Paracas itself is just a short promenade along the shore. But it's a great gateway to two natural treasures: the Islas Ballestas, Peru's 'Galapagos Islands'. Every morning the tour boats leave the village and show the visitors the undisturbed wild life on these rocks: sea lions, flocks of different birds, and even groups of penguins are greeting from the shores.

sea lions islas ballestas
Quite a family: Sea lions and their many, many babies enjoying the beach and the Pacific ocean.

birds at islas ballestas
Large flocks of birds - producing day in, day out 'guano', precious excrements.

the chandelier
A little foretaste of the Nazca lines: The Chandelier can be admired on the way to the Ballestas Islands.

In contrast to all that water, the other natural attraction is the desert stretching along the Pacific ocean all the way down to Chile. It consists of 335,000 hectares and is one of world's most important ecosystems.

Desert to the left, Ocean to the right - look at us: Paracas just blows you away!

If you leave Lima early enough and organize the trip to the desert privately, you can do both in one day. To avoid too much of a rush, I arrived at noon, did go into the desert in the afternoon and to the island the next morning. After lunch - make sure to try their gratiné clams - I took a coach to Huacachina.

Clams in a thick blob of parmesan cheese. Homemade lemonade is the tastiest and at the same time cheapest drink you can get in Perú; well, Pisco Sour is also tasty - very tasty!

Don't worry, since this route is a classic - and called 'La ruta del gringo' for a good reason - travelling is really easy, there's no need to pre-book, your accommodation will organize everything for you right on the spot.

This goes for Peru in general: I did book through a hotel platform and paid everywhere more than the rack rate - not talking about prices you can negotiate! Do your wallet a favor and just walk in.

Do you want to read about all the other beautiful places I've visited in Peru? 
Then go to the main post and take your pick!

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