Ballestas Islands And Paracas National Reserve Day Trip From Paracas - Lima

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Free Cancellation
  • Duration: 7 Hrs
  • Language:
  • Departure Time :
    8:00 AM
  • Departure Details :
    Paracas, Paracas, Ica Region
  • Return Details :
    Paracas, Peru
  • Cancellation Policy :
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.


Take a boat tour to see the impressive Candelabra geoglyph, Peruvian boobies, Humboldt penguins, and abundant marine life at the Ballestas Islands archipelago. Visit the pristine Paracas Natural Reserve in the afternoon to see La Catedral rock formation and watch flamingos and parihuanas from a breathtaking scenic overlook.


  • See native wildlife in their natural environment
  • Travel by boat and see the sights from the water
  • Led by a local guide
  • Get up-close to native wildlife

Know More about this tour

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.

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.


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

Additional Info

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

Traveler Reviews

  • 08-Jan-2018

    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.

  • 31-Jul-2017

    Very professional and inspiring guides both for English and Spanish speaking customers. Both Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve trips were perfectly scheduled and guided. With the help of positive attitude of the guides people started to chat with each other as if we had been friends already before.

  • 06-Dec-2016

    Ballestas Islands tour was worth it, but the Paracas National Reserve was not.

    Ballestas Islands tour good:
    Got you up close to the animals.
    Boat slowed down for pictures.
    Various locations visited.
    Neat information from tour guide.

    The bad:
    Wear wind-proof jacket and a hat as it is both sunny, windy and chilly.
    Likely to get pooped on by birds as a few people did.

    Paracas National Reserve tour good:
    A few nice viewpoints if you don't have much ocean / desert experience.

    The bad:
    Tour guide only gave 30 minutes at the first location that had 3 sights to see and told us we only had time for ONE. Picking one was difficult and left you sad you missed out on the other two. Could have time to see anthropology museum, natural history museum, or walk to beach and see flamingos. Definitely not enough time for all 3, or even 2. This was very upsetting to many people including myself. Side Opinion: museums were terrible, go see flamingos.
    Visited 3 viewpoints and were all pretty much similar scenery and it got old fast.
    Last stop was a 2 hour waste at a very overpriced seafood restaurant that we couldn't afford anything.
    No bathrooms, not even at restaurant. Dock near restaurant had pay-for bathrooms that were dirty and no running water.

    Save your time and money. Get the islands tour and take a taxi into the reserve to look at viewpoints and museums if you'd like.

  • 10-Oct-2016

    Nice trip to see over 250,000 birds and desert wonder.

  • 24-Jul-2016

    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.

  • 13-Jun-2016

    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.

  • 19-May-2016

    I recommend this tour. The boat ride was very interesting and informative. We saw many animals and had a lot of fun. Only downfall is that the boat ride is very rough... so if you get seasick, I recommend taking Dramamine. After, we had a bit of time to explore before the Paracas tour. That was good because we got to grab something to eat in between. The Paracas tour was a little less put together, but interesting nonetheless. We spent a lot of time at the visitor center, but then got rushed through the rest of the tour. My favorite part was the red sand beach and we didn't even get to stay there for 10 minutes because they rushed us so much. We ended in a little beachside town where we were basically coerced into eating at a restaurant of their choice, which was very expensive. Overall, it was still a lot of fun and was very informative and worth the money.

  • 01-Apr-2016

    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.

  • 30-Mar-2016

    It was good , but comparing to ushuaia in argentina is not so good. The boats are far from the animals