We spent only a day and a half in Paracas, but managed to do quite a lot of things. After arriving there in the afternoon, we went swimming in the Pacific Ocean - for me, this was the very first time. It was quite chilly, and other tourists didn't dare go in. Afterwards, we enjoyed watching another marvelous sunset.
The next morning, we went on a boat trip around the Ballestas Islands. On the way there, we saw a large geoglyph - El Candelabro - the origin of which is still unknown. The islands themselves were covered in guano (bird excrement), which is harvested once about every five years and sold as fertilizer. Guano is and has been economically important for Peru, and control over guano-rich islands even lead to some military conflicts in the 19th century. We also saw hundreds of thousands of birds, including albatrosses and Humboldt penguins, as well as many sea lions.
|Life is good!|
|The Ballestas Islands had several arches such as this one|
In the afternoon, we went on a tour to the Paracas National Reserve. The trip took us to several beautiful beaches, a small museum, and to a place where we could observe flamingos. We weren't allowed to go close, though, and I'm glad we had our binoculars with us. We also experienced a seemingly persistent sandstorm. Indeed, Paracas means "sand rain" in Quechua.
|There were beautiful cliffs in Paracas ...|
|... and colorful beaches as well|
We have some more photos of the area here.