Paracas, Peru: The Official Information Website

Ballestas Islands Boat Tour: Everything to know!

By Paracas Peru

Paracas is known as the perfect getaway destination due to its near perfect weather, natural wonders, and exciting activities. Out of all the things, most would agree that the Ballestas Islands Boat Tour is the best of them all. Here’s what to expect, what to bring, prices, and more!

Ballestas Islands Boat Tour: what to expect

The Ballestas Islands are often referred to as the Peruvian Galapagos because of its abundant and diverse marine wildlife such as sea lions, penguins, and more.

Currently, the Ballestas Islands remain as a protected area in order to preserve the marine wildlife and its ecosystem. Therefore, the only way to visit this beautiful place is by taking a boat tour. Most of the operators offer a 2-hour boat tour, starting in the morning, where you’ll be able to get up close to its landscapes and watch the animals in their natural habitat, making it the perfect choice for animal lovers!

Ballestas Islands boat tour

Once in the port, you will depart with a speed boat towards the islands. The first ride lasts 30 minutes with a stop to see the ‘Candelabro’, a geoglyph on the sand of the Paracas National Reserve.

The boat will be floating around for 1 hour allowing you to get to see some animals in their natural environment. The guide will be explaining the history and the importance of these islands while you appreciate the amazing views. After the tour, you will head back to the port in a 30-minute ride.

Important note: Children under 1 are not allowed on the tour. This applies for all tour operator’s.

el candelabro stop


Prices vary depending on the tour operator service, however, the average cost will be 19.00 USD per person. Note that for any reservation, you will have to book the tour in advance.

What’s usually included

  • Boat trip
  • Life jackets
  • Tour guide Spanish/English
  • Tourist taxes
  • Entrance ticket

paracas sea lions

How to get to the Ballestas Islands

To get to the Ballestas Islands one must be in Paracas. Currently, the only way to get to this small town is by land.

Peru Hop is the most reputable bus company for travelers due to its flexibility, safety and years of experience. With Peru Hop, you can easily start your trip to Paracas from Lima, Arequipa, Puno or even Cusco, whether it’s on a day trip from Lima which already includes the Ballestas Islands Boat Tour or a hop-on, hop-off pass which includes a free visit to the Paracas National Reserve. Check out our how to get to Paracas page for more info of the best options!

Once in Paracas, you’ll find different tour operators, but not all of them are the same. Make sure to choose your tour operator wisely since in many opportunities, travelers have been scammed. We encourage you to visit, the best platform for comparing tour operators, prices, and activities in South America.


Here are some recommendations on what to bring to visit the Ballestas Islands, make sure to follow these suggestions so you can experience this adventure at its fullest.

  • Protect yourself from the sun. Make sure to apply sunscreen at least every 45-50 minutes, as well as wearing a sunhat and sunglasses since Paracas usually have clear skies all year long.
  • Bring a light jacket. Although rain is not very common in this region, while going on the speedboat, you could get wet from all the splashes. Keep in mind that the pacific ocean waters are cold, so you better be prepared with a light sweater or a windbreaker for the boat ride.
  • Don’t forget your camera! This must be in every traveler’s list, the Ballestas Islands are as visually striking as you can imagine, and you definitely don’t want to miss the opportunity of immortalizing these landscapes full of gorgeous animals.
  • Bring your binoculars. If you love birdwatching as much as us, this is one of the things you should not miss while packing your bag for this tour. With these, you’ll see penguins from a distance since they tend to hide from boats and people.

Without a doubt, Paracas gathers the most exciting activities near Lima, making it the perfect destination to escape to. Learn more about Paracas to enjoy the most of this beautiful town!