Paracas: the ‘Poor man’s Galapagos’


We only had a night in Paracas, but I was well assured by Andy that that’s all that would be required. As we arrived in Paracas the weather miraculously changed from the drab grey we’d seen all week in Lima to our first blue sky witnessed in Peru. The temperature was noticeably warmer than what Lima had been. I wasted no time in stripping off some layers – the bus had felt like the Arctic!

Paracas is teeny tiny, with only a few blocks of restaurants, shops and tour offices. It is beachfront and there are a number of places to eat with a view. We stayed at Paracas Backpackers (so cheap) which had a lovely terrace for watching the sunset. 

We ate dinner at Miski, a New Zealand owned pizzeria with pizzas so large we accidentally got lunch the next day. As Peru Hop passengers we were privy to a welcome drink and a 10% discount. It was a really mellow spot, with lots of wooden features, dream catchers and even a New Zealand flag. 

The next morning I rose early to take a tour to the Ballestas Islands. Colloquially known as the ‘Poor Man’s Galapagos” there was an absolute abundance of wildlife (namely birds and sealions) and an overwhelming smell of poop. The sea lions are always going to be my favourite, but seeing pelicans and penguins close up was also pretty amazing. The islands are a rocky land mass located about half an hours’ boat ride away.

Andy didn’t come and although I enjoyed the trip I can see why he didn’t want to do it again. He did visit the National Reserve for a second time though (probably only because it was free) where we got to see a number of different beaches, coastlines and rock formations. 

All up, Paracas was a worthy first stop where one night was a perfect length of time. I appreciated the warmth and its small size compared to that of Lima’s was a nice change. Nic and Andy are back on the road!

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