encounter the south coast

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Situated on Peru’s Pacific arid desert coastline, this region boasts an interesting mix of ancient local culture, spectacular natural beauty and adventure sports that you’ll be sure to find captivating! Beware though, there is no way you can escape the sand!

The first settlers arrived in the area over 10,000 years ago, and from these ancestors, the Nazca, Ica, and Paracas cultures were born. This region’s ancient people wove ornate robes, developed elaborate ceramic skills, mummified their dead, and drew lines and gigantic figures on the desert floor to speak with the universe above. Pisco is a lovely little town that smashes grapes into potent Pisco Sour cocktails and hosts a small airport that can be used as an alternative to the long Lima/Nazca 7 hour drive. Any of these desert gems is a perfect stop while heading towards Arequipa, and there is plenty to do in each place and in between. One of the detours takes you to Ica. This small desert town hosts an even smaller hidden oasis by the name of Huacachina, a great place to relax for a few days and meet fellow travelers. Looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure…the sand dunes can be surfed and/or sandboarded or explored by dune buggy!

Sands of Paracas, Ica & Nazca’s Enigma

A couple of hours along the coast, you can jump into a boat and visit Peru’s “Little Galapagos Islands” here, hundreds of sea lions noisily surround you. If lucky, you’ll have an opportunity to see penguins and maybe even dolphins as literally thousands of birds fly above you.

Be sure to fit in a visit to the Nazca Lines, its furthest from Lima but closest to Arequipa if you’re planning to explore Peru by land. The Nazca lines are well worth the time spent to see them, and when you see them as if you were gods in the sky…their size is simply mind-blowing! Top that off with a wide range of locally produced wine and pisco from the surrounding vineyards, and you have all the reason to go and get lost in the desert sands of Peru!

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Paracas Reserve

A desert home to millions of seabirds such as flamingos, penguins and pelicans, Paracas National Reserve also offers spectacular scenery and wild natural beaches. Visiting the Paracas Bay Reserve in the afternoon is a perfect excursion combined with a morning trip to the Ballestas Islands. The area is quite desolate, but all the more beautiful and peaceful adventure.

Ballestas Islands

As you get close to the Ballestas Islands you’ll spot huge gatherings of sea lions and hundreds of marine birds on and above the eroded caves and arches of these spectacular islands. The boat takes you close to the coast where you have an excellent view of a 164ft (50m) high candelabra shaped carving, that looks as though a giant figure drew it into sand by the gods!

Huacachina Oasis

Sand, sand and more sand! This little desert oasis at Huacachina, near Ica, is a relaxing spot to hang out and rest for a few days. You can explore the dunes with buggy rides as you go speeding up the sand dunes, almost as if on a thrilling rollercoaster ride. Either by buggy or sand boarding, you’ll have a spectacular desert sunset to enjoy as the desert cools into night.

Flight over the Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are one of the most interesting archaeological mysteries in the world dating back to 300 BC, made up of stylized lines and giant figures carved into the desert sands south of Lima. They can only be seen from lookout towers, or by flying over them, flights can be taken from Ica or the town of Nazca. Please note that not all planes are recommended and so, for safety’s sake, only take flights recommended by professional DMC’s.

Chauchilla Burial Tombs

About 19 miles (30km) south of Nazca lay an extensive valley of tombs from the Inca-Chincha period (A.D. 1000-1400). While referred to as a cemetery, the site is more like a necropolis, where thousands of graves have been uncovered in the surrounding area. While only 12 underground tombs are exposed to visitors, they paint a vivid picture of the ancient valley culture that was finding livelihood in the desert sands south of Lima.

Ica Dune Buggy

Explore Ica’s mighty dunes with a thrilling dune buggy ride up, down, over and across the towering desert sand dunes. Take a moment to enjoy the mesmerizing desert sunset before continuing your exhilarating dune buggy ride. There’s also the option to go sandboarding down Ica’s enormous sand dunes. If you’re finding it hard to stay up on your feet, don’t worry…just lay on your stomach on the board, and enjoy the thrill of ‘sand sledding’.

