Paracas, Peru: Best Things To Do Paracas, Peru: Best Things To Do

Paracas, Peru: Best Things To Do

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 diving into the water like a torpedo and trying their luck. Spend one or two days with all the things to do in Paracas.

Things to do in Paracas

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

pelicans paracas peru

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.

Similar to the 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 event has been featured in ‘Our Planet’ on Netflix.

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.

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 reasons to visit this, but sunbathing at one of the sand beaches is also an option. Explore the sandy landscape by bike or bus tour. 

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

Tour Paracas Peru

Huacachina Sand Dunes

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

explore huacachina peru oasis desert

Kitesurfing and Paragliding in Paracas, Peru

Flat and shallow waters and a steady wind between pretty much every single day. Paracas is popular with kitesurfing and paragliding because the wind is super reliable. There are a handful of kitesurf schools ready to teach you how to kite. Alternatively, see the incredible landscapes of Paracas from the sky on a paragliding tour of the area.

Pisco Wine tasting

In between Paracas and Huacachina, the area is well-known for its vineyards and national wine named: Pisco. Get a sneak-peak inside the winery 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

Spending one or two nights will allow you to do all the things to do in Paracas and relax at the hotel’s pool (or in your hostel in Paracas).

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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