Ica Region
Birdwatching

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Our most recommended Ica Region Birdwatching

From Paracas: Scenic Boat Tour to Ballestas Island

1. 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 Islands & Paracas National Reserve

2. 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.

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

3. 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 Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

4. From Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

Pick up from your hotel within Ica/Huacachina between (7:00 am - 7:15 am), to 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 will drive back to your hotel in Ica/Huacachina at 16:30 or drop off in Paracas at 15:00 pm (Hotel or bus station).

From Lima: Paracas Full Day Guided Tour

5. From Lima: Paracas Full Day Guided Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Lima at around 05:00 AM, all depents your location in Lima, where you will board the coach for a 03:30-hour journey to Paracas town. Before to get to Paracas, we will stop to have breakfast. On your arrival in Paracas, make your way to teh dock where you will board a speedboat to the Ballestas Islands. During your journey to Ballestas, see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the Peninsula. There are many hypotheses regarding its origin, some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. In the Ballestas Islands you will see a stunningly rugged world filled with birds and sea lions. You will navigate around the islands at a distance allowed, and depending on the sea conditions, visit nearby caves. Return to the port at 11am, and spend some time in Paracas where you will have free time for restrooms or short time to relax. Then, continue to the next destination, Huacachina oasis. Have a small break to prepare for your desert tour; then board a buggy for 1-hour adventure across the sand dunes that surround the water source. Return to Huacachina and have time for refreshment. Continue towards to traditional vineyard and taste the best of the local wine and Pisco or lunch at the wineyard restaurant, then Drive back to Lima arriving and drop off to your hotel. At around 21:30 or 22 pm In this one-day tour you will have an assistant guide on the trip and will help you with your concerns on your trip.

Ballestas Islands and Huacachina Oasis Half-Day Tour

6. Ballestas Islands and Huacachina Oasis Half-Day Tour

Begin your morning with a pickup from your hotel in Paracas or Piso and head to the Paracas Harbor. Here you'll board a speedboat to begin your adventure to the stunning Ballestas Island. On the way you will stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see a stunning design of the enigmatic El Candelabro drawn on the side of a hill on the peninsula. Afterwards, the speedboat will navigate towards to the Ballestas Islands, where you will see a stunning world filled with birds and sea lions. Visit up to three islands, depending on sea conditions, and explore their caves.  Head back to the port for a 40 minute break before boarding a vehicle to drive approximately one hour to go towards the city of Ica. On this portion of the tour you will visit a vineyard to have the opportunity to taste traditional wine and Pisco, the national drink of Peru. Learn about the history and production process of Pisco in one of the bodegas before heading to more sights. Later on you will visit the Cathedral of Senor de Luren, the main square and the Regional Museum of Ica, and an interesting building that houses the remains of the local ancient cultures. After spending time in Ica continue southwest towards the Huacachina Oasis, a beautiful lagoon surrounded by palm trees and huge sand dunes with a spectacular view of Ica Valley and desert. Here you will be able to climb the sand dunes and enjoy a dune buggy tour. After spending time in the sand you will return with a drop-off at your hotel.

From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

7. From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines, & Huacachina Oasis

Start your adventure by departing Lima in the early morning. Travel for around 300 km on the Pan-American highway until you reach Paracas Bay, a very important place for Peruvian history which is full of wildlife.  Enjoy a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands and watch out for birds, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. Then head to Pisco Airport and take a 45-minute flight over the Palpa desert to see the Nazca Lines. Stop at the Huacachina Oasis, and take some time to eat lunch and walk around. Test your skills at sandboarding for an additional cost or just enjoy free time at the pool drinking Pisco Sours. At the end of the adventure, head back to Lima via the same route.

Ica: Ballestas Island & Paracas Reserve Private Tour

8. Ica: Ballestas Island & Paracas Reserve Private Tour

After a convenient hotel pickup, head to 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, hop back in the car for a convenient transfer back to your hotel in Ica or drop-off in Paracas (Hotel or bus station).

From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour

9. 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 Paracas: Paracas National Reserve Private Tour

10. From Paracas: Paracas National Reserve Private Tour

Enjoy the convenience of the being picked up from your hotel in Paracas or Pisco and transferred to the Paracas National Reserve. The reserve was established in 1975 to protect the bird and marine of life of the Paracas Peninsula. Admire the stunning landscape of the peninsula, formed by a saline desert, islands, and the sea. See one to the largest sea lion colonies in the world. Marvel at the numerous birds along the coastline. Learn about the reserve by visiting the visitor center, which has exhibits about the local flora and fauna. Drive to an area where a great natural rock formation once stood known as the Cathedral. Unfortunately, the Cathedral was destroyed during a 2007 earthquake. Enjoy amazing views of the desert, the blue ocean, and thousands of sea birds. Visit Playa Roja and Lagunillas Beach. After your tour finishes, return to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Ica Region

We had an amazing time with our tour guide Aymen. I am still buzzing over the great time we had today. at Ballestas we saw a whole bunch of different birds, little penguins, sea lions and even dolphins (apparently very rare). I am still buzzing over seeing the Nazca lines as it was on my to-do list for so long. Finally we went to the Huacachina Oasis where I would recommend getting the upgrade for the sand buggy and sand boarding as it capped off the great day and let us get some sandy pictures of us. Please note that they don't let you drive the buggy, but depending on your comfort level the park driver will make it feel like a roller coaster going over the dunes.

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.

Had an excellent experience on this trip to Ballestas, Oachachina and the Nazca lines. Was worth every penny and a real highlight of my trip. Both guides (Rudi was one of them, the other I can't remember your name, v sorry!) were very knowledegable, professional and affable. I'd highly recommend this day trip to others!

I expected this to be good but not this great. My guides were the best. They really explained me every detail of our tour and made sure it was special. They really went out of their way to make this an unforgettable day. I have 0 complaints. This tour was flawless . Thanks again Amigos!

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