Sunday, January 20, 2013

Paracas National Reserve, Peru: Images Of A Desolate Beauty

Just beautifully bleak. From where we were standing, the blanket of golden sands seemed endless. The balmy breeze that swept past every so often gave this tropical desert a less unforgiving aura. It was day 211 of our round-the-world trip, and we were on the second half of our Paracas tour. Earlier that day we watched wildlife on Islas Ballestas. After witnessing penguins roam freely for the first time, I can hardly wait to see what else this UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site has to offer.

"Vámonos!", our tour guide called out for nth time. We descended the balcony stairs of the museum and trudged toward our three-bus convoy. All our tourmates were already waiting on board. I guess, as the only non-Spanish speaking members of the group, we were the only ones who needed all that reading.

The rest of the afternoon didn't need much translation. The hubby and I were too busy gawking anyway.


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Museum within the reserve. A film showing provides brief info about Paracas, its landscape and culture.

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She turned sixteen months that day.

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Turquoise splendor. 
 
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Paracas National Reserve is the oldest marine reserve in Peru and is one of the most uncommon ecosystems in the world.
 
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La Catedral arch, which obviously ain't an arch anymore. Sadly destroyed by an earthquake in 2007.
 
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Playa Rojo or Red Beach. Sand from pulverized porphyry rocks.

 Trip's Nitty Gritty:

1. How to get there: Pisco is easily reached via public bus from Lima. From Pisco, you could take a taxi from the terminal to Paracas town. The more expensive buses can take passengers all they way to Paracas, make sure you reserve a ticket in advance. Check Cruz Del Sur or Oltursa.

Whole trip from Lima to Paracas takes about four hours.

2. Booking a tour. Tour operators are aplenty in both Pisco and Paracas. Tours are more expensive in Pisco mainly because it includes a bus ride to Paracas town and back. Pisco was heavily damaged by an earthquake and establishments are still being rebuilt. Hence, tourists find the city unattractive. Paracas may be a better choice to stay for a night, but since the whole town thrives on tourism, everything's overpriced.

You may also hire a car if you wish to set off at your own pace. Ask hostels/hotels for such service. 

3. Must bring sunscreen and water. If you're on a group tour, you'll be taken to Playa Lagunillas for a late lunch. You're free to choose which restaurant you'd like to dine in. Bring snacks if you don't intend pay for overpriced meals. Bring a sarong too so you can lay down on the sand and watch Peruvian pelicans fly about.


Round-The-World 2011-2012, Peru Leg:

Islas Ballestas, Paracas,Peru: Penguins In The Wild
Huaca Pucllana, Lima, Peru: The Ruins And The Red Balloon
El Zaguan B&B, Lima, Peru


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7 comments:

Mica Ivealis said...
January 21, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Wow, I did that trip on my first go round in Peru in 2007. You had great weather, I remember my photos cloudy and gray. Not sure if I have the arch I'll have to back and look-see.
Great photos!!!

Gaye @ Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 21, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Thanks Mica! I actually thought the guide didn't bother taking us to the arch (which I saw on brochures). It was only after the trip that I realized that it was destroyed.

Gaye @ Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 22, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Thanks Jeff! Didn't know either until I visited one. Wish we had time to take a dip (though I think it's not allowed).

Gaye @ Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 23, 2013 at 6:09 AM

Ansabe ni Bambi?

maria millado said...
January 23, 2013 at 8:14 AM

incredible landscape.

ian | going places said...
January 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Stunning natural reserve... I didn't know about this in Peru until I read your story. The rock formations and landscapes were beautiful too along with the long stretch of sand dune beach...

Gaye @ Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Didn't know too. We were just keen on visiting Machu Picchu and Nazca lines. I love recommendations from locals!

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