On Day 1 take a bus to Paracas where you will embark on a day trip to explore the Paracas Natural Reserve. On Day 2, take an early-morning Ballestas Islands Boat Trip, then hop on a bus to Ica. Go sandboarding and sand-buggying from the Huacachina desert oasis on Day 3. Take a bus to Nazca to see the legendary Nazca Lines from the air on Day 4 and return to Lima by bus, where your trip ends upon arrival in the evening.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Bus Lima to Paracas - Paracas National Reserve Tour
Go to the Lima bus station on your own this morning and take a 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 landscape. 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. Overnight in Paracas.
Day 2: Ballestas Islands Tour - Bus Paracas to Ica (Huacachina)
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, rumoured to have been an ancient guide for sailors or a connection to the Nazca lines.
In the Ballestas Islands you may have the opportunity to see large families of over 100 sea lions sleeping on the shores and basking in the sun. 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 the tour jump on a bus to Ica, where you will have to grab a taxi (at your own cost) to the oasis town of Huacachina, where you will spend the night.
Day 3: Huacachina - Sand-buggy & Sandboarding Experience
Enjoy the morning at your leisure. In the afternoon, begin your fun-filled tour 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. Next you will sand-board on 3-4 different dunes. 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. 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 for overnight.
(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 lying down option as it is much easier and lots of fun!)
Day 4: Bus Ica to Nazca - Nazca Lines Flight - Bus Nazca to Lima
Today you will catch a taxi (at your own expense) back to Ica in time to catch a bus to the infamous Nazca Lines. Have the experience of a lifetime flying over the Peruvian coastal desert to see over 300 figures representing geometric shapes, straight lines extended over 2 kilometers in length and depictions of animals that have been etched into the desert floor. These geoglyphs have remained untouched in the Pampas desert for over 2000 years. Come see this modern mystery for yourself and look down on intricately designed shapes and characters that play a large part in the Nazca culture.
After the flight, catch a bus from Nazca to Lima, where this amazing adventure will come to an end. We wish you safe travels onwards!
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 if you wish to get a closer look at the birds and sea lions. If you are prone to motion sickness, you should take medication about half an hour before you board.
Recommendations for 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 Nazca Lines Flight: If you are prone to motion sickness it is highly recommended to take medicine such as dramamine before your flight as the pilot will fly in circles around each geoglyph in order to get a good view from both sides of the plane. You should be provided with a motion sickness bag, however if you don't see one when you get in, go ahead and ask just in case. If you start feeling sick, try to keep your eyes on the horizon.