Paracas: A vibrant experience three hours away from Lima (Part II)

Welcome to the second Part - and conclusion - of the tale of a Peruvian trip like none other! Jump in as we travel to Red Beach, Ballestas Islands and so many more wonderful places!

Don’t miss Part I of this amazing Peruvian trip!

Riveting sand boarding in an oasis

Finally, some hours before sunset, we headed towards the locally famous Huacachina, an oasis in the middle of the desert where all the people (tourists and locals) gather with their boards, bikes, and buggies to spend some time with family and friends around the lake, crowded with swans and ducks, and up in the sandy mountains that surround it.

This was one of the most thrilling and enjoyable experiences with my friends. They took us around the desert, going up and down the sand hills with this buggy until we stopped to do some sand boarding.

By the time we finished the sun was setting in the horizon and the whole sky turned orange-pink. We took some photographs there and then went to a traditional chocolate factory nearby to buy some chocolates. After that we went back to the hotel to have some drinks and, of course, a fresh and delicious ceviche.

Ballestas Islands: Nature’s refuge

In the second day, we woke up very early and walked with Marlenne towards the port. There we boarded a boat which took us to another natural treasure of Paracas: The Ballestas Islands.

Our buggy driver in the deserts of Huacachina. By Fernando Mora.

Our buggy driver in the deserts of Huacachina. By Fernando Mora.

After 30 minutes to reach the islands; the first thing you see, just out of the sudden, like if it had appeared from nowhere, is this fantastic red-orange sand mountain with a big chandelier drew on its side.

Not much is known about this giant, mysterious marker etched into the side of a dune facing the open ocean, but one of the reasons of its actual permanence is that, according to the locals, this is the “zone where it never rains.”

So there you are, in the middle of the ocean, with the sun just sparkling its first rays timidly in front of this magnificent mystery that lies mute.

After the chandelier we moved directly to the Ballesta Islands, a natural relic that hosts penguins, sea wolves, 4 different types of turtles, zarzillos and the famous piquero (whose name is due to their typical practice of flying very high and then free falling to the waters), among other 150 species.

The boat would go around the different corners of the rocky islands and you could see all these animals playing together or just sunbathing. The sea wolves are one of the most funny, but also the penguins jumping down the ladders can be particularly cute.

We returned to the port and had a warm coffee, after which we went directly to the Natural Reservenearby Paracas. We visited a small museum located in the middle of the desert and then, once inside the Reserve, we went directly to the famous Playa Roja (Red Beach).

Distant Red Beach at the Nature Reserve. By Fernando Mora.

Distant Red Beach at the Nature Reserve. By Fernando Mora.

Dazzling beach in the desert

We followed a road in the middle of the open desert and for some minutes there was just sand before our eyes; and a far away ocean you knew should be somewhere behind those sandy hills.

The colours were fascinating: yellow, orange-brown, copper…and suddenly, the car climbed up a hill and the landscape in front of us opened abruptly and we saw the sea, with its green waters waving towards the coast.

We would find some locals and some boats at the coast, and that’s it. If one looked further in the horizon you will distinguish this big mountains arising in the middle of the ocean, but most of them still covered with clouds, like big giants hidden in the mist.

Once you get to the coast you will get to see the Red Beach, covered with little stones that look like red coffee beans spread by the ocean.

Me and my friends at a Peruvian vineyard in Paracas.

Me and my friends at a Peruvian vineyard in Paracas.

You will feel this slight chill, and you will find this amazing background in the middle of the sea, where the shadows of the cliffs impose in the horizon, hiding behind the misty clouds. You will immediately realize that this is a unique place.

This was the end of our adventure. In two days we were able to discover a whole new Peru just three hours away from Lima.

We did have time to chill, laugh and be excited. This is definitely the perfect program if you want to escape the vibrant jolt of the capital.

About Napoleón Laroze

26 years old Argentinian political scientist and journalist travelling around the world and producing socio-economic reports on the most dynamic economies. Specialized in political communication. He speaks Spanish, English and German.

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