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Things to do in

Ica Region

Our most recommended things to do in Ica Region

From Nazca: 35-Minute Flight Over Nazca Lines

1. From Nazca: 35-Minute Flight Over Nazca Lines

After pickup from your hotel or bus station in Nazca, transfer to the Nazca aerodrome. Meet your representative and go to the check-in zone to wait for your flight. Get briefed on the nature of your tour and on safety instructions. The flight lasts 35-minutes and you will see 12 of the most representative figures drawn on the stony surface of the Nazca desert. Look out for representations of animals and plants, distributed in a labyrinth of lines, trapezes, and triangles which have been preserved for almost 2,000 years. The Nazca Lines are some of the most incredible remains from an ancient culture. These designs, some as long as 500 meters, can be truly appreciated from the sky at an altitude of 1,500 feet. After your experience, fly back to the aerodrome and head back to your hotel in Nazca.

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 Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

3. From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

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 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 sands, 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: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

5. 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 Ica or Huacachina: Dune Buggy at Sunset & Sandboarding

6. From Ica or Huacachina: Dune Buggy at Sunset & Sandboarding

Explore Huacachina, the only oasis in Peru, in a truly thrilling way. Ride over the sand dunes in a 4x4 buggy before then taking part in a sandboarding session. Start with pickup from Ica or Huacachina. Head to the oasis, and get the adrenaline pumping with a dune buggy ride. Feel as if you’re on a rollercoaster as you go up and down dunes of up to 30 meters in height. Take stops to snap photos of the desert landscape and the small lake surrounded by palm trees. Next, try your hand at sandboarding down those same dunes. This experience is suitable for all skill levels, as you’ll be learning the best techniques from your driver. Afterward visit one of the highlights of Huacachinha, the sunset over the desert. Enjoy incredible views of the sun going down, and find the best spot to snap photos with the help of your driver. Choose the private option if you’d like to tailor the tour to your group’s preferences. Select a different route, explore other areas, and adjust the starting time.

From Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

7. 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.

Huacachina: Desert Buggy Tour and Sandboarding

8. Huacachina: Desert Buggy Tour and Sandboarding

Discover the desertic town of Huacachina, with a beautiful oasis surrounded by giant dunes. Take an adventurous ride on a 4WD vehicle through the desert and experience the thrill of sandboarding, then stop to watch the colorful sunset. Visit the oasis by yourself before heading into the desert, and snap great pictures of the landscape as you do. Hop on your buggy and feel like you are on a rollercoaster as you go up and down huge dunes. Feel the fresh air while your expert driver makes exhilarating turns. Test your sandboarding skills at every stop and start gaining some speed as you get better and better. Before your journey comes to an end, head over to a perfect spot to enjoy the sun setting over the desert and take in the beautiful colors.

From Ica or Huacachina: Wine and Pisco Vineyards Tour

9. From Ica or Huacachina: Wine and Pisco Vineyards Tour

Discover the wine region surrounding Ica, that is known as the most important wine region in Peru for red wine and the popular local drink pisco. Visit the oldest vineyard in Peru and a traditional pisco winery and learn about how the wine and Pisco are made and, of course, taste Pisco and wine at both wineries. Start with pickup from Ica or Huacachina. Head to your first stop, the Tacama vineyard, considered one of the oldest ones in South America and first in Peru, established in the 16th century. Visit the old hacienda and tower where you will get the best view and see acres of grapes. Then you will visit the old and new factory and see how Tacama produces wines and Piscos using the industrial process. Afterward, you will taste their Piscos and wines. Head to the second vineyard called El Catador, known for its pisco. Pisco is a strong liquor known as the national drink of Peru. Learn about the traditional process to make Pisco and the clay jars known as “botijas” where the juice of crushed grapes is fermenting during March month, (harvest time). Visit the distillery and learn about the last seps to produce the famous drink. After, time to taste the Pisco and wine made here. You will have the opportunity to have lunch (not included) at one of the wineries that prepare typical dishes from this region.

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

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ica Region

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What people are saying about Ica Region

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 489 reviews

Our guide was wonderful. She was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge pertaining to our tour in particular and Peru and it’s culture and history generally. She was personable, and a delight to spend time with. She kept the tour lively and interesting at all times, and kept things flowing smoothly from start to finish. Just as importantly, she sensed when to step back and let us enjoy what we were seeing while being discreetly available when we were ready to reengage or move on or needed something. She was a superstar conversationalist and a perfect host.

We went as a family and everyone worked so hard to make sure we had a great experience. The guide on the dunes was so kind and attentive to the children, he was helping them with their boards, getting them on and off, helped carry the boards for them. Spent extra care to ensure that he took us to Dunes that were empty so we could be alone. It was an experience full of memories that will last a life time. Highly highly recommend.

Marco did a great a great job! We had a lot of fun riding the beach buggies :)

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

Very well organized! I would recommend the adventure to anyone!