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3 day Ica, Nazca, Paracas Itinerary - from Lima

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3 day Ica, Nazca, Paracas Itinerary - from Lima

Old Mar 26th, 2014, 07:21 PM
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3 day Ica, Nazca, Paracas Itinerary - from Lima

We have three days for Nazca, Ica, and Paracas. How does this sound? Any thoughts or recommendations?

Day 1:

7 am bus from Lima to Ica. Arrive 11:30, see museum, Huacachina, maybe swimming and/or sand buggy ride/sand boarding. 6:30pm bus to Nazca. Overnight Nazca.

Day 2:

Fly the lines in the morning (I will speak to our hostel about arranging this in advance. We hope to get a good price) See museum, maybe get a taxi to go out towards the some of the lines and see some on foot... how long would that take from the town?) 6:30 pm bus to Paracas. Overnight Paracas.

Day 3:

Boat tour of Islas Ballestas in the morning. I am assuming this is easy to arrange. We might ask our hostel about it. Take 2:30 pm bus to Lima. Time for a nice meal before heading to the airport for our 11:30pm flight.
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 07:33 PM
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Looks okay, although not sure of the best time for the bus from Ica if you want to do the dune buggy ride, the afternoon one that goes for sunset is the best. It is thrilling..if you do not care for scary roller coasters maybe not the best.

I went with Zarcillo tours in Paracas, their office is at the Cruz del Sur station walking distance to town (you might want to stay in town, but you can buy your tour for the next morning when you arrive.

Re the flight home, you should be at the airport by 9 pm at the latest, even if you are able to check in online. Which means leaving Lima (Miraflores) at about 8 pm. So dinner needs to be maybe 6:30 PM. Which is a little early but you will find something.

The Ballestas tour should be over by 11:30 am or so check if there is an earlier bus.
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 08:37 PM
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Thank you for your input!

Do you know if there are later buses to Nazca from Ica? 6:30 was the latest I found but I know nothing of the buses without web presence. I assume there are dune buggy tours leaving earlier in the afternoon as well? I'm sure the sunset one is great, but we will already have 7 hours in Ica and another 2 hour drive to Nazca, we might be ready to go. But I agree it might be worth it to see the sunset in Huacachina. I wouldn't mind leaving Lima a bit later, but I didn't see another bus until 12 which would be too late. There must be others?

Is it nice to just relax around the Oasis? That is kind of what I envision in addition to possible sand boarding/buggy ride.

For the boat tour, you are saying it might be a good idea to buy the tickets the night we arrive in Paracas for the next morning, but the area where we buy the tickets are not quite in town, correct? I would think they would be closed anyway, at the time we arrive. Or maybe I am misunderstanding what you wrote. I just assumed staying in Paracas the night before the boat trip would be the most convienient and make it easier to find a tour.

What do you think the price range is on those boat tours?

'They' say be at the airport 2 hours before flights in Peru, right? Our flight is at 11:35pm actually. So 9:35 should be sufficient? This is actually our flight home to the US, I don't know if that makes a difference. What is the deal with the Peruvian airports? What takes so long? Once more, the 2:30 was the earliest bus I saw from Paracas, but I'm sure there are others. I also thought it might be nice to just check out the beaches of the reserve for a bit after the tour. Why do you recommend even more than 2 hours before the flight?
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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Have you tried going on the Cruz del Sur website itself and not just Go2Peru? There are many departures between Ica to Nazca. Just looking at a random date in April, there is one at 19:20 (which is the 2pm departure from Lima). There should be enough time to make that one if you do the sunset dune buggy ride. It takes about 15 minutes to get by taxi from Huacachina to the Ica bus depots.

I probably would not take a later bus from Lima, you might find one at 7:30 depending on your dates but if you wanted to do anything else in Ica then the morning buses are better. BTW there is a really good restaurant in Ica, not far from the bus depot, called Soy Peru.

There are also second-tier companies which also service this route, such as Flores, but I don't think you'll need to go that route.

I didn't think the oasis was super attractive, more interesting. Basically it is a pond surrounded by sand dunes, hotels,and tourist businesses, backpacker's haven.

Re Paracas, Cruz del Sur is only one bus company that takes you in from the highway, and be sure that the bus you are on is actually doing that. Otherwise you take a taxi or moto taxi in to town from the highway.

The price of the tour should be around 35-40 soles plus admissions to the reserve which they charge in cash at the pier.
There will probably be people in the station at the Zarcillo desk, waiting for the bus. They had one of the newer boats. The daughter did our tour and I though she was very good, bilingual and easy to understand. Of course no guarantees that she is the guide the day you go. BTW I didn't care for their lodging, I would instead find something in town. It isn't that far to walk from the station.

If you wait and buy it in the morning at the pier from one of the companies with empty seats you will probably save a little bit, but I can't comment on whether it is worth doing it this way.

Actually for an international flight I think "they" say 3 hours. You go thru immigration and several luggage inspections, plus a long line at the counter even if it is just bag drop. Check with your airline to be sure. I would rather be arriving at 9 pm myself.

Looking at a random date in April from Paracas I see a Cruz del Sur at 15:05 and another at 16:05. Allow at least 4 hours to arrive in Lima, and it could be later because of traffic heading in to Lima.

So the 3:05 pm bus would get you to the bus station between 7-8 pm and another hour to the airport, is 9 pm. The 4:05 pm bus could be cutting it close if you hit traffic. If you get there on time, take a taxi to Miraflores and have a bite. There is a taxi stand at Larcomar Mall or you can ask the restaurant to call one for you when you first arrive. Be aware that sometimes traffic is so bad that the taxi won't show up, it happened to me once!
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 01:57 PM
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Thank you! I did go to cruzdelsur, but when I did a search, it stayed stuck on the loading page. Working now though.

Yea, looks like we'll we best off taking an early bus from Paracas. I read some things about the Lima airport and we will definitely want to be there at 9. On a few sites there is a time listed at 2:30, but on cruz del sur it does say 3:05.

Thanks for the tip on some buses possibly leaving you on the highway outside Paracas - I hadn't thought of that.
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 01:59 PM
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Cruz del Sur is one that goes in to Paracas, not sure which others do.

PS It is always a good idea to check departure times on line, especially for flights.
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