Paracas, Peru: The Official Information Website

Best things to do in Paracas Peru

By Paracas Peru

Paracas is a lovely beach and fishing town, located in the Ica region, just 4 hours away from Peru´s capital, the city of Lima. This place is a charming spot, well known for its relaxing vibes and sunny weather, it’s also the best option if you want to escape from Lima and spend a nice time with family and friends. Backpackers and tourists love Paracas because they can stop there and recharge energy before continuing their trip to the south of Peru.

Paracas and its surrounding areas are fascinating not only for the beautiful landscapes but for the different things and activities you can see and do there. Keep reading to find out the best 8 things to do in Paracas.

Don´t miss a trip out to the Ballestas Islands

The Ballestas Islands, also known as the “poor man´s Galapagos”, are a group of rocky islands that can only be reached by boat from the Paracas harbor. To go there you can arrange a tour that departs from the boardwalk, once you´ve done this a small boat will take you to the islands, where you will see the rock formations and the diverse marine life such as sea lions, starfish, crustaceans, Humboldt penguins and a variety of guano birds, that inhabits the area.

ballestas islands

Visit the Paracas National Reserve

Another main attraction of Paracas is the Paracas National Reserve, which is located in the most desert area of the Peruvian coast, however, it’s one of the richest maritime areas with cold water currents. In the reserve, you will see fossils millions year old, beautiful desert dunes, and lots of birds in their natural habitat. If you love nature you can´t miss a tour in this extensive protected area.

paracas national reserve peru

A quick tip: The best way to visit the Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas islands is with Peru Hop. Whether you decide to take a long or short trip, Peru Hop has short trips from Lima to enjoy the best activities.

A quick tip: The best way to see the Nazca lines is with Peru hop as they stop at the viewing tower for free.


Paragliding through the clear skies of Paracas with the sea and the desert in the background it’s a lifetime experience. Paracas is a recognized place to practice this adventure sport, which will have the added touch of a scenic landscape that will accompany your flight through its skies. Paragliding flight packages are offered in the same city of Paracas and are carried out within the Reserve under the supervision of professional pilots.

paracas national reserve peru paragliding

Dive on the beaches of Paracas

The Paracas sea is one of the best for diving. Its waters of turquoise and blue tones make this activity an incomparable experience in which you can appreciate the immensity of marine species in the area.

In the Paracas district you will find different diving academies or agencies, which provide the technical equipment and all the security measures for your next adventure in the sea. The 3 most recommended beaches for diving are Playa La Mina, Playa Lagunillas, and Playa Mendieta. You can dive all year round, but if you are looking for especially warm weather is recommended to go between December and April.

paracas national reserve diving

Tour the Paracas Reserve by quad bike

If you are looking for more ideas on what to do in Paracas, this is a perfect option for you. Visit the Reserve in a different and fun way riding a quad bike. You will get to ride your own quad bike as fast as you like into the dunes across the peninsula while you will appreciate the impressive scenery, making stops at the most important places where the desert meets the ocean.

paracas national reserve quad biking

Practice Kayaking

If you are one of those who prefer a moment of peace and love being close to the ocean, kayaking in the Paracas sea is a great option to combine these two passions. You can disconnect from the routine and enjoy the tranquility of the sea and the soft sound of its waves. The kayaks are rent per hour, you can find them on the same boardwalk or there are also several lodges in the area that provide this service.

kayaking paracas

Biking in Paracas

Seeing the Paracas Reserve by bicycle is simply a great experience if you are a biking lover. Crossing the desert on your bike to reach the most beautiful beaches along the coast is truly an otherworldly experience.

biking in the paracas national reserve

Dune Buggy in Paracas

If you want to have a moment of adrenaline and fun, sand trucks are an excellent option for you. This activity has become highly requested by lovers of extreme adventures who come to Paracas and want to fully enjoy the desert.

buggying in the paracas national reserve

Without a doubt, Paracas is a charming place and has a lot to offer, from beautiful landscapes, nature, adventure sports, and more. So if you need to take a break from the daily routine, this is the perfect place to disconnect and relax.

Where to go next?

If you have some more time, don’t forget to visit Huacachina, a famous destination just 1 hour away from Paracas. You will find some good advice on how to spend a great time doing some sandboarding, treks in the desert, visiting some wine and pisco vineyards, and enjoying the magical sunsets.

Don´t think too much and check out our blog on What to do in Huacachina so that you can fully enjoy your next visit to this stunning oasis surrounded by palm trees and dunes.