PARACAS, A BLEND OF DESERT AND OCEAN
after our night in huacachina we headed a little over an hour towards the coast. where the desert and sea come together lives a little town called paracas, full of grungy beaches and ceviche stands... and we weirdly loved this place. millions of birds live here year-round [including the pink flamingo!], and thousands of others that fly from the northern hemisphere and further south, ranging from guano birds to humboldt penguins.
WHAT TO DO IN PARACAS: MAKE SURE TO SEE THE PARACAS NATIONAL RESERVE
THE AREA IS KNOWN FOR: paracas national reserve, ATVing through the reserve, ceviche, lots of birds, islas balestas and wind surfing. we drove our rental car literally into the desert and were blow away by the volcanic beaches, massive coastal cliffs and the blending scenery. if you get lucky, like we did, you might even spot some wildlife too; flamingos, penguins and other birds, lizards and other marine life. there is a visitor’s center next to the entrance of the beaches, and for about $3/person you can spend the day at the beach. make sure to pack some cold drinks and snacks, because once you're in the park, there aren't many options [ do NOT suggest eating at the restaurant in the park – everything was of very bad quality and over priced, including the pisco sours. we were warned by locals and still had to learn the hard way].
THE POOR MAN'S GALAPAGOS
rich in wildlife, islas ballestas is also known as “the poor man’s galapagos”, as they are far less expensive and offer many of the same animals. these islands can be visited by boat from the paracas harbor for about $15 – 20 a person. it is usually a guided half day trip and they claim you might see anything from dolphins, peruvian pelicans, penguins, sea lions and much more. unfortunately we didn't get the chance to do this – but if you're interested you can book tours through almost any hotel/hostel or directly at the harbor.
WHERE WE STAYED: BAMBU ECO BUNGALOWS
our budgets worked well with this eco resort that was tucked away on it's own little private beach. the rooms were simple, the drinks were good, and we enjoyed SUPing in the morning amongst the many pink flamingos and other birds in a protected bird sanctuary. here are the details:
WHERE WE STAYED | bambu paracas eco bungalows
PRICE PER NIGHT | $65/night
ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE | SUP boarding, kite surfing, beach bon fires, sand bar & kitchen.