How to Plan Your Private Tour to Ballestas Islands, Ica and Huacachina Including Sandboarding
Planning a tour to Ballestas Islands, Ica, and Huacachina can be an exciting venture. These splendid locations boast of various striking features that can thrill any traveler. From the spectacular sight of wildlife and marine life to sandboarding on the dunes, it is no surprise that a private tour to Ballestas Islands, Ica, and Huacachina is always high on the itinerary of most tourists visiting Lima. In this how-to guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to plan your private tour to these amazing places.
The private tour to Ballestas Islands, Ica, and Huacachina is a one-day package that can accommodate up to six people. It is designed to give you an unforgettable experience, packed with loads of fun activities. You will be picked up from your hotel or apartment in one of the following districts of Lima – Miraflores, Barranco, San Isidro, Downtown Lima (historical center), Chorrillos, Surquillo, San Borja, Santiago de Surco, Pueblo Libre, Jesus Maria, Magdalena del Mar, San Miguel, Rímac, Breña, and Lince.
The private tour package includes:
– An air-conditioned vehicle that will transport you from your hotel to the various destinations and back
– Pick up and drop off from Lima: Miraflores Barranco San Isidro or places nearby
– A knowledgeable private guide to show you around
– Sandboard and sandbuggy rides on the dunes of Huacachina
Meeting and Pickup
Pickup points include various districts in Lima. Select a pickup point that works best for you. Note that pickup and drop-off to your hotel or apartment are included ONLY in the aforementioned districts. If you are staying at another district, a small fee will apply for the transportation (private transfer) due to distance. Hotel pickup is offered, and you can view the hotel list on the checkout page to see if yours is included among the pickup points.
What to Expect
Here is a brief description of what to expect on your private tour to Ballestas Islands, Ica, and Huacachina.
The Ballestas Islands are located off the coast of Peru, near the town of Paracas. This group of rocky islands is home to a variety of marine life, including sea lions, seals, penguins, and numerous seabirds. You will take a boat tour around the islands and witness, from a safe distance, the playful sea lions basking on the rocks, the diving pelicans, the elegant Humboldt penguins, and other fascinating marine creatures in their natural habitat.
Ica is a city that lies approximately four hours south of Lima. It is known for its vineyards that produce pisco, a grape brandy that is popular in Peru. You will have the opportunity to visit one of the vineyards and learn about the process of making pisco. In addition, the city offers other cultural and historical attractions, including the Regional Museum of Ica, which has a remarkable collection of mummies, ceramics, and textiles from ancient civilizations.
Huacachina is an oasis located in the middle of the desert. It is a small town that is surrounded by towering sand dunes, providing an experience quite different from the other locations in this tour. Here, you can take a sand buggy ride through the dunes, enjoy the breathtaking views, and take part in sandboarding, a thrilling sport that involves surfing down the dunes on a board.
– Confirmation will be received at the time of booking
– This tour is not recommended for pregnant women, people with back problems, children under five years old, and people with heart conditions or required to use a wheelchair because it involves some physical activity.
– Vegetarian options are available for lunch, but must be requested at the time of booking.
– It is recommended to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the scorching sun.
Ready to book your private tour to Ballestas Islands, Ica, and Huacachina Including Sandboarding? You can book the tour here. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness the wonders of nature and experience the thrill of sandboarding on the dunes.
An Insider’s Guide to Ica, Peru: Beyond Ballestas Islands and Sandboarding
If you’re traveling to Ica, Peru, you’re most likely visiting the Ballestas Islands and trying your hand at sandboarding. But, here’s the thing: there’s so much more to this city and region than just these tourist spots. As a local, I’ll take you on a journey through some of Ica’s lesser-known, but just as fascinating, attractions, cuisine, culture, history, and off-the-beaten-path gems.
Local Attractions: Hidden Gems Only Locals Would Know
One of Ica’s hidden gems is the Huacachina Oasis, where you can take a stroll or go for a bike ride. Another lesser-known spot is the Tambo Colorado ruins, a well-preserved Inca archaeological site. You can also visit the village of Cachiche, home to the healers and mystics known as ‘brujos’ or ‘witches’. And, don’t miss the vineyards and wineries of the region, such as Tacama and Santiago, where you can taste some of the best wines in South America.
Dining Spots: Local Cuisine and Interesting Anecdotes
Ica is famous for its pisco, the national drink of Peru, and a range of dishes that use it as an ingredient, including ceviche and pisco sour. But, there’s also a lesser-known berry unique to Ica called the ‘aguaymanto’, used to make jam, syrup, and a dessert called ‘volcan’, worth trying. Another interesting food tip is to visit the town of Chincha and sample Afro-Peruvian dishes, such as ‘sudado’, made with fish, yucca, and corn, and ‘chicha’, a fermented corn drink.
Cultural Experiences: Traditions, Festivals, Art, Music, Customs
Ica’s main festival is the ‘Señor de Luren’, celebrated in October. It’s a religious festival, but also a time to enjoy various cultural activities, such as music and dance. Another famous event is the ‘Festival International de la Vendimia’, focused on the grape harvest, with grape stomping and wine tasting. Art lovers should visit the Regional Museum of Ica, showcasing local art and history, and check out the works of Angela Ramos, a notable painter from the region.
Local History: Captivating Stories from the City’s Past
One of the most fascinating stories from Ica’s past involves the mysterious Nazca Lines, giant geoglyphs in the Nazca desert, only visible from the air, created by the Nazca civilization between 500 BCE and 500 CE, still a subject of study and debate. Another intriguing piece of Ica’s history is the legend of Maria Reiche, a German mathematician, and archaeologist who dedicated her life to studying and protecting the Nazca Lines and their cultural significance.
Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions: Unforgettable and Unique Experience
If you’re looking for a unique adventure, try the ‘cachipampa’ experience, a type of traditional rodeo, where locals compete to catch a wild bull with their bare hands. Another option is a tour of the desert’s natural sculptures, rock formations formed by erosion and wind, unique to the area. One more suggestion is to visit the city of Ayacucho, famous for its art, architecture, and handicrafts, and experience its traditional Christmas celebrations, with colorful decorations, music, and food.
In conclusion, Ica, Peru, is a city and region of diverse experiences, not just limited to the Ballestas Islands and sandboarding. From hidden gems to delicious cuisine, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions, there’s a lot more to discover. So, venture beyond the tourist spots and discover the charm and uniqueness of Ica.
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