Paracas Travel Guide
Central Coast, 16.4 feet (5 m) above sea level in front Ocean Pacific
Distances to Paracas:
From Lima 152 miles (245 km)
From Ica 46.6 miles (75 km)
From Nazca 127.4 miles (205 km)
Paracas is spa, a peninsula, a bay, a pre-Inca Culture and a National Reserve. Its amazing for birdwatchers and hikers.
The desert and the sea come together in spectacular landscapes in Paracas, in the department of Ica, just a few hours south from Lima. The cliffs that fringe the beaches are teeming with life, millions of birds that live here year-round, and thousands of others that fly from the northern hemisphere and from further south, ranging from guano birds to Humboldt penguins.
Boats departure from the port to Islas Ballestas (Ballesta Islands), giving visitors a chance to gaze at the sea lion colonies, millions of birds and you'll see the famous three-pronged Candelabro (Candelabrum), carved into the sand with a similar technique to the Nazca Lines, although possibly of a different origin: theories range from pirates marking a treasure hiding place to soldiers fighting for Latin-American independence from Spain.
By car, or buggies, you can visit the terrestrial area of Paracas National Reserve and enjoy the desert dunes. Back on the traditional circuit, the road leads to the on-site museum and the ruins of the burial grounds of the Paracas culture (700 BC), whose weaving skills have been admired the world over. A trail leads down to a protected bay, the natural habitat of flamingoes, the scarlet-and-white birds that inspired the colors of the Peruvian flag. They are not to be disturbed. Further south lie the striking natural rock formations of the Catedral (Cathedral) and Mendieta.
At sunset, the Paracas coast spins through a range of colors, the signal for nostalgic visitors to return to the city.
Spa of Paracas
Located in the province of Pisco; is located at 9.3 miles (15 km) of the city and port of Pisco. It is a place of gentle beaches and sunny weather most of the year. Very close by a picturesque creek of fishermen called El Chaco and a residential area are located. It is the starting point to visit the fantastic attractions that are located in its surroundings.
Alternatives for the practice of water sports in private clubs, excellent seafood and enjoy the famous Peruvian Pisco Sour cocktail.
Reserva Nacional de Paracas (Paracas National Reserve)
Nature and ecology lovers will find the only marine reservation of Peru in this place. This reserve is dedicated to the protection and the conservation of marine ecosystems as well as for the protection of the cultural and historical patrimony of the pre-Inca
It is considered as one of the richest and most uncommon ecosystems in the world; declared "Natural World Heritage Site" by UNESCO. Many tour operators offers you a tour to the reserve.
On this peninsula, on a sandy hillside, the enigmatic figure of the chandelier is found. This chandelier, with its trident form, belongs to pre-Inca cultures. It is yet to be determined its meaning. The best way to appreciate this figure is from a boat in a tour to Islas Ballestas. These boats normally offer rides to visit the Paracas Natural Reserve as well as the Islas Ballestas, which allow an excellent view of the Candelabro (Candelabrum).
Bay of Paracas
This bay is formed on the north part of the peninsula of Paracas, and has special historical significance for Peruvians, since it was here where Jos de San Martn disembark with the liberation forces, began the campaign for independence to end the Spanish viceroyalty. An obelisk reminder to this historical event.
On the beaches of this bay, it is frequent to find Andean parihuanas (flamingos), of beautiful red and white plumage, which inspired Jos de San Martn for the Peruvian flag.
Town founded in 1640, divided in Pisco town and Pisco port. The picturesque fishermen's wharf of San Andrs is located on its beaches, in which numerous popular restaurants of seafood also exist characterized by the simplicity of its presentation, yet exquisite typical food. (52,100 inhabitants)
Pisco has an airport that does not have regular air traffic. The port was disabled for marine traffic; being displaced by the modern port of San Martn, located in the peninsula of Paracas.