Your day-by-day itinerary
Lima - Islas Ballestas - Huacachina
Today you’ll leave Lima and follow the atmospheric coastal road, often shrouded in an eerie sea mist. When you reach the small harbour of Paracas, you’ll hop in boat bound for the Islas Ballestas. As you approach the Islas Ballestas you’ll be hit by a wave of barking noise and a serious whiff of sea lions. It’s a wildlife assault on the senses.
Peru’s answer to the Galapagos, these tiny islands are completely overrun by animals, from seals to iguanas and from pelicans to penguins. A riot of noise, activity, splashing and earthy smells, the islands are reserved wholly for the wildlife, so you’ll circle them by boat, passing just metres from basking sea lions. It’s a wonderful way to spend a morning.
Afterwards you’ll head to Huacachina, one of the most bizarre and beautiful spots in Peru. Buried between giant sand dunes, Huacachina is a tropical oasis surrounding a lagoon. Your hotel is a real little hideaway, nestled amidst the palm trees and pastel-coloured houses lining the lagoon. Spend the afternoon ambling along the shores, swimming in the soothing water and trying some traditional cuisine.
Huacachina - Arequipa
You’ll have most of your second day free to explore Huacachina, sand-boarding down dunes or visiting the archaeological museum. For something different, drop in on the wineries and pisco-producing factories of Ica, just 4km up the road, and sit back with the national drink of Peru. When late afternoon rolls around, you’ll hop in a taxi to Ica, where you’ll board the overnight bus to Arequipa.
Combine this trip with...
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these: