Paracas and the Ballestas Islands

The Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands. With an area of 335 thousand hectares, this reserve is the only protected area in Perú that comprises a marine ecosystem. The site is refuge for sea lions, Humboldt penguins, flamingos or parihuanas and other birds.

The reserve can be visited by car and by water. The journey by sea consists of a boat trip to the Ballestas Islands, inhabited by sea lions and many species of sea birds, and a view of attractive archaeological remains such as The Candelabra or amazing works of nature such as The Cathedral. Visitors are not allowed onto the islands but views of the wildlife from the boat are usually excellent.

The Candelabra, situated to the northwest of Paracas Bay, is a misterious geoglyph traced in the desert hillside overlooking the sea, more than 120 m long and which is also called the Three Crosses or Trident. Undoubtedly, the best way to see it is from the sea. There are numerous theories as to its origin (best left to the guides to explain some of them).

The Cathedral, located between the Yumaque and Supay beaches, is a large rock formation eroded by wind and sea, in the interior of which there are sea otters or chingungos, a species in danger of extinction, as well as various sea bird species.

To understand the importance of the Paracas National Park, you should visit its Interpretation Center, which offers an interesting explanation of the biodiversity and dangers affecting the zone. On the other hand, the Site Museum Julio C. Tello presents a permanent exhibition of pieces of Paracas culture, discovered in the excavations made in cemeteries in the area.