During this 2-day trip starting from Lima, you will discover the “Galapagos of Peru” and enjoy fantastic wildlife viewing of birds and marine animals. On the first day, you will travel to the coastal town of Paracas, on the Pacific Ocean, and go on a tour through the pristine Paracas National Reserve. Observe the wonderful flocks of parihuanas (a type of flamingo) on the coastline and see the impressive rock formation of ‘La Catedral’, created by wind and sea erosion. Visit Playa Roja, a unique beach on the Peruvian coast with fossils of ancient marine life. Before returning to Paracas for the night, enjoy some time at the beautiful Playa Lagunillas. On day 2, you will take a boat tour to explore the Ballestas Islands archipelago. Along the way, check out the amazing Candelabra geoglyph etched into the mountain and look out for dolphins. View Peruvian boobies (native bird), Humboldt penguins, Peruvian pelicans, as well as large families of sea lions sleeping on the shores. Return to Lima with your camera full of great photos.
Day by day itinerary:
Day 1: Transfer Lima - Paracas & Paracas National Reserve Day Tour
Go to the Lima bus station on your own this morning and take a public bus to Paracas at 7:00 am. Upon arrival, go on a day trip to the Paracas National Reserve for a guided tour through this pristine natural reserve. Visit the Mirador of Flamencos or Parihuanas and see ‘La Catedral’ rock formation created by wind and sea erosion. See the Playa Roja, unique to the Peruvian coast with fossils of ancient marine life. End your trip at Playa Lagunillas for lunch and time to enjoy the beach before returning to the town of Paracas. Spend the night in Paracas.
Day 2: Ballestas Islands Day Tour & Transfer Paracas - Lima
Today you will take a boat tour to the amazing Ballestas islands. As you cruise west from the tiny beach town of Paracas, you won't be able to miss the Candelabra geoglyph, a 150m high and 50m wide figure of a candlestick etched into the mountain, rumored to have been an ancient guide for sailors or a connection to the Nazca lines. A short description and time for photos is given before cruising on to the famous Ballestas Islands.
A trip to the Ballestas islands is an excellent opportunity to see large families of over 100 sea lions sleeping on the shores, basking in the sun on the rocks or some barking loudly in efforts to protect their territory. Spot cormorants, the Peruvian booby and Peruvian pelican as well as other impressive varieties of sea bird species and Humboldt penguins nesting together in small groups. Feeling lucky? Watch the waters for dolphins.
After your tour, you will take a bus back to Lima where your trip will come to an end.
Suggestions for Ballestas Islands Boat Tour: Make sure you bring adequate clothing to keep you protected from the cool ocean air, the sun and spray from the sea. Bring a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the birds and sea lions. If you are prone to motion sickness, you should take medication about a half-hour before you board.