Take a bus from Lima to Ica and go on a Sand Buggy & Boarding adventure on Day 1. Discover Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve on Day 2 before your bus back to Lima.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Bus Lima to Ica/Huacachina - Sand buggy & boarding
Go to the Lima bus station on your own this morning and take a bus to Ica at 6:30 am. Once you reach Ica, you will take a taxi (not included) up to the peaceful Huacachina Oasis. Enjoy some free time to get settled in your accommodation and wander around Huacachina. In the afternoon, you will go on a thrilling tour in which you will get the chance to ride to the top of giant sand dunes on a dune buggy and fly down on a sand board.
Begin your fun-filled trip with an exhilarating sand buggy ride. Cruise to the top of 500 meter high sand dunes and go rocketing down the slopes in this recreational vehicle. This roller coaster ride of 360’s, sharp turns and steep hills will get your adrenaline pumping before you take your first shot at sand boarding. You will have the opportunity to sand-board on 3-4 different dunes so you can try your luck. You will take thrilling rides on a basic sand-board by laying face first on the board and letting yourself fly down the dune to see how far (and fast) you can go. Cheer on your mates and don't let anyone shy away from this unforgettable experience. Lastly, you will admire the breathtaking sunset over the vast desert landscape and have the chance to take photos in the golden twilight before racing back to Huacachina.
(Experienced sand-boarders can choose to upgrade to a professional sand-board with boots and bindings for an extra cost of $5 USD paid locally. Upgrades are subject to availability. To reserve, please contact us in advance with your shoe size. On the day of the tour, you will need to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure for your fitting. For beginners we recommend the laying down option as it is much easier and lots of fun!)
Day 2: Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve Day Tour - Bus Paracas to Lima
You will be picked up from Huacachina this morning for your visit to the Ballestas Islands archipelago. 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.
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. Apart from the abundant marine and bird life found here, the Ballestas Islands are also very well known for the guano (seabird droppings) deposited on the island over thousands of years which creates a natural reserve of nitrogen-rich fertilizer over 50 meters deep in some areas.
The return trip to Paracas is a quick, very windy, direct boat ride to the dock. Upon arrival, you should have some time to take photos of the friendly pelicans that hang out on the shoreline beside the dock. Then we will make our way to the Paracas National Reserve for a guided tour through this pristine natural reserve. Visit the Mirador de Flamencos o 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. You will then take a bus back to Lima where your trip will come to an end in the evening.
*Suggestions for Sand Buggy and Sand Boarding: Make sure you wear long pants, shoes and sunglasses (or ask your driver for eye-protection). You will come back covered from head to toe in sand!
*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.