Pisco (General San Martin), Peru

San Martin is your gateway to the quiet colonial town of Pisco and its fertile coastal valley. For thousands of years, pre-Columbian societies thrived in river valleys such as this. Utilizing sophisticated systems of irrigation, they transformed the harsh coastal desert into productive farmland. The legacy of these ancient people, from their giant geometric etchings on the desert floor to their ancient burial grounds, continues to draw curious adventurers from around the world. San Martin is also your gateway to two other mysterious marvels: the Inca palace complex at Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Archipelago.

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Points of Interest

  • Islas Ballestas
  • Tambo Colorado
  • Paracas National Reserve
  • Pisco Valley
  • Nasca Lines
Learn about these Points of Interest

More about Pisco (General San Martin), Peru Points of Interest

  • Islas Ballestas

    A marine wildlife sanctuary, this small group of islands is often called the "Galapagos of Peru." Visitors sail around rugged shores, taking in their beauty while sea lions bark around them.

  • Tambo Colorado

    Former home of the Incas, this site is comprised of adobe buildings around a central plaza. It is so well preserved that visitors can still make out original paintings in yellow and red.

  • Paracas National Reserve

    This oldest marine reserve in Peru serves as a refuge for a wide variety of marine animals and birds such as sea lions, penguins, whales, dolphins and migratory seabirds.

  • Pisco Valley

    Travel to the heart of the Pisco Valley and visit two "bodegas" to learn about the pisco-making process and taste different varieties.

  • Nasca Lines

    Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as 'one of the most impressive-looking archaeological areas in the world,' the Nazca Lines history and mystery inspire awe and reverence. Stretching out nearly 170-square-miles, the lines known as geoglyphs were created by the Nazca between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. by removing rocks and earth revealing the light-colored sand.

7 EXCURSIONS

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Tambo Colorado

4.5 hours | Pisco (General San Martin) | PIO-200
  • Tambo Colorado

Walk in the footsteps of kings, high priests and warriors as you explore the grand complex of Tambo Colorado one of Peru's best preserved examples of Inca coastal architecture. View the platform that once held the king's throne, see the high priest's bed chambers, dressing rooms and sacrificial altar, and view the faded but still visible bands of vivid color that adorn the outer walls. With an expert guide, you'll gather thought-provoking insights into the days when the Incan reigned supreme over a vast empire. And this moderate half-day tour also takes you through the epic Pisco revealing an ever-changing tableau of desert sand dunes and verdant farms where farmers still utilize elaborate, centuries-old irrigation techniques to raise fields of corn, asparagus, cotton and grapes. Back onboard ship, reflect on your day's journey as you gaze out over the bustling harbor.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$99.95

Tambo Colorado (Guided in German)

4.5 hours | Pisco (General San Martin) | PIO-203
  • Tambo Colorado

Walk in the footsteps of kings, high priests and warriors as you explore the grand complex of Tambo Colorado one of Peru's best preserved examples of Inca coastal architecture. View the platform that once held the king's throne, see the high priest's bed chambers, dressing rooms and sacrificial altar, and view the faded but still visible bands of vivid color that adorn the outer walls. With an expert guide, you'll gather thought-provoking insights into the days when the Incan reigned supreme over a vast empire. And this moderate half-day tour also takes you through the epic Pisco revealing an ever-changing tableau of desert sand dunes and verdant farms where farmers still utilize elaborate, centuries-old irrigation techniques to raise fields of corn, asparagus, cotton and grapes. Back onboard ship, perhaps you'll sip the national drink, Pisco brandy, as you gaze out over the bustling harbor.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$99.95

Paracas National Reserve

3 hours | Pisco (General San Martin) | PIO-210
  • Paracas National Reserve

Get into the great outdoors and explore the 877,000-acre Paracas Natural Reserve on this lovely half-day tour that includes sightseeing, photo stops and short nature walks that deliver you to specific viewpoints. A scenic 30-minute motorcoach ride brings you to the reserve. Sand dunes, a vast desert landscape and the sparkling sea greet you as you set off by bus to explore the oldest marine reserve in Peru. Here, you'll find over 215 species of migratory birds and 160 different species of fish. As you tour the area, your guide will impart interesting facts about the Paracas culture and the inhabitants who lived here more than 2,000 years ago. Follow a trail that leads to a protected bay, hosting colonies of scarlet and white flamingos - the inspiration for the colors of the Peruvian flag. Conclude with a relaxing drive back to the pier.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$119.95

