Paracas Peru: Top 7 reasons to visit this off the beaten track vacation spot

June 25, 2018

Paracas Peru 2018 update: Paracas Peru is a small beach town a few hours away from Lima which has so much to offer to travelers. Beautiful beaches, immense biodiversity, laid-back atmosphere, and all-year-round sunshine are just some of the many things that make Paracas Peru an unmissable place to visit during your travels in the land of the Incas. Don’t say we didn’t tell you and discover with us the Top 7 Reasons to Visit Paracas Peru!

Pelicans on the beaches of Paracas Peru on a sunny day

1) Sunny all year round

Paracas is great for those looking for an escape from Lima, especially during the winter when fog and gray clouds dominate the skies. Paracas is also ideal for water sports because its waters have very few waves compared to other beach towns along the Peruvian coast (sorry, surfing fans). Water sports that can be practiced include kitesurfing, kayaking, sailing, and more. Other activities sports lovers can do in the area are paragliding, ride ATVs and cycling.

If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junky and fancy trying your hand at any of the activities above you can find out more information about costs, ticketing & everything else over at!

The Paracas sunset casts a golden glow over the Pacific Ocean

2) Largest and oldest marine reserve in Peru

The nearby Paracas National Reserve has an area of 335,000 hectares and it is home to 74 species of plants, 216 species of birds, 16 types of mammals, 10 species of reptiles and close to 200 species of fish. It was established in 1975 and it is the oldest and largest marine reserve in Peru. The reserve aims to protect the unique ecosystem and landscape of the region as well as the historical heritage of ancient civilizations. It was named after the Paracas civilization who lived in the area, which is one of the driest deserts in the Peruvian coast.

The tracks of the National Reserve in Paracas Peru

3) The relaxed, laid-back vibe in Paracas Peru

The town is small and pretty much everything is within walking distance. Unlike Lima, there is no traffic and no rush to get from one place to another. It is not unusual to see pelicans and other birds casually hanging out on the harbor and walking near the boardwalk as you stroll around the area. You can also watch the sunset while enjoying your favorite drink from one of the many cafés and restaurants. Once in a while, you will also get the chance to spot the docile Peruvian hairless dog popping out the house of its owner.

And if the laid-back vibe isn’t quite your thing and you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, why not check out the desert oasis town of Huacachina, a little more than an hour away from Paracas. Here travellers can try out dune buggying, sand boarding & a whole host of other activities.

A passerby shares a moment of rest with a local pelican

4) Smaller version of Galapagos islands

The Ballestas Islands off the coast of the Paracas National Reserve are nicknamed the “poor man’s Galapagos.” This is because a boat tour to Ballestas islands is way cheaper and a fraction of what you would pay for a Galapagos Islands tour. Nevertheless, these islands are home to a wide diversity of marine creatures and endangered species. Some of the most emblematic species that inhabit and frequently visit the islands include the Peruvian booby, Humboldt penguin, and the Andean condor. The tour lasts for about 2 hours and tour guides speak a number of languages. Check out for all up to date tour information about this cozy town by the sea.

Marine wildlife resting on a cliff face at las islas ballestas

5) Hotels and hostels for every budget

If you wish to stay in Paracas for a weekend or a couple of days, then you can choose between a reasonable range of accommodation options. For instance, you can enjoy the convenience, camaraderie and affordability of youth hostels and backpackers’ hostels. Some hostels feature energetic and social atmosphere where the booze and songs flow freely while others feature a relaxed and quiet vibe. Some popular hostels are Kokopelli, Paracas 360 Ecohostel and Paracas Backpackers.

Other options available are luxurious Paracas hotels. Some popular hotels in this category include Paracas Hotel Resort, Hotel San Agustin and Double Tree by Hilton. These hotels are great options to really disconnect, unwind and enjoy that family or honeymoon trip you have been planning for a while.  

The hostels of Paracas Peru treat travels to some of the best views around

6) Peruvian culture and history

On the way to Paracas as well as in Paracas itself you can find exhibitions and museums displaying Peruvian culture and history. As you head south, before arriving to Paracas, you can find the Casa Hacienda San Jose plantation. This old plantation house is connected to a network of underground tunnels built at the end of the XVII century to smuggle slaves from the old Chincha port to the plantations of wealthy landowners. Visitors can get a guided tour inside the tunnels and learn about the history behind it. In particular, Peru Hop’s daily tours to Paracas includes a visit to the San Jose mansion at no additional cost.  

In the Paracas National Reserve, you can visit the Juan Navarro Hierro and Julio C. Tello museums. The former is popular for its elongated skulls collection while the latter exhibits some of the finest textiles made by the Paracas culture, which existed between 750 BC and 100 AD.

The courtyard of Casa Hacienda, San Jose at dusk7) Some of Peru’s most exotic beaches

The ancient volcanic and geological activity that formed the paracas coast has produced some of the most picturesque beaches in Peru. For instance, Playa Roja (“red beach”) is one of the most remarkable because its shore has an earth-red tone that catches the eye of hundreds of visitors each day. Supay Beach has a viewpoint from which you can observe a rock formation that resembles a castle. La Mina Beach is hidden from above and you only get to see its blue waters as you go down the steps. These are just some of the most popular beaches but as stated before the reserve is huge and there is much more to see.

The Peruvian sun dips below the horizon

As you can see, Paracas is perfect for all types of travelers. Whether you’re looking for adventure sports or a peaceful place to rest, Paracas has what you need! If you are looking for tips about Paracas, where to eat, transportation options, interesting insights, and other cool facts, check out This website is managed by proud locals who keep up-to-date information about their lovely town located just a few hours away from Lima.



Did you know - The Lima Walking Tour leaves from the Tourist Information Center at 799 Avenida Jose Larco in Miraflores every day at 10:15 am. Visit our Blog for more information!

Leave A Reply