Just south of Lima, Peru you will find the Paracas National Reserve. Paracas is full of striking contrasts: on land it is a harsh desert, with hardly any plant life at all. However, the ocean is teaming with fish and birds — it felt like there was more life here than any other place we’ve been on this trip. The Paracas National Reserve also contains remnants of an ancient civilization that is slowly disappearing into the desert.
Paracas is full of contrasts: the green-blue water, red sand beaches, and the cliffs seen here are typical for the area.
Weather in Paracas is notoriously fickle. Most travelers we’ve heard from talk about overcast skies and windy weather. We got lucky because we had beautiful sunny skies and little wind during the time we spent here. Unfortunately, I’d caught a cold in Lima and was not feeling quite 100%. Even so, Paracas was a highlight of the trip for me, and I hope that we can return here some day.
All right, enough talk — here are some of our favorite pictures that show our time in Paracas National Park:
Sunny skies and little wind meant we had perfect weather during our stay here. This is where we camped during our first night in the reserve.
Erica relaxes at our campsite. On the beach below there were thousands of birds feeding in the ocean.
The coast was beautiful here.
The rocks turned red as the sun set. You can see some of the birds (little white dots) in the ocean below.
Far away from any light pollution and with a cloudless sky we had a great view of the milky way.
You can pretty much drive just about wherever you want in the park. We tried to stick to the places where we saw vehicle traffic and roads, but there were plenty of chances to explore.
In 2007, there was an earthquake that destroyed a natural arch along the coast known as the “Cathedral.”
This formation, known as the Candelabra, was left by the ancient Paracas culture.
Near the Candelabra, we saw a huge flock of pelicans. This is testament to how full of fish the ocean is here.
We camped along the cliffs our second day in the park. We had a great time exploring the surrounding area on foot.
Our favorite feature of the XPCamper is the giant picture window in the back — it gives us amazing views like this.
We saw boobies that had made their homes in the cliffs.
Another shot of our campsite.
It was fun to watch the birds which seemed to be in a feeding frenzy.
We loved our time here and were just floored by the amazing views.
Although this is a desert, it’s actually quite cool. The water here has cool currents which help regulate the temperature.
This is definitely a place where we want to return to in the future.