Welcome to South Coast


It's a stark, dry corner of earth – caught between the Andes and the sea – that only comes to life in the fertile river valleys that produce wine and fruit, providing visitors with a fleeting relief from the relentless beat of the brown desolate desert.

Most adventures take you on a tried-and-true trail that begins with rafting in Lunahuaná, wildlife watching in the Islas Ballestas, sandboarding out of Huacachina and a requisite stop to the mysterious lines and odd geoglyphs that decorate the blank desert canvas outside of Nazca. Step beyond the outlines of this Gringo Trail to discover virgin surf spots, vibrant agricultural villages and spirited and unassuming cultural beats.


Top experiences in South Coast

Travel guides

Starting at $33.79

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South Coast activities

$34 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Ballestas Islands, Paracas National Reserve Tour from Paracas

Depart from the boat dock in Paracas at 8:00 am 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 guano came to be Peru's #1 export in the mid-19th century however today the extraction of guano has been regulated to every 10 years.The return trip to Paracas is a quick, very windy, direct boat ride to the dock.  Upon arrival at 10:00 am, your first tour comes to an end. You should have some time to take photos of the friendly pelicans that hang out on the shoreline beside the dock. Then make your way to the same departure point for your next tour.At 11:00 am depart to the Paracas National Reserve for a guided tour through this pristine and unique natural reserve located south of the town of Pisco. Visit the Mirador de Flamencos and see flamingos eating at the shore, continue your adventure towards the Centro de Interpretacion to learn about all the fauna in the reserve. In this Centre you can see skeletons of whales, sea lions, and penguins. To finish your tour go off road in the desert towards beautiful Lagunillas Beach, where you can enjoy lunch with a view (not included). At Lagunillas, those who want to go for a swim are welcome to! Return to Paracas.

$86.63 Day Trips & Excursions

San Martin Port to Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserve Tour

You will be met by our guide at 9:15am at San Martin Port, then you will be transferred to Paracas town, at this point you will meet the rest of the group and board our speedboat to begin your adventure to the stunning Ballestas Island. On the way you will stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro. A stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the Peninsula. Nobody knows for sure who did it or why. There are many hypotheses regarding its origin. Some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. Afterwards will head off to Ballestas Island where you will enjoy a stunning world filled with birds and sea lions. Here you will visit the three islands at an allowed distance, navigating in some caves (this will be depending on the condition of the sea). On your return to the port, you will board our vehicle to drive towards Paracas Reserve in group. During your tour you will learn more about Paracas Reserve by visiting the interpretation centre, an interesting building that displays photos about all the fauna, flora and many others important facts about the Paracas Peninsula. Afterwards, we will drive throughout a lifeless desert till we reach an area where once stood a great natural rock formation known as the Cathedral. Unfortunately, this old formation did not withstand the 2007 earthquake. At this place you will have amazing views of the desert and the blue ocean and you will see thousands of sea birds, then you will visit Playa Roja and Lagunillas beach for some refreshments. At the end of the tour you will be return to San Martin Port to re-join your ship.

$20 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Paracas to Ballestas Islands 2-Hour Sightseeing Boat Ride

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. There will be a short description and time for photos before cruising on to the famous Ballestas Islands.The Ballestas Islands are an excellent opportunity to see large families of over 100 sea lions sleeping on the shores, basking in the sun on the rocks or 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 guano came to be Peru's #1 export in the mid-19th century, however today, the extraction of guano has been regulated to every 10 years.The return trip to Paracas is a quick, very windy, direct boat ride to the dock. You should have some time to take photos of the friendly pelicans that hang out on the shore line beside the dock, do some souvenir shopping or grab a snack before heading on to your next destination.

$50 Shore Excursions

San Martin Port to Ballestas Islands Guided Tour

You will be met by our guide at 9:15am at San Martin Port, then you will be transferred to Paracas town, at this point you will meet the rest of the group and board our speedboat to begin your adventure to the stunning Ballestas Island. On the way you will stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro. A stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the Peninsula. Nobody knows for sure who did it or why. There are many hypotheses regarding its origin. Some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. Afterwards will head off to Ballestas Island where you will enjoy a stunning world filled with birds and sea lions. Here you will visit the three islands at an allowed distance, navigating in some caves (this will be depending on the condition of the sea). At the end of the tour you will return to San Martin Port to re-join your ship.

$34 Outdoor Activities

Huacachina Sand Buggy and Sand Boarding Experience

Welcome to the quaint, quiet and cute oasis of Huacachina with its tranquil lagoon and backdrop of amazing sand dunes anywhere you turn to look. Get ready to cruise to the tops of 500-meter (1,640-foot) high sand dunes and go rocketing down the slopes in the sand buggy. A 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. Strap yourself in tightly, throw your hands in the air and scream away as you are carried over sand dunes in the middle of the expansive desert. You will have the opportunity to sandboard on 3-4 different dunes so you can try your luck. You will take thrilling rides on a basic sandboard 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 the laying down option is recommend because it is much easier and lots of fun).

$49.50 Outdoor Activities

Ica 3-Hour Sandboarding Experience at the Huacachina Oasis

2:45pm: Testing equipment and presentation of our staff.   3:30pm: Meeting in our school to start prepare all the equipment and be ready to leave to the dunes.   4:00pm: We go to the dune buggy parking and leaves to the desert to ride the best dunes.   6:30pm: We back to the school to share pictures and videos (maximum, if you have your bus for other destinations we can arrange to return minimum at 6pm).   Our tour includes boards and boots same professional snowboarding. Professional Instructor accredited by International Sand School.   Ride in the desert with buggies. Professional Sand-boarding or Sand-skiing lessons for amateur and advanced.   Pictures and videos by instructors. Our recommendations: Arrive early to Ica. When you arrive to Ica city, take a taxi to Oasis Huacachina (10 minuts). Wear sun cream. Covering their cameras with a plastic bag to keep out the sand. Wear light clothes (shorts or fresh pants, T-shirts and small jacket). It gets cold and windy from 5:30pm. Bring mosquito repellent, sunglasses and sandals.

South Coast in detail