Things to do in Paracas

Our most recommended things to do in Paracas

From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Full Day Guided Tour

1. From Lima: Paracas and Huacachina Full Day Guided Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Lima at around 05:00 AM, all depends 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 1-hour adventure across the sand dunes that surround the water source. 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 pm 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: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

2. 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: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

3. 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.

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 Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

5. 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 Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

6. From Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel within Ica/Huacachina and drive towards the Marina Turistica to begin your adventure. Board a speedboat with your guide, and jet out onto the sea towards the stunning Ballestas. 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. 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. See other beautiful specimens, like majestic pelicans, and colorful blue-footed boobies. Return to the Marina Turistica for a drive to Paracas National Reserve. Discover the almost alien landscape of the Paracas National Reserve, with vast sprawling deserts and high sandstone cliffs. Driving through the reserve, see the Cathedral, an area where a vast rock formation once stood before being destroyed by a cataclysmic earthquake. Visit the stunning maroon-sand beaches of Playa Roja and Lagunillas Beach. Having seen some of the world's most unique natural features, flora, and fauna, At the end of the tour drive back to your hotel in Ica/Huacachina or in Paracas.

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

7. 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 Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

8. 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 1 hour and 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 drinking Pisco Sours. At the end of the adventure, head back to Lima via the same route.

From Lima: Tour to Paracas, Ica and Huacachina

9. 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. 

Paracas or Pisco: Private Huacachina Oasis Tour & Buggy Ride

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Paracas

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What people are saying about Paracas

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 647 reviews

We had some problems at the pick up, they delayed for 2 hours and in the first hour we didn’t know if we will go, but in the end they managed to make the trip. The bus is comfortable. The 2 destinations are incredible, you need to see those places if you are in Lima

Full day, long way, but it is worth it. A bit less explanations in English, as we were only tourists non Spanish speakers. We enjoyed the sceneries and activities. Lunch/dinner was not so delicious, on other hand it didn't spoil the day.

Pros: - detailed visit around the Ballestas Islands - amazing nature and wildlife Cons: - it started with a 25 mins delay without communication

Wonderful guide, as a solo woman traveler I felt very safe and the bus was comfortable and clean. Would definitely recommend Peru Hop.

Truly incredible experience with a professional and kind guide! I really loved this experience.