motion sickness, you should take medication about a half-hour before you board.
- Suggestions for Paracas National Reserve Tour: If you are taking this day tour during summer (December to March), please bring an extra set of fresh clothing due to high temperatures, especially during January and February. For the rest of the year, please bring a jacket to protect you from cold winds. Sun block, hat and sunglasses are highly recommended.
- Not recommended for child aged 6 and under
The Ballesta Islands were AMAZING! There was an abundance of sea lions and birds. We even saw crabs and starfish and penguins. The National Reserve wasn't was excited as I expected and the lunch was crazy expensive, but overall, a very good tour.
The tour was great. We had Ballestas first and we could see all the animals we had been promised. And we could come very close. The tour of Paracas Reserve was to follow. We had a knowledgeable guide - Eduardo, who was really passionate and told us a lot about history and nature of the beauty spot.
Stunning islands and spectacular desert and beaches. The biodiversity in Peru is incredible and encapsulated in this quick tour, from birds to sea lions to penguins. The tour included a delicious though pricey seafood lunch.
Unfortunately due to high winds the boat trip to the islands was cancelled so I can't review that part. They did offer to take us the next day but we had to catch a bus back to Lima. The reserve tour was interesting. We stopped at several locations and got some great pictures. We were the only English speaking people on the bus, but the guide made sure to repeat everything to us so we understood. Overall worth seeing as it is very unique from the other parts of Peru.