Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Park.

Trip Start May 08, 2013
Trip End Sep 30, 2013

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Where I stayed
Paracas Backpackers' House
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Peru  , Ica Region,
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Ballestas Islands are a small group of islands near Paracas. The islands are home to many animals including pelicans, sea lions, penguins, the guanay guano bird and the 'blue footed booby'.

We were picked up from Paracas Backpackers House at 7.45am for the 2 hour boat ride to the islands. The motor boat held around 30 people and fortunately the ride was quite smooth! After some rough experiences with sea sickness in Australia, I have been taking travel sickness tablets for boats and buses - but the bad thing is, they completely knock me out! They say 'may cause drowsiness' - but these bad boys could knock me out cold for at least 6 hours. Now I know why I slept so well on the flight over!

On the way to the Ballestas Islands we stopped at El Candelabro, an engraving of a candlestick into the sand, which is called a geoglyph. Kind of similar to the Nazca Lines really. It is estimated that this was done over 2000 years ago but still remains intact. Impressive!

We continued on the boat to the Ballestas Islands and saw all sorts of wildlife. There were thousands of pelicans, but the little penguins and sea lions were my favourite! I can't remember the exact figure, but in 2011 they collected x amount of tonnes of bird poop and exported it...

When we got back from the morning tour of the islands, we were collected by a separate tour company for a trip to the Paracas National Reserve. We spent around half an hour in a museum, then visited La Catedral which is on the coast and makes a really beautiful photo. It was partially destroyed in the 2007 earthquake but, to me, it still looks lovely.

We continued on to La Lagunilla, which is a small fishing town. We walked up a hill to a view point over the town and took a few photos. We thought this part of the tour was a little drawn out because we were kind of forced to have lunch even though we didn't really want to! I really enjoyed certain bits of the Paracas National Reserve, but definitely enjoyed the morning tour to the islands a lot more.

In the evening in Paracas town we went to a small restaurant called 'Sandra' for the 'menu of the day' meal. I had chicken soup followed by Peruvian fried rice. Edible but not a patch on our perfect meal in Lima! Our accommodation in Paracas is basically a shed with a tin roof and a shared bathroom but it is clean and does the job. The manager Alberto is really sweet and helpful though so it more than makes up for the slight lack of facilities.

Heading down to Huacachina today...
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