Gateway to the Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve, Paracas is a small port town on the Pacific Coast. Its name translates to “sand rain”, with beautiful stretches of beach and tropical deserts surrounding its main hub of El Chaco.
Things to do in Paracas
Relax on the sands of El Chaco, the main town in Paracas, where the majority of shops and restaurants cluster. Wander along the new malecón and grab a drink in one of the laid-back bars overlooking the Pacific.
Explore the rugged coastline of the Paracas Peninsula, which encompasses the tropical deserts and islands of the Paracas National Reserve. Striking rock formations, soaring cliffs and red-sand beaches are among its highlights. The coastal region also boasts one of the highest concentrations of birdlife in the world.
Learn about the indigenous cultures of the region at the Paracas National Reserve’s Muséo Sitio de Julio C. Tello, then explore the ancient burial sites of the Paracas Necropolis. Visit the Pampa de Santo Domingo where the skeletal remains of a man dating back to 6,000 BC were uncovered in the 1960s.
Jump aboard a boat cruise to explore the uninhabited Ballestas Islands, nicknamed the “Mini Galapagos of Peru”. Spot boisterous sea lions, blue-footed boobies and endangered Humboldt penguins, then admire the 183-metre-tall geoglyph etched into the hills, known as the “Candelabra”.
Getting around Paracas
Paracas is around four hours’ drive south of Lima and just over three hours from Nazca. Mototaxis are a convenient means of getting around El Chaco and you can rent bicycles to explore the Paracas Peninsula.