The Islas Ballestas are a group of three rocky islands 18km off the coast near Ica, in Southern Peru. They are part of a protected reserve and are sometimes called the ‘poor man’s Galapagos’. Boat trips take you around the islands, but you can’t step foot on them unless you’re collecting guano, which happens every seven years (did you know there is even a bird called the ‘guano bird’?). I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere with so many birds. Or anywhere that smells so much of bird.
A half-day tour costs 60 Soles, with an early pickup in Huacachina. The actual boat ride is only two hours, but that’s pretty standard. Most hostels in Huacachina offer the same tour, with a small difference in price.