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Paracas National Reserve

Photo credit: susivinh / Foter / CC BY-ND
Paracas National Reserve
  • (worth a trip)
  • full day
  • 3 3

A national park with many hidden gems inside

Paracas National Reserve is a protected area in Peru, located in the providence of Pisco in the Ica department. It is located along the Pacific coast and its cold waters are the result of the Humboldt Currents that come in from the south. Paracas is one of the most important and biologically diverse marine areas in the world and the home to diverse flora and fauna. Here, you’ll find penguins, orcas, otters, sea lions, crabs, octopus, different species of turtles and more.


Aside from its natural grandeurs, you’ll find in Paracas over 100 archaeoligical sites as well as important landmarks. An example of this is El Candelabro (“The Chandelier”), located northeast of the bay of Paracas. El Candelabro is a 120 meter geoglypth located on a rock covered by sand. Just as the famous Nazca Lines, the “drawing” never disappears due to the winds that constantly remove the sand that goes over it. The best way to see this wonder is from the sea and there are many tours available on site.


The next major sight in the reserve is La Catedral (“The Cathedral”), a rock formation created by the erosion of the ocean and the wind. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most photographed spots of Peru. Unfortunately, in August 2007, an earthquake destroyed most of it and only the remains can be seen today in the Yumaque and Supay beaches.