Located in the middle of Peru’s dramatic coastal desert, Paracas National Reserve is a protected nature area known for its rich marine life and dramatic coastline created by wind and waves. It is an excellent
Located in the middle of Peru’s dramatic coastal desert, Paracas National Reserve is a protected nature area known for its rich marine life and dramatic coastline created by wind and waves. It is an excellent place to spend a couple of days combined with other Peruvian destinations such as the Nazca Paintings and the Ica Vineyards. For those who love beaches and nature, the Paracas National Reserve is full of surprises: unspoiled beaches, kilometers of cliffs, golden sand dunes, and a unique biodiversity! This is a place to love! Here are some places see in and around Paracas National Reserve.
The Inspiring Paracas National Reserve
Paracas National Reserve is located near the charming fishing village of Paracas. The peninsula on Peru’s southern coast is home to many marine animals and birds, which have made it a protected area; on its more than 200,000 hectares, visitors can see pink flamingos, pelicans, sea lions, and more as well as pristine waters reflected in a desert.
Visit the Paracas National Reserve
It is not advisable to visit the reserve on your own, as it is very vast and desert-like. As a result, the roads are often not paved, and sandstorms can occur suddenly. If you take a tour company to the highlights of the Paracas National Reserve, you will be able to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.
There are many stops scattered throughout the reserve that you can stop at during your tour. You will then have time to walk around on your own to take photos or ask your guide for information about the location.
1) The Cathedral
This unique rock formation contains a water cave formed millions of years ago. Unfortunately, this rock formation collapsed during the 2007 earthquake. Nevertheless, it is a lookout point that one cannot take one’s eyes off. When waves crash against the cliffs, they rumble, and a splash rises up. If you are lucky, you may also see condors.
2) Up Close and Personal With Ballestas Island
The Paracas National Reserve also includes the Ballestas Islands, a treasure trove of wildlife where sea lions, seals, humboldt penguins, and turtles gather along with dozens of birds, including albatrosses, pelicans, and gulls. You can visit the Ballestas Islands by booking a two-hour boat trip. Departing from the port of Paracas, the boat also passes through an ancient signal station, and you can see a variety of marine life as you tour the islands on board (disembarkation is prohibited to protect wildlife), so be sure to book this activity when you come to Paracas!
3) The Beaches
The beaches of the Paracas National Reserve are beautiful but generally not suitable for swimming due to the rough coastline and jellyfish. However, La Mina, formed by a small headland, is a lovely swimming beach with clear emerald waters and horseshoe-shaped hills sheltering it from the wind. You can see sea lions sunbathing on the small island from a nearby lookout. Also worth visiting are Mendieta Beach, a bird paradise in the heart of the desert on the other side of the island of Zarate, and Playa Roja, where the bright red shoreline turns a deep scarlet color.
4) Destination Dining
One of the Paracas National Reserve highlights is the fabulous food. Aracari arranges private picnics in outdoor tents by the crystal-clear waters, journeys across desert dunes with small plates spread out on beautiful fabric blankets waiting for you, and cruises on luxury yachts with champagne and fresh seafood hors d’oeuvres in the bay at dusk.
Have you ever been to the Paracas National Reserve? Share your experience with us in the comments below!