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Paracas

Family-friendly Activities

Our most recommended Paracas Family-friendly Activities

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

1. 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

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.

From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour

3. 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.

From San Martin Port: 2-Hour Ballestas Island

4. From San Martin Port: 2-Hour Ballestas Island

You will be met by your guide at 9:15 AM at San Martin Port, and then you will be transferred to Paracas town. At this point, you will meet the rest of the group and board a speedboat to begin your adventure to the stunning Ballestas Island. On the way, you will stop at Paracas Peninsula to see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the peninsula. No one knows for sure who did it or why. There are many hypotheses regarding its origins, some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still have found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. Afterward, head off to Ballestas Island, where you will enjoy a stunning world filled with birds and sea lions. Here, you will visit the three islands from an allowed distance, navigating some caves (this will depend on the conditions of the sea). On your return to the port, you will board a vehicle to drive toward San Martin Port. 

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What people are saying about Paracas

Great guide. Great views! Very enjoyable and worthwhile way to spend a couple hours! We ended up at White Islands instead of Ballestas due to closure, but we were NOT disappointed. We’d do it again!

Great excursion, the islands are really worth a visit! The boat staff was kind and clearly told in both Spanish and English what we were going to visit

Picked up on time at Nakua lodge. Shuttled to boat ride. Lots to see. Super photo opportunities. Definitely recommend.

Amazing views of the islands. We saw penguins, 2 species of sea lion and lots of seabirds

Excellent! The tour was amazing and Joel was very helpful. Recommended!