The Paracas Reserve is one of the most incredible and impressive places in the whole country. Unfortunately it goes unnoticed by the majority of travelers who come quickly in flight to Cuzco or go directly to Ica and the Huacachina Oasis without visiting the Paracas National Park and the Ballestas Islands.
First impressions visiting the Paracas Reserve
A brown desert due to the sediment from the sea, draws our attention. I had the luck to observe the Sahara in places as fascinating as Tunisia, Morocco whose predominant color is yellow. In a homologous way, the Wadi Rum of Jordan surprised me by its reddish and orange tint, so the desert of Paracas is located between the Sahara and the Wadi Rum as far as pigment is concerned.
An infinite road made of salt and whose black pigment is produced by the tires of cars, takes us to our first stop. Here they show fossil remains of mollusks that perished in this place. The Desert of Paracas was part of the Ocean in its day so it is normal to find bone remains.
Beaches of Paracas
The Paracas Reserve is known for its popular beaches, among which we highlight La Mina and El Raspón. The first takes the name of an old mine located in this place years ago that as a result of its exploitation, the grayish color predominates in the place. It is interesting to note that there is a watchman – lifeguard – so that bathers can enjoy without risks. If you are looking for a place to camp, both Mina and El Raspon are places enabled for this.
Cathedral of the Paracas Natural Park
Until 2007 it was the main tourist attraction of Paracas. As it happened with the blue window of Malta or the finger of God of Gran Canaria, nature creates and destroys its free will. The 2007 earthquake caused the collapse of the natural structure known as the Cathedral. It was located on the Yumaque beach. .Today it is possible to see the remains full of birds.
What animals can be observed in the Paracas National Reserve?
It is true that previously I have given the data of the birds that populate these lands. In this reserved area, flamenco, white sandpiper, fisherman eagle, pelican, guanay or our favorite, the Peruvian piquero, predominate. We had the opportunity to observe the last one in action while trying to feed on the sea. It was a spectacle of the unique nature as it plummets – hence its name – to catch its prey.
Although we will make an exclusive article about the Ballestas Islands, we think it is interesting to show in summary the importance of including this place in our tour of Paracas.
Today, the colloquially named Galapagos of the poor, are busy islands whose greatest attraction are the countless sea lions. It is quite true that many comment that the number of these animals is being reduced due to the direct as well as indirect action of man both in fishing and in global warming. In my particular case, the sea lions of Islas Ballestas are very beautiful but I was amazed with the sighting of the Humboldt penguins as well as the endemic birds that live there.
Both on the way out and on the way back, we saw the well known Candelabro . Its origin is a mystery where different legends seek their place.
This enigmatic figure is only observed from the sea or the sky. It was carried out with a technique similar to the nearby Nazca lines and its spell causes you to spend several minutes observing the figure.