destination map

Title Address Description
Machu Picchu
08680, PerúMachu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, is quite possibly the reason you chose to travel to Peru in the first place! It was recently voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and we guarantee that this magical spot will not disappoint you. Read more…
Cusco, PerúCusco is the jump off point for a trip into the surrounding Sacred Valley to the less visited ruins and brightly painted churches of the southern valley en route to Puno or to crop circles and Inca salt pans…and of course to the World Wonder of Machu Picchu! Read more…
Sacred Valley
Valle Sagrado, 08670, PerúNestled deep within the Peruvian Andes, the Sacred Valley is home to charming Inca towns, impressive archaeological sites, and traditional local markets. It is also one of the best areas in Peru for a wide range of adventure activities while en route to Machu Picchu. Read more…
Lima, Perú

Known as the ‘City of Kings’, Lima is a city of contrasts. A mix of the old world and the new; modernity and tradition…Lima is a chaotic yet fascinating capital city. As well as being Peru’s capital, it is also the capital of gastronomy for all of the Americas! Read more…

Lake Titicaca / Puno

Legend has it that the children of the sun god, Manco Capac, and his sister, Mama Ocllo, rose from the depths of Lake Titicaca to build the Inca Empire. Explore the floating Uros Islands made from totora reeds and, discover the region’s authentic folklore. Read more…

Arequipa & Colca Canyon
Chivay, Perú

Legend has it that the children of the sun god, Manco Capac, and his sister, Mama Ocllo, rose from the depths of Lake Titicaca to build the Inca Empire. Explore the floating Uros Islands made from totora reeds and, discover the region’s authentic folklore. Read more…

Peruvian Amazon
Selva Amazonica, Perú

Early morning bird watching, late night jungle walking, fishing for piranhas, or a visit to the world’s largest macaw’s clay lick where hundreds of birds meet to feed – a truly colorful sight! There’s nothing like the wildlife that thrives in the Peruvian Amazon! Read more…

Ica, Paracas, Nazca
Ica, Perú

Situated on Peru’s arid desert coastline, this region boasts an interesting mix of ancient local culture, spectacular natural beauty and adventure sports. Ica, Paracas, and Nazca makes a great stop off or break point on a coastal ride towards Arequipa. Read more…

Trujillo & Chiclayo
Trujillo, Perú
Chachapoyas, Perú
Huaraz, Perú

Surrounded by jagged snowy peaks, glaciers and turquoise blue lakes, Huaraz is a real mountain adventure destination, not to mention home to ancient cultures and charming little villages. Read more…

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Depending on your client’s preferences, we can help you determine the best experiences tailored for your clients. From where to visit, when to go, what to do and how to get there safely, our travel experts will help you create an experience your clients will love.

Best times to
Ica, Paracas, & Nazca

The areas in this region can be visited at any time of the year since the weather is usually dry and sunny. The average temperature ranges from around 80.6°F (27°C) from December to March to 64.4°F (18°C) between the months of June and September

practical information


Ica, Nazca and Paracas all have small airports, but only charter flights make the journey to these three destinations.

Therefore one of the easiest ways to get to this part of Peru is by bus via the Pan-American Highway. The trip to Ica from Lima takes about 5 hours. The trip to Nazca from Lima takes about 7 hours and to Paracas about 4 hours. It is fairly easy to travel to the region in this manner as there are a wide variety of bus companies with frequent departures to and from these cities.

In Nazca you can take the world-famous flight over the Nazca Lines. We recommend taking this fight in the morning because the wind in the afternoon can be strong which can restrict visibility of the lines below and the turbulence can make the flight bumpy.


The Cruz del sur bus company has excellent busses that connects Lima to Pisco (3 hours), Paracas (3 hours), Ica (4 hours) and Nazca (6 hours). Services run between these destinations on a regular basis.

For transport in and around the cities, there are always cheap taxi’s available.


There are differing levels of accommodations in this region of Peru. Choosing either the more basic hotel or the area’s slightly more luxurious variety, you should always check for availability before setting off on your journey to this region.

The local cuisine is excellent and there are numerous restaurants that specialize in the food of this region. However if the indigenous food is not to your liking there are also many restaurants (especially around Ica) that serve international food and offer a varied menu to satisfy all tastes or along the seafront in Paracas serving up some of the country’s best seafood.

More highlights of Peru

With eight local offices in Latin America, we have the perfect base to help you build the perfect trip for your clients. Unrivaled experience with a wide selection of bed & breakfasts, small posadas, unique boutique hotels and world class luxurious lodging.