Hola Amigos! Today’s post continues on with my travel Peru series for a day in Paracas. Paracas is a little town about an hour out of Huacachina. It’s very popular and for good reason! Our guide booked us tons of things to do for about 140 sols, or about $60CAD.
Day 3 – Paracas
We started our day in Paracas at a little breakfast and lunch place called Fruzion. They had a nice selection of smoothies and milkshakes for breakfast as well as pancakes! I ordered Chocolate covered pancakes and a coffee. The coffee was so good, I hadn’t really had any in a few days so I was happy to finally get my fix!
Next stop we wandered down the beach to the pier and hopped in a speed boat. We sped away to the Ballestas Islands, also known as Peru’s Galapagos. My husband really wants to visit the Galapagos one day so he loved this part! There were SO. MANY. BIRDS. Birds everywhere! All that texture on the top of the rock in the second photo? Yeah, those are birds. It was crazy, they were diving into the water beside us the whole time to catch fish in their beaks!
The Ballestas Islands are protected as part of a habitat reserve so we weren’t actually allowed on the island which I personally think is a good thing. It keeps tourists from polluting the nautural habitat of all these birds, penguins, and, wait for it… SEA LIONS!
There are so many sea lions all over the craggy rocks of the Ballestas Islands!! They were chilling out when our boat passed them. We even had the privilege of seeing a baby sea lion go for a swim! We loved our boat ride, it was so much fun to see all these creatures. There were penguins as well, but they were way up top on the rocks away from the water.
After the boat ride and Lunch we rented Go Karts. My feet didn’t reach the pedals (so sad, I know) so my husband did most of the driving. It was cool, I got lots of photos during the drive! It was actually kind of terrifying because we drove on the main highway for a while and they really didn’t care if we had drivers licenses or not, and all we had for safety was a crappy helmet. Luckily we had no casualties!
Despite the obvious lack of safety we had a lot of fun! I wound up driving an ATV on my own which was terrifying, the chain broke as I was driving, then the Go Kart tour people just fixed it and were like “You’re Fine!”. My helmet was too big and kept sliding off my head, and we were going down the highway! I’m glad I got out of my comfort zone, but I’m like, NEVER AGAIN!
We Go Karted to a couple beaches on the Paracas National Reserve. The first beach was gorgeous with tall craggy rocks and rough waves. We didn’t go in the water, but it was a great place for photos. Our guide shared with us that the geography of the place makes it really hard for sea creatures to escape back to the ocean after getting caught in the current. There were two dead sea lions washed up on the beach. That’s nature for you, but it was still really sad to see.
Afterwards we took our Go Karts to a beautiful red sand beach! I was so excited for this beach, our guide talked it up quite a bit before the tour. We wandered down on the sand for a while before encountering another dead sea lion. Or so we thought, a girl in our tour group got too close to it and it all of a sudden jumped up, jumped towards us on it’s belly and then booked it back into the ocean. I had NO idea they could move so fast on land, it was kind of terrifying!! We can look back and laugh now.
After exploring for fifteen minutes and taking photos we watched the sunset. Then we ran because the tide was coming in over the rocks and our feet were getting wet! Afterwars we went out for some delicious pizza, drank more than a few Pisco Sours and headed back to Huacachina for the night.
Day 4 – Travel Day
Day four was mostly a travel day. We had until 1pm to explore Huacachina but it was a national voting day so all the shops were closed. We had popsicles for breakfast because it was the only thing we could find that was open. Eventually we were picked up by the Peru Hop bus and spirited away towards Arequipa. Not without a few stops along the way of course! 😉
El Catador Vineyard Tour
Our first stop was a little vineyard called El Catador. We stopped there about an hour out of Huacachina. Our tour was very brief through the winery/distillery, our guide knew us millenials just wanted to get to the tasting part of the tour! One interesting thing we did learn though was that Pisco in Chile is Brown because it’s stored in wooden casks, while Peruvian Pisco retains it’s clear colour because they use these clay casks instead. Neat!
We got to try a little sample of each bottle pictured above. Wine in Peru is really sweet! I prefer sweeter wine so this was right up my alley! The Borgoña was my favourite of the three wines we tasted. We also got to try two cream liqueurs and were taught the “Peruvian Way” to drink pisco. It basically involved smelling it, then taking a tiny sip, then swishing the rest in your mouth and swallowing it all at once. Pisco is incredibly potent, some bottles contain over 50% alcohol so it burned going down. Not my favourite, but hey, travel is about trying new things!
Nazca Lines Viewing Tower
After the vineyard we had one more little stop before dinner and a night sleeping on the bus. If you aren’t familiar with the Nazca Lines they’re pre inca carvings in the ground of the Nazca desert. They’re best seen from above as the depictions are quite large in scale. Many depict animals, while others include The Tree, and strangest of all (I think) The Hands.
This is the top of The Tree! It was the easiest to see from the tower. We also could see The Hands, which literally looks like a random pair of hands, and caught a glimpse of The Lizard. It was a pretty eventful two days. It’s hard to believe looking back that this is only day three and four of the trip! Next week I’ll be writing about our adventures in Arequipa. Stay Tuned!