paracas + ballestas islands

Paracas is a coastal town on the west coast of Peru located just south of Lima. A fishing village turned tourist mecca, it is a jumping off point for visiting the Paracas National Reserve and nearby Ballestas Islands; home to sea lions, Humboldt penguins and many bird species including Pelicans. It is an absolute can’t miss on any trip to Peru.

The town itself is small. A beachside promanade, a few hotels and restaurants occupy the town. Most people come here to explore the natural beauty of the suroundings. First of all, is the Ballestas Islands. Known as the “poor mans Gallapagos”, this island is home to a large number of bird species, and home to a small number of South American Penguins – the Humblot. The waters are teeming with sea life, sea-lions and dolphins. It’s not possible to visit on land, but from Paracas it is easy to take a short boat trip to the island to visit and take pictures.

Surrounding Paracas is a coastal desert, with endless picturesque views of the desert reaching the coast. The area is extremely popular with wind and kite surfers, and the views of the ocean are spectacular. Green waters meet the dry yellow sands of the desert. The striking contrast is amazing for photos.

We only spent one night in Paracas, but enjoyed the sights immensely. As i mentioned before, it is a can’t miss on any trip along the coast, and worthy of at least a day or two of any Peru itinerary.

Paracas Reserve. 2017.

Pelican. 2017.

Ballestas Islands Penguins. 2017.

Sea Lions. 2017.

Ballestas Islands Penguins. 2017.

Paracas Reserve. 2017.

Ancient Geolyph. 2017.

Ballestas Islands. 2017.

Paracas Reserve. 2017.

Beach. 2017.

Ballestas Islands Penguins. 2017.

Sea Lions. 2017.

Paracas. 2017.

Ballestas Islands. 2017.

Pelican. 2017.

For the birds. 2017.

Birds. 2017.

Boats. 2017.