Incredible Ballestas Islands of Paracas, Peru

Incredible Ballestas Islands of Paracas, Peru

Incredible Ballestas Islands of Paracas, Peru

Paracas is a tiny sleepy fishing village on the Peruvian coastline 3 hours from Lima and it is home to one of the most extraordinary daily wildlife events on the planet. The Ballestas Islands (Isla Ballestas) is a group of small islands where sea lions hunt for fish by sending them up to the water surface, resulting in a million sea birds dive into the water like a torpedo and try their luck. Spend one or two days with all the things to do in Paracas.

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Things to do in Paracas

Imagine pelicans walking down the quiet boulevard with the colorful fishing boats in the background. Paracas and it’s relaxing vibe is a perfect stop for every kind of traveler. It is a year-round sunny destination so using good sunscreen is a must.

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Boat trip around the Isla Ballestas

The Isla Ballestas, a group of rocky islands, is the main reason to visit Paracas. These ‘Poor Man’s Galapagos’ are home to animals like dolphins, penguins, sea lions, pelicans, red smelly crabs, and many other species.

➳ Must-read: Complete 3-week Peru Travel Guide


Similar to Galapagos but much more budget-friendly. Join a 2-hour morning boat trip as this will give you an option to see a million birds hunting for fish by diving into the water. This happening has been featured in ‘Our Planet’ on Netflix. Book a tour online

Good to know: You cannot access the islands, nor swim near them as it is a protected area. 

Ballestas Peru

The boat trip takes you along all the small rocky islands with sea lions relaxing on top. One of the rocks has a 2000-year-old sand sculpture named the Chandelier which is similar to the Nazca lines.

Costs: 35S + 16S port fee (15 USD) – Boats: 8 AM or 10 AM

Chandelier-Ballestas Islands paracas Peru

Paracas National Reserve

The sea meets the desert inside the protected Paracas National reserve. High cliffs, a Catedral arch, and red and yellow beaches are the main reason to visit this but sunbathing at one of the sand beaches is also an option. Explore the sandy landscape by bike or bus tour. Book a tour online

Looking for restaurants? Restaurant Paracas, Chalana or Fruzion are the best in town.

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Huacachina Sand Dunes

Paracas is 30 minutes away from the highest sand dunes in the whole of South America. Huacahina is a tiny desert oasis town surrounded by these sand dunes and offers a fantastic sunset experience.

➳ Everything about Huacachina, the desert oasis.

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Kite Surfing in Paracas, Peru

Flat and shallow waters and a steady wind between pretty much every single day. Paracas is popular with kite surfing because the wind is super reliable. There is a hand full of kitesurf schools ready to learn you how to kite.

Pisco Wine tasting

In between Paracas and Huachachina, the area is well-known for its vineyards and national wine named: Pisco. Get a sneak-peak inside and learn how these processes work and finish your tour with a delicious tasting experience.

How to get to Paracas

Paracas is a great stop to include in a Peru route as it is located between Lima and Arequipa. Visit Paracas via a public bus or a transport company like PeruHop. The best option is to book a ticket online with a reliable bus company.

paracas peru transport

Where to stay in Paracas

By spending one or two nights in Paracas, it will allow you to do all the things to do in Paracas and relax at the hotel’s pool. Many travelers end up staying longer because it’s so relaxed. It is a great stop on your way to Arequipa or Nazca.

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