Your day-by-day itinerary
Lima - Huacachina
First you’ll travel by Royal Bus from Lima to Ica, which takes around five hours and follows the coastal road. On arrival, you’ll hop in a rickshaw to Huacachina, a tropical lagoon set in the centre of a desert. Your hotel is a real little hideaway, nestled amidst the pastel-coloured houses that huddle around the lagoon. Scale the sand dunes in time for sunset and sip on a Pisco Sour.
Islas Ballestas Excursion
This morning get up close to the Islas Ballestas, inhabited only by animals these islands are crammed coast to coast with seals, iguanas, sea lions, pelicans, penguins and dozens of other birds. Passing just metres from the shore, you’ll get a great close-up glimpse of the wildlife. Afterwards, explore Huacachina at your own pace, try a traditional lunch or ride the dunes on a sand board.
Huacachina - Nazca
Now for something completely different, next you’ll head for Nazca, home of an ancient mind-boggling mystery. You’ll stay in a cosy hotel with swimming pool in the centre of town, a friendly tourist mecca for travellers itching to see the fabled lines, geometric figures and plant drawings that criss-cross the desert. Nobody knows how these etchings got here, and the mystery throws a magical atmosphere over the whole area.
Free time in Nazca
Today is free for you to do as you please, head to the viewpoint 20km north of Nazca with oblique views of the lizard, tree and hands. Whatever the origin, it’s hard to fathom how the patterns were so perfectly drawn when they’re hardly visible from the ground. You can also take a scenic flight to see the lines from above, this can be booked locally but please be aware this is at your own risk.
Overnight bus to Arequipa
Towards the end of the afternoon you’ll head to the bus station to catch the overnight bus to Arequipa, which takes about 10 hours. Arequipa lies at an altitude of 2300m and, with an average temperature of 20-25C and sunshine all year round, it’s a lovely place to spend a couple of days adjusting to the altitude.
Combine this trip with...
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these: