paracas national reserve travel guide
Nazca Lines & Paracas, Travel Tips in Peru

Paracas National Reserve travel guide

Within four hours outside Lima, on the desert plain between the Andes Mountains and the ocean, huge sand dunes meet the edge of the Pacific Ocean. This beach paradise called Paracas is a great place to spend quality time with family or friends. For those who seek a magical and unparalleled destination and provide a lot of services, this is an excellent decision. This small seaside town has a lot to offer to adventure-hungry tourists. That is why together with our colleagues from Gay Peru Travel we have prepared a short article about the Paracas National Reserve. 

Everything you need to know about the Paracas National Reserve


paracas national reserve isalands

Paracas is a coastal town about three hours away from Lima. In this area, in addition to the beautiful town, there is also the famous Paracas National Reserve, which is a colorful paradise, including many wild animals and plants to appreciate. This is one of the most frequented places for tourists who want to see wildlife without entering the Amazon. You will also discover a famous trip to the Ballestas Islands, another place not to be missed by nature lovers. If that is not enough, you can enjoy various other activities such as camping, buggy riding and much more! We believe that being able to enjoy the destination of Paracas is one of the best romantic ideas. 


The Paracas, a civilization before the Incas, learned to tame one of the driest deserts in the world. Most of the cultural relics of the area have been moved to museums throughout Peru, such as the Larco Museum. But the reserve still provides visitors with the opportunity to visit the necropolis that is more than 5,000 years old. Inside the Julio C. Tello Site Museum, you will be able to admire some fragments of the Paracas culture found in the local cemetery. 


paracas national reserve guide for travel

Whether you are looking for trips for couples options or a destination to relax, Paracas has everything for you. The best and cheapest option is to take a bus from Pisco to El Chaco town. The city is the starting point for excursions to Paracas and Ballestas Islands and will provide many options for luxury accommodation and dining. The best time to travel is during the summer months (from January to March), but since it is a sunny desert all year round, you can visit this incredible destination throughout the year. 


paracas national reserve ballestas island

One of the most important reasons for tourists to venture into the Paracas region is to be able to visit the Ballestas Islands. So if you are looking for a reason, this is more than enough. In many Paracas tours, you can visit these special rock formations in the sea. From the moment you arrive in the town, you will find that this beautiful and unique tour will provide you with many discounts. If you have already made a pre-programmed itinerary in Paracas, you can visit directly without booking. On this trip to Paracas, if you are lucky, you can enjoy sea lions, penguins, many birds, and even humpback whales. With so many beautiful animals to visit, you cannot miss this incredible journey. And being a tour that does not take up too much time, you can take advantage and visit the Nazca lines on your way.


paracas national reserve beach

There are many beautiful beaches in Paracas, but some of them are located in the reserve itself and cannot be used by tourists. The most popular beaches are La Mina and El RasponThese beaches are perfect for family vacations. You will be able to experience endless sunshine and calm waters. None of the beaches have many waves, so you can swim peacefully in them. These places are great for spending quality time with children and family. Camping was previously allowed, but for protection reasons, camping is currently prohibited. Nevertheless, they are beautiful beaches that you cannot miss.


One of the best ways to get to know the vast Paracas desert is on a fun bike ride. There are several tour companies in the city that rent bicycles, even certain lodgings offer this opportunity. It is advisable to leave early in the morning to avoid strong heat, but any time is ideal for cycling. The prices are quite accessible and with so many options available, you can decide calmly. If you are on Honeymoon in Peru, be sure to walk with your partner through the incredible Paracas desert.


paracas national reserve sandboard

Peru’s desert coastline gives way to pockets of expansive dunes that offer fun opportunities for sandboarding and buggy riding among other wonderful adventure activities. These activities are ideal to complement wildlife excursions in the reserve. A short distance from the coastal town is the oasis of Huacachina, another incredible place to practice these activities.


El Chaco is the tourist center of Paracas and where most of the travelers stay. Despite being a small town, El Chaco offers an impressive selection of accommodations ranging from beach resorts in Peru to mid-range hotels. Even those travelers on a budget will find a variety of backpacker hostels. But if you intend to stay within the Paracas National Reserve, there are not too many options available.


Together with our colleagues from Gay Peru Travel hope to have explained all the things to enjoy within the magical Paracas National Reserve. There are even numerous seafood restaurants where you can try some classics of Peruvian cuisine. If you want to know more about our tours of the Reserve, be sure to consult with our advisors.

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