A journey South to Paracas and Ica begins at one of Lima’s bus terminals such as Soyuz, or Cruz del Sur. Travel time to Pisco, 240km’s is about 3hr 30mins by bus. If your bus doesn’t go directly to Paracas, then get off in Pisco, and take a taxi to Paracas. There are plenty of hotel accommodations in the small village, which lies in the Atacama Desert in the Paracas National Preserve, and along the shores of Pisco Bay.
The number one attraction in Paracas is a two hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands. Numerous speed boats take turns docking against the pier in a sort of pecking order, as tourists pour over the side of the pier into the boats which fills up quickly. At the entrance to the pier sits a booth which charges an entry fee to enter the preserve, and everything seemed straight forward at first. However, it was a disorganized chaos, or so it seemed while waiting in line to purchase a ticket. Several tour boat operator touts were rattling off different prices like an auction in reverse. Break out your negotiating skills here to try for a better deal. A Russian entrepreneur has built a new pier beside the old one, as well as a terminal with a small aquarium which should all be operational by now. I took this trip in August 2014.