Pisco is the home of the famous Pisco booze (don't like it's taste too much). However, from Pisco, you can also hire a motor boat that will take you (and your group) to see the famous bird islands Islas Ballestas. A great day out bird watching, it took all morning. Besides birds, there were also a huge band of seals and their barking sounded like a crowd of grumpy old men. They were very playful in the water though. You cannot actually land on these islands, but they are nice to see and you can get a lot of good pictures for your albums.
- Adventure Travel
A visit to the Paracas Natural Reserve is easier by organised boat tour to the Balletas Islands in the bay of Paracas. The bay is sheltered by the Paracas peninsula. The name 'Paracas' means 'sandstorm' because in this region, there can be severe sandstorm and wind can reach a speed of 32km/hr.
The area here around the Ballestas Islands is an amazing marine reserve with the highest concentration of marine birds in the world. It is also a reserve designated for migratory birds. The islands are also interestingly eroded into arches and caves, providing shelter for the birds.
It is quite fun to go out to the islands (you don't get off the boat) and observe the thousands of birds and the hundreds of sea-lions. Sometimes, you see huge long lines of flying dots which are the birds approaching from the sky. 'Guano' (bird sh!t) have been collected by the locals for ages to be sold as fuel.
The boats pass Puerto San Martin and the Candelabra enroute to the islands so you can view the interesting design from the boat.
Tambo Colorado was an Inca fort controlling the river traffic above Pisco. It was built in adobe and painted in white, yellow and red, hence the name.
It was built on three levels, the higher your staus, the higher your living quarters.
It is quite well preserved with the main structure and its high walls and typically shaped doors and windows still standing. You will be able to walk in a maze of rooms and see different style of bathrooms. The paint can still be seen in places.
Not many tourists venture there so you are likely to have the fort all to yourself.
Photo 1: the fort
Photo 2: Inca windows
Directions: Book a tour with an English speaking cab driver for $10/person for two and negotiate a lower rate from three pple upwards. We booked with Zarcillo and were very happy with our guide.
- Budget Travel
Day trips out of Pisco typically combine a morning boat tour of the Ballestas Islands with an afternoon van tour of the Paracas National Reserve. Established in 1975, the 117,000 hectare reserve was established primarily to protect the area’s abundant marine life. The bleak desert landscape stands in stark contrast to the incredibly rich offshore seas.
- National/State Park
Just a few weeks removed from a ten-day trip to the Galapagos, I had low expectations for the Ballestas Islands. I was pleasantly surprised. The wildlife is nowhere near as tame as it is on the Galapagos. And rather than exploring the islands on foot, you are limited to a couple-hour boat tour. But the numbers of sealions and seabirds (particularly boobies, pelicans, and three species of cormorants, but also including more special species such as Humbolt Penguin and Inca Tern) are staggering. Additionally, there are several unique and rather amazing rock formations which, given the mass of flapping seabirds, seem almost alive. The short trip out to the islands, which is often combined with an afternoon tour of the nearby Paracas National Reserve, is time well spent.
This excurion will take you with a boat trip trough las islas ballestas, where you will admire lots of sea animals, i.e. sea leons, penguins and lots of other species.
On the way you will also ahve the opportunity to see "EL candelabro", that, like the Nazca lines, nobody knows where it is from and who has done it.
This exurcion can be combinate with the one to the Penisula de Paracas.
The total cost would then be something less 20USD each.
Address: every agency in Pisco would be glad to organize it
This is definitely a must see activity during your visit in Pisco, or better say, this is the thing that makes a must the visit in Pisco.
Take half a day into this penisula, watching lots of falmingos and beautifull landscapes.
You will walk and drive trought this desertic area and admiring his peacefully smell.
Every agency could organize it for less then 7USD each.
If you have time, and moreover if you are going to miss Huacachina, or just if you want to chill an afternoon doing something different, then take a ride into the desert of Pisco. Here you can enjoy the Pisco' dunes,. having a sandboarding, riving up and down to his sandduens, and just relax the "open vview" of the desert.
It is really an impressive activity, also if you find yourself in the desert without gazolinre in the car!!! check the pic!
Address: Every agency is able to organize it
On the way to Isla Ballestas, we stopped briefly to enjoy the view of the pre-Nasca Pacara line formation that is engraved on the shore. It is in the form of a candelabrio (chandelier), hence its name Candelabrio. It is suppose to be some sort of star map.
The second tour took us into the Paracas Peninsula itself. It engulfs a national park created to protect the fragile desert habitat.
We took a clockwise tour of the islands and ended up at the maternity area were hundreds of sea lions gather to breed and give birth. Seeing the animals in their natural areas was awesome.
Afterwards we went to the Islas Ballestas, which are an interesting group of rock formations. In the islands, we got to see hundreds of sea lions, 2 penguins, and other birds native to the island.