Ballestas Islands Tour
Welcome to the National Park of Paracas
The Ballestas Islands are an archipelago in the district of Paracas in the province of Pisco in the region of Ica in Peru. It is located about 20 kilometers west of the city of Pisco and 300 kilometers south of the capital Lima in the Pacific. The archipelago consists of the three islands Ballestas Norte, Ballestas Centro and Ballestas Sur (also Isla Piedra Redonda) and several small rocks.
The islands are a well-known tourist attraction in Peru. They belong to different spatially separate guano islands and coastal sections, which form a national nature reserve. The protected area was created by law on 31 December 2009. It covers about 22 islands and 11 habitats of Guanovögeln on the coast in the stretch of coast from Piura to Moquegua on a total area of 140.833,47 hectares.
Discover why the Ballestas Islands were nicknamed “Peruvian Galapagos” on a full-day tour of the Paracas National Reserve. Set sail to the islands to spot Humboldt penguins, Peruvian booby traps and red-legged cormorants, then explore the desert dunes, red sandy beaches and archaeological sites of the Paracas National Park.
Take an exciting boat tour and observe the diverse wildlife of the Ballestas Islands. Look for sea lions and penguins. With a little luck you might even see dolphins.
What you expect
- Aboard a boat in the port of Paracas you can visit the three Ballestas Islands. Take a 2-hour tour and observe seals, sea lions, penguins, pelicans, terns, guanotannets, terns, cormorants and other seabirds.
- If you approach the islands, there is much to discover. Some animals are sunning themselves on the shore, birds are circling above them and below you the sea creatures are playing in the water. With a little luck you might even see dolphins. A competent tour guide is on board and provides exciting information about the diverse wildlife that is native here.
- There are few places in the world where so many different species live together in such a small space as on the Ballestas Islands.
- Take an exciting boat trip to the Ballestas Islands
- Marvel at the many native animals on land, at sea and in the air
- Watch penguins, sea lions and maybe even dolphins
Ballestas Islands Tour
- The number 1 operator in Paracas, with over 12 years of experience in these waters
- Cruise to the Islands on board a modern speedboat, life vests are provided for all
- All Ballestas Islands tours are conducted with passionate local bilingual guides
The Ballestas Islands are a group of rocky islands located off the Pacific coast near the town of Paracas, and are famous for their abundant wildlife. They are a must-see for all wildlife lovers, as they’re home to thousands of birds and mammals, including penguins, sea lions, and pelicans. The islands are protected, meaning you cannot swim with the animals or walk on the islands themselves, but you will get very close to them by speedboat.
Boarding a speedboat from the town of Paracas, this 2-hour tour will take you to the spectacular Ballestas Islands that are located off the coast of Peru. You will get the opportunity to see the many caves and arches that have eroded over time, providing shelter to thousands of seabirds and sea lions, all the while admiring the amazing scenery of the Paracas peninsula along the way.
20 minutes out from the bay of Paracas we will reach El Candelabro, a large-scale geoglyph similar to those of the Nazca Lines. Here you will have a chance to take some photos, while your guide explains the different theories on who created this enigmatic figure.
From there, we will continue on for another 15 minutes until we reach the famous Ballestas Islands. The Islands are a group of massive rock formations that, due to erosion, have created eye-catching structures, arches and caves. One of those caves is known as the maternity beach for sea lions. Here you will be able to see baby sea lions splashing around with their mothers. You will also be able to observe other animals up close, like penguins, pelicans, guanaes and chiquitas. During the tour of the islands, your guide will explain about the different species seen, and you will have an opportunity to take some amazing photos from up close. After approximately 1 hour, the speed boat will depart the islands and return to the Port of Paracas.
- Setting foot on the Islands themselves is forbidden as it is a protected, ecological area. This tour takes place on a speed boat.
- The operator does not allow babies under 1 year of age on to the tour.
In the following festive dates the tour will finish 30 minutes earlier:
- April 18th, 19th, 20th
- April 1st
- July 27th, 28th
- 07:45 or 09:45 Meet at Frayles Residencial Hotel
- 08:00 or 10:00 Leave El Chaco Port by speedboat
- 08:15 or 10:15 First stop to see “The Candelabro”
- 08:30 or 10:30 Arrive to the Islands
- 09:30 or 11:30 Depart Islands
- 10:00 or 12:00 Arrive back to El Chaco Port
- PARACAS EXPLORER
Level of Difficulty
- Boat trip
- Life jackets
- Tour guide Spanish/English
- Tourist taxes
- Entrance ticket
- Personal expenses
- Tips (Optional)
Frequently asked questions
- Q: Is it possible to walk on the islands or to go swimming?
- A: The islands are protected, meaning you cannot swim with the animals or walk on the islands themselves, but you will get very close to them by boat. A unique experience for those who have never been to the Galapagos.
- Q: Why does the tour start so early?
- A: Due to increasing winds during the course of the day, the tours only depart in the mornings at 8am and 10am, and are available every day of the week. The advised schedule is the 8am tour, for the best weather conditions and wildlife spotting.
- Q: Can weather conditions affect the tour?
- A: Yes. This is something beyond our control. Winds and waves tend to get stronger later in the day, and for this reason the tours only leave in the morning when the sea conditions are calmer. Occasionally, the seas can also be too rough in the morning. In such instances, the Navy closes the port of Paracas for safety reasons, and NO operators are permitted to leave. Unfortunately, this is not easily predicted and the decision is made at the port early each morning. If the tour gets cancelled, a full refund will be given.
- Q: Is there a pick up?
- A: No, we meet at Frayles Residencial Hotel. Paracas is a tiny village, just a couple of hundred metres long, and Frayles Residencial Hotel is very centrally located.
- Q: Is it safe to do the tour?
- A: Absolutely! Life jackets are provided for every passenger on board the speedboat, and the boats have regular maintenance checks to make sure everything is perfect for the tours.
- Q: What should I bring to the tour?
- A: It can get chilly on the boat with the sea breeze. It is recommended to bring a wind jacket or jumper to protect yourself from wind/ocean spray. It can also be very sunny, so do not forget your sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen. You should also bring a camera or cell phone to take pictures.
- Q: Why book with FindLocalTrips.com?
- A: AlemaPE-Tours has a partnership to them. Apart from our low-price guarantee, with us you are 100% assured that your booking is made. We provide an instant email confirmation, and have live spaces and availability for each tour. If you have any queries, you are in the hands of our team of 20 local experts here on the ground, who speak perfect Spanish and English. We guarantee quick responses to any questions or queries. Tour operators are experts at operating their tours... We are the experts at reservations, organisation and assistance with your plans for these tours.
- Bring a jumper or rainjacket, as the wind at sea can be cold
- Not suitable for people with mobility problems, walker or wheelchair
- Children under 1 year old can not do the tour
Cancellation or changes of this tour
- CHANGES: Any changes to the tour date need to be done before 6:00 pm the day before the tour begins.
- NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel the day prior to the tour before 6:00 pm (Lima time) or earlier, a 10% administration fee (+ the card fee) will apply. After this time, there is a 100% no-show or cancellation fee.
- You must email firstname.lastname@example.org (include the name of the tour and the reservation number) to cancel this tour or to make any changes.