Get up close to the wildlife that inhibits this protected eco-region
All Tours take place on modern speed boats ensuring a pleasant journey
An ecotourism operator contributing to the environmental protection of this area
The Ballestas Islands is a wildlife haven for the many species that take refuge here, such as penguins, sea lions and pelicans. This speed boat tour is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience for animal lovers and bird watchers, allowing you to come face-to-face with these unique animals and take memorable photos. 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.
All year round
Paracas hotel and hostel pickup
New Port of Paracas, El Chaco
Minimum age: 1 year old – Must have parents permission
The Ballestas Islands is the most popular tour when visiting the small beach town of Paracas. It lies off the coast of Peru and is a protected home to thousands of birds and sea lions that shelter in its caves and rocks.
The tour begins with a 20 minute speed boat ride from the bay of Paracas to El Candelabro, a giant geoglyph etched on a hill in the shape of a candlestick. While you take some photos, your guide will provide a narrated history of this mysterious, enigmatic figure.
The famous Ballestas Islands are easy to spot as the speedboat takes you towards giant crags of rocks that jut far out of the water. As you near the Islands, you will see hundreds of birds clinging to these giant rock formations. The notable caves and arches that can be seen have been shaped and worn away by the ocean waves. This is the perfect setting for animal lovers, as you come face-to-face with the wildlife of these islands: sea lions and their cubs, penguins, pelicans, guanaes and chiquitas. As you tour the Islands, your guide will explain about the different species of birds that nest in these parts. Make sure to keep your camera in hand in order to get those picture-perfect shots wherever you go.
After approximately 1 hour, the speed boat will depart the Islands and will return to the Port of Paracas.
Note: Setting foot on the Islands themselves is forbidden, as it is a protected, ecological area. This
tour takes place on a speed boat.
Holidays: In the following festive dates the tour will finish 30 minutes earlier.
April 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st
July 28th, 29th, 30th.
07:45 / 09:45
Hotel and hostel pickup
08:00 / 10:00
Leave El Chaco Port by speedboat
08:15 / 10:15
First stop to see "The Candelabro"
08:30 / 10:30
Arrive to the Islands
09:30 / 11:30
10:00 / 12:00
Arrive back to El Chaco Port
- Boat trip
- Life jackets
- Tour guide Spanish/English
- Tourist taxes
- Entrance ticket
- Wear light clothes
- Bring a waterproof jacket
- Bottle of water
Cancellations or changes of this tour:
CHANGES: Any changes to the tour date need to be done before 5:00 pm (Lima time) the day before the tour begins.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel the day prior to the tour before 5:00 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 email@example.com (include the name of the tour and the reservation number) to cancel this tour or to make any changes.
I can't find my accommodation listed in the operator pick up locations as I’m making my booking. What should I select?
This operator only offers pick-ups from the hotel and hostel accommodation listed. This list covers over 90% of the accommodation providers in the area. They do not provide pick-ups or drop-offs at private residences, Airbnbs, bus terminals etc. If you cannot find your hotel on the list, please select an alternative pick up location close by, and be ready for pick-up at the time shown on your booking confirmation.
Is it possible to walk on the island or to go swimming?
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.
Why does the tour start so early?
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.
Can weather conditions affect the tour?
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.
Is it safe to do the tour?
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.
What should I bring to the tour?
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.
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