Ica Region Water activities

Our most recommended Ica Region Water activities

Paracas: Ballestas Islands Morning Boat Tour

1. 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: 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 Paracas: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve

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

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

Discover the serene landscapes of the Peruvian countryside on a day trip from Lima to Paracas and Huacachina with hotel transfers included. See Humboldt penguins and sea lions on the Ballestas Islands and slide down the Huacachina dunes by sandboarding and dune buggy ride.  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 your own expense) in 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 sand, 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.

From Lima: Tour to Paracas, Ica and Huacachina

5. From Lima: Tour to Paracas, Ica and Huacachina

Visit a natural oasis in the middle of the desert surrounded by beautiful palm trees. Here, you can also take pedal boat rides around the lagoon, practice sand-boarding and ride in tubular cars. You will be picked up from your hotel at 4:00 AM. Before heading to Paracas. Once you arrive, board the 'sliders' at the pier and begin the excursion to the Ballestas Islands. On the way, we can see the 'Candelabro' (Paracas Chandelier), a large geoglyph that serves as a beacon to the navigators. Continuing to the Ballestas Islands, you'll see the natural habitat of the sea lions. They love to approach the tourist boats, a truly magical spectacle that justifies the visit in itself. You will also be able to view the Humboldt penguins and guano birds.  Continuing to the province of Ica, get to know the culture and gastronomy with a typical lunch. After lunch, you'll go to the Huacachina Oasis and take a high-adrenaline ride in a sand buggies and also be able to try sandboarding. Finally, you'll have free time to walk around the oasis, take a boat ride, take pictures or buy handicrafts. You will return to Lima by bus. 

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis & Winery Tour

6. From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis & Winery Tour

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 drive to drive to a small local winery to learn how Pisco is made and to enjoy a tasting. Stop at the Huacachina Oasis, and take some time to eat lunch and walk around. Test your skills at sand boarding or just enjoy free time enjoying the beautiful landscape . At the end of the adventure, head back to Lima via the same route.

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 1 hour and 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 drinking Pisco Sours. At the end of the adventure, head back to Lima via the same route.

From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis, Desert Buggy

8. From Lima: Ballestas Islands, Huacachina Oasis, Desert Buggy

See the desert oasis and natural hotspots on a full-day tour from Lima. Sail to Ballestas Island to see colonies of sea lions and penguins. Explore Huacachina Oasis and do dune a buggy tour in the desert. After pickup, head south to make your way to Islas Ballesta's unique natural place. These rocky islands, located off the Pacific coast of Peru, are perfect for animal lovers. Spot several birds and mammals including penguins, sea lions, and pelicans in this wildlife haven. Enjoy the rugged coastline of soaring cliffs, rocky beaches, and remote sea caves. Check out the enigmatic Paracas Candelabra, a giant prehistoric geoglyph in the Paracas Peninsula at Pisco Bay. Continue to Huacachina to see its beautiful oasis. Relax in the lap of nature surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Enjoy your day in the desert, taking a dune buggy tour, so much fun. Soak in the spectacular landscape formed by a lagoon of emerald green waters and large dunes.

From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour with entrances

9. From Paracas: Ballestas Island Boat Tour with entrances

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 the port, end of the tour.

From Paracas or Pisco: Ballestas Islands Private Boat Trip

10. From Paracas or Pisco: Ballestas Islands Private Boat Trip

A protected habitat for the rich array of birds and animals that call these islands home, Ballestas is one of Peru’s natural treasures. See the islands up close on a speedboat tour around the shores. Make a stop at the Paracas Peninsula to observe the Candelabra glyph. After a convenient hotel pickup from Paracas or Pisco, head to the Marina Turistica to start your island adventure. Board a private speedboat with your guide, and jet out onto the sea towards the stunning Ballestas. Along the way, stop at the seaside hill of Paracas Peninsula to see the Candelabra, an enigmatic pre-historic glyph etched into the side of the island—whose purpose, and creator, remain a mystery to this day. Afterward, continue towards the marine sanctuary of Ballestas. Gaze upon the rocky shores, filled to the brim with sunbathing seals. Watch penguins dive into the turbid waters to hunt underneath the surface—all alongside other beautiful creatures, like pelicans, and blue-footed boobies. After an exclusive tour of the islands tailored for just you and your group, be taken back to your hotel or be dropped off around Paracas.

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What people are saying about Ica Region

We had some problems at the pick up, they delayed for 2 hours and in the first hour we didn’t know if we will go, but in the end they managed to make the trip. The bus is comfortable. The 2 destinations are incredible, you need to see those places if you are in Lima

Pros: - detailed visit around the Ballestas Islands - amazing nature and wildlife Cons: - it started with a 25 mins delay without communication

Wonderful guide, as a solo woman traveler I felt very safe and the bus was comfortable and clean. Would definitely recommend Peru Hop.

Truly incredible experience with a professional and kind guide! I really loved this experience.

Greta trip with brilliant wildlife. Well worth stopping in paracas for.