5 reasons to visit Paracas

January 1, 1970

by Sonya Bukasova

Did you know that there is plenty of beautiful places just three-four hours away from Lima? Paracas is one of them. I love this place. Even in July and August (the coldest months in Lima), Paracas stays warm and sunny. If you don’t want to spend too much time in Lima you can rent a car and get away from the foggy and overpopulated Peruvian capital.

So, you can buy an excursion in Lima. I suppose all the travel agencies are offering this kind of trips. The other option is to rent a car. Usually, you have to pick it up at the airport. Paracas is located around 250 km from Lima. The road is great. If you are driving don’t hesitate to download Waze. It’s an app like google maps which is very popular here.

  1. Top-notch sunbathing.

I don’t know what is your approach, but for me, there is nothing better than chilling on a beach during my vacation. Or any spare weekend. You will find a couple of hotels in Paracas where you can relax, enjoy excellent food and outstanding service. Unfortunately, there is no middle ground. You book a great five-star hotel or simple hostel in the center of small Paracas city which is called Chako.

The best hotels are Hilton, Hacienda Bahia, and my favorite – Luxury Collection. I strongly recommend having a dinner in Hacienda Bahia. There are reasonable prices, great view, and very nice seafood. Although, you can order pizza there. It’s finger licking!

After the dinner in Bahia, ask the waiter to bring a glass of wine to the beach. It’s peaceful and romantic. If the night is starry, God, you are lucky! Enjoy the perfect environment. Nobody will bother you, except mosquitos.

Paracas is not a city with a bunch of great restaurants and beaches. The heaven stays only in the good hotels. The city itself is small and not really memorable. Don’t forget that you are here for nature.

  1. Sea lions.

If you wake up in Paracas this beautiful morning grab your wallet and sense of excitement. Go to one of the local travel agencies. There are representatives of the agencies in the hotels. I suppose they are more expensive than ones that are located in the city center. Buy a trip to Ballestas islands where you can not only see these guys but also swim with them. This place is a little bit smelly. No wonder, there are hundreds of sea lions living there. Brace yourself. Leave your fear in the hotel room and find new buddies in the Ballestas.

Reserva national Paracas

Ballestas Islands Paracas National Reserve

It takes 10 minutes to get there. The typical excursion lasts about 2 hours. The price of the trip is 50-60 soles (20$).

By the way, if you are not really big fan of the sea lions, you can meet other cute guys here. Penguins. I have never seen people in my life who think that penguins are not cool. Because they are the cutest!

  1. Surrealistic view of desert and ocean.

I am quite educated, but I could never imagine a desert with an ocean view. I was thinking that a desert is an isolated place without a drop of water. I was wrong. Get an excursion or use your rented car. The Paracas reservation is waiting. You will get a map at the entrance from this guy who thinks it’s so easy to read it. We got lost. Even though there are only two roads.

First, check out the small museum of the Paracas culture. These guys were incredible. They were able to do the brain trepanation (c. AD 1–400). How is that possible? Cool sitting mummies as well. Not going to spoil the museum anymore.

After getting a small piece of educational information, you can drive to see the Red Beach and other miracles: pink sand and blue ocean. Maybe, it’s just my imagination and the sand is not really pink. Check it out and let me know.

The reservation is located so close to Paracas’ hotels that you will make it in 5-7 minutes.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen (the sun is very aggressive there) and take a hoodie/jeans jacket/sweater because it’s a windy place.

Next time I want to bring a beautiful dress with me and take a picture on the cliff. Of course, if the wind will not blow me away.

  1. Surfing.

Before coming to Peru, I had no idea that this is a great place for surfing. I would even say it is quite hard to swim. Peru was created for catching waves. I love water, but I am kind of afraid swimming in Peru. All I can do is running from the waves near the coast. You can lose your swimsuit here. For real. This information is confirmed. By me.

You can easily find surfing schools around. If you a beginner start learning with a couch. They will definitely help you to conquer the Peruvian waves. Or at least not feeling like a loser all the time.

Apart from surfing, you can try kitesurfing, fishing, kayaking, diving or paragliding. There are a lot of options.

By the way, people on vacation in Peru are usually swimming in the pools. Maybe this information can disappoint you, but it’s true. The ocean is for the surfers and those who are not afraid to drown.

  1. Ica.

If you are a surfer inside but afraid of water – the sand dunes are your best friends. Basically, it’s the same waves conquering. Cool, right? I am not sure you will feel there like a queen/king of the desert, but you will definitely have fun. Other option – Tokyo Huacachina drift or dune buggying.

Huacachina oasis

Ica is a great place to feel like Indiana Jones or Moses. However, it is better not to get lost there.

Check out the Ica oasis, get the Moses vibe, make hundreds of beautiful pictures, and go back to Paracas to take a shower. Isn’t it wonderful?

Ica is located 50 km away from the Paracas beach paradise.


In addition to all these places, you can visit pisco vineyards. Do you know what is pisco? It’s a Peruvian alcohol that is made from the grape. Peruvians and Chileans are debating about the origin of pisco. I think Chilean people have to let it go because they have amazing wine and Peruvians have only pisco. It’s not fair.

I can’t drink pisco neat. It’s hard. Vodka is easier. But I love cocktails that contain pisco. My favorite is chilcano. The best one is with maracuja. However, the most famous one is pisco sour. It might taste not so strong, but after 2-3 glasses, you are done.

You can buy a bottle in these vineyards or do the tasting, learn more about the production and the history of pisco.

If you are up for more adventures get one last trip to the Nazca lines. The best view is from a helicopter. You can check the lines from the ground as well, but it’s worth it to pay a bit more to see the whole picture. The lines are still a mystery. Some of them are funny. That could be the great finale of your “around Lima” tour. The flight costs more or less 80$. For me, it’s such an exotic place. No wonder, I was born in Siberia.

By the way, there are more interesting places near the capital, but these ones are the most popular. Stay tuned for more.

Sonya Bukasova

By Sonya Bukasova

Hi. My name is Sonya and I am Russian. I love traveling! I used to live in China for 4 years. Studying and working. But a year ago I moved to Peru and feel awesome about that. What can be better than living by the ocean? I speak Russian, English, and Chinese. Currently trying to learn Spanish. Hopefully, I will succeed.

Read more at sonyainwonderland.com

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