Travel Peru: Paracas

Travel Peru: Paracas

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.

Fruzion Pancakes Paracas

Fruzion Coffee Paracas

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!

Ballestas Islands ParacasBallestas Islands Paracas

Islas Ballestas

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!

Ballestas Islands Paracas

Ballestas Islands 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.

Go Karts - Paracas National Reserve

Go Karts - Paracas National Reserve 2

Go Karting

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!

Go Karts - Paracas National Reserve

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!


Paracas National Reserve Beaches

Paracas Beaches Craggy Rocks

Paracas National Reserve Beaches

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. Because of the geography of the beach it’s hard for sea creatures to return to the ocean once they get caught in the current. There were two dead sea lions washed up on the beach. That’s nature for you, but it was still sad to see.

Paracas National Reserve Red Sand Beach

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.

Paracas National Reserve Red Beach

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! 😉

Vineyard Tasting Peru

El Catador Vineyard Peru

El Catador Vineyard Peru

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!

El Catador Vineyard Peru

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 sampled 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!

Naza Lines Peru

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. The lines are best seen from above. Many depict animals, while others include The Tree, and strangest of all (I think) The Hands.

Naza Lines Bird's Eye View Peru

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!

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  1. November 24, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    This looks really wonderful! What is the weather like in Peru? How long are you guys staying for? And are you going backpacking?

    • November 25, 2017 / 2:18 am

      The weather was all over the place! Depending on where you are the temperature changes, along the coast it was hot and dry during the day (25 degrees ish) and cooler at night. Arequipa was a little bit cooler than the desert but it could still get pretty warm during the day. Cusco was the coldest place we went, at around 14 degrees each day. It was overcast and rainy a lot in cusco so we were wearing sweaters the whole time.
      We did two days of actual backpacking through colca canyon, I’ll have that post up next Sunday!
      We were in Peru for about 17 days ☺

  2. November 21, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    I would have loved seeing the sea lions at the Ballestas Islands! The go karting looks really fun but sounds so scary at the same time!

    • November 21, 2017 / 11:33 pm

      They were so chill! Just basking in the sun, not a care in the world.
      the go karts weren’t as bad as the ATV! The ATV was flipping terrifying because I wasn’t even strapped into anything. Never again for me, but a lot of our tour group loved it!

      • November 22, 2017 / 5:56 pm

        It’s funny because I used to be a daredevil and love those kinds of things but now I’m terrified. I wouldn’t be able to go on the ATV haha. I admire your bravery to do it at least once!

        • November 23, 2017 / 2:08 am

          haha! I know the feeling, I feel like I’m so much more aware of all the bad things that could happen so I’m less adventurous now. My cousin lost his leg in an ATV accident, I had that in the back of my mind the whole time so I drove super slow xD

          • November 23, 2017 / 4:17 pm

            Yikes that’s a scary accident! I would be thinking about that too!

  3. November 20, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Lovely pics and would love to visit Peru someday!

  4. lifeofangela
    November 20, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    I loved the Islas Ballestas! So many birds and seals everywhere, it was amazing! I missed out on the Nazca lines when we were there which I was so disappointed about! We just couldn’t fit it in, in the end. I’m still having so much fun reading about your Peru trip, it keeps bringing back memories of my own trip too 😀

    • November 20, 2017 / 2:19 pm

      So many animals! I’ve never seen that many aquatic animals in their natural habitat, only in zoos. It was so cool to see all the wild seals!
      Aww that’s disappointing about the nazca lines 😞 It was a really quick stop for us at the tower, we were there for many 20 minutes. It would have been cool to see a full tour!

      Every day is an adventure in Peru! Do you think you’ll ever go back?

      • lifeofangela
        November 20, 2017 / 3:48 pm

        I would definitely love to go back someday. It would be amazing to head back to Machu Picchu! But I’m also torn with visiting somewhere new 😂 if only I had enough time and money to do both 😂

        • November 21, 2017 / 11:24 pm

          It’s a dilemma for sure! I’d also love to go back but there are so many places to visit, I know I can’t see them all.

  5. November 20, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    It’s awesome how much you guys experienced in two days! Sea lions are the best – all they do is lie there like a big blob and grunt, LOL. The go-karting looks fun, although I’d be too nervous to drive it! And the red sand beach is so unique and beautiful. I don’t think I knew red sand beaches exist until now!

  6. November 20, 2017 / 9:24 am

    The photos from Islas Ballestas are so gorgeous <3

    • November 20, 2017 / 11:23 am

      Thank you 😊 They were so beautiful in person, I’ve never seen anything like them!

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