Peru: Paracas

Paracas is a bit of a sleepy coastal town, but still draws plenty of people with its “poor man’s Galapagos” and an active tourist industry.  According to one of our guides, the area saw it’s heyday in the “Guano Boom,” and now it’s a bit more quiet around Paracas.

If you haven’t already, check out my Peru master post, with my itinerary, packing list, budget, and links to all the other posts about this trip!

Islas Ballestas

This is the main attraction.  The Islas Ballestas are home to plenty of species, including penguins, Peruvian boobies, and sea lions.  The trip out to the islands is around 1.5 hours from the Paracas docks, and there are plenty of boats to choose from.  You’ll also see the Candelabra to your left as your boat speeds along to meet the wildlife.

I think the boat tour is definitely worth it.  The sheer number of birds clustered on the rocky islands will amaze you.  If you’re lucky, you’ll also see dolphins on the way out, some penguins and sea lions on the islands, and plenty of other birds.

Paracas National Reserve

Another major pull to the Paracas area, the Paracas National Reserve encompasses over 100,000 hectares of land and 200,000 hectares of ocean surface.  The Reserve was established in 1975 and is bordered by red sand beaches.  We took a short tour through the reserve with Peru Hop, and stopped by the museum to learn a bit more about the land and the history of the Paracas area in general.

Paracas-ReserveRedBeach.jpg

La Playa Roja

Paracas was our last stop.  We then went back to Lima and hunkered down for a day before flying back to Boston.  Next post will be my last in the Peru series!

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