Islas Ballestas Wildlife Cruise

3.5 hours | Pisco (General San Martin) | PIO-640
  • Islas Ballestas

Experience abundant marine wildlife and observe beautiful and bizarre rock formations including natural rock arches, tunnels and caves during a scenic cruise of the Ballestas Islands, the "Galapagos of Peru." Cruise amidst the bustling colonies of sea lions and other animals accustomed to the presence of photo-taking tourists. You're sure to capture incredible images as they bask in the sunlight and dive for fish. Full of wild animals like fur seals, terns, zarcillos, and endangered Humboldt penguins, you'll be continually impressed by the sheer quantity of animals. Some islands have colonies of up to 600,000 birds flying in and out at any given time. And, depending on the season, you may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins and whales! With a photo stop at the 500-foot-high Candelabra, a mysterious geoglyph carved thousands of years ago, you'll experience two of Peru's great wonders on one moderate, half-day tour.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$129.95

Islas Ballestas Wildlife Cruise (Guided in German)

3.5 hours | Pisco (General San Martin) | PIO-643
  • Islas Ballestas

Experience abundant marine wildlife and observe beautiful and bizarre rock formations including natural rock arches, tunnels and caves during a scenic cruise of the Ballestas Islands, the "Galapagos of Peru." Cruise amidst the bustling colonies of sea lions and other animals accustomed to the presence of photo-taking tourists. You're sure to capture incredible images as they bask in the sunlight and dive for fish. Full of wild animals like fur seals, terns, zarcillos, and endangered Humboldt penguins, you'll be continually impressed by the sheer quantity of animals. Some islands have colonies of up to 600,000 birds flying in and out at any given time. And, depending on the season, you may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins and whales! With a photo stop at the 500-foot-high Candelabra, a mysterious geoglyph carved thousands of years ago, you'll experience two of Peru's great wonders on one moderate, half-day tour.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$129.95

The Pisco Route

4.75 hours | Pisco (General San Martin) | PIO-300
  • Pisco Valley

Sample the fruit of the vine on this half-day tour of the Ica vineyards. The 16th century Spanish conquerors planted Mediterranean grape varieties and soon developed pisco, a delicious brandy made from wine. Travel to the heart of the Pisco Valley and visit two "bodegas" to learn about the pisco-making process and taste different varieties. A scenic drive leads to the picturesque visit to Bodega Catador to learn about the artisan Pisco-making process, whilst also tasting and enjoying the different varieties. Finally we will visit the ¨Caravedo Distillery¨ with their last generation industrial plantation considered the best of South America where we will not only tour their facilities but we will also have a tasting of their ¨El Portón¨ pisco at the end. Enjoy the relaxing ride back to port at the end of this fun and delectable tour!

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Easy Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$154.95

Nazca Lines Flight

4 hours | Pisco (General San Martin) | PIO-190
  • Nasca Lines

If it's jaw-dropping wonder you're looking for, it's hard to imagine topping the iconic Nazca Lines. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as "one of the most impressive-looking archaeological areas in the world," the Nazca Lines history and mystery inspire awe and reverence. And the best way to observe this ancient phenomenon is by air. After a short drive to the Pisco Airport, you'll step inside the plane and buckle up. As you fly up, up and away, your captain will share his knowledge of the lines, first mentioned in a book by Spanish conquistador Pedro Cieza de León in the 16th century. Stretching out nearly 170-square-miles, the lines known as geoglyphs were created by the Nazca between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. by removing rocks and earth revealing the light-colored sand. As you fly over, you'll see hummingbirds, fish, sharks, llamas, lizards, monkeys and more!

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$799.95