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Paracas National Reserve

Paracas National Reserve 

Reseva de Paracas

The Paracas National Reserve is located in the Department of Ica, province of Pisco, and was created as such on 25 September 1975.

The Paracas National Reserve was established in order to keep the marine ecosystem giving shelter to sea lions, Humboldt penguins, flamingos and many other birds. The reserve covers an area of 335,000 hectares, and on it you can perform various activities. This beautiful natural reserve has many natural attractions and archaeological sites, one of them is the candelabrum, a geoglyph of more than 120 meters of extension that can be seen from the sea. Also has an Interpretation Center which offers an interesting explanation of the biodiversity and the dangers that face the natural area. 

Everyday there are boat rides around the island to see the wildlife, tours  by its beautiful beaches and deserts. For photograph lovers, the Paracas reserve accounts with a circuit visiting the most beautiful points.

The Paracas Beach account with a high quality tourist services such as, hotels, restaurants, and craft markets.

  • Location: The Paracas National Reserve is located on the southern coast of Peru, in the department of Ica and province of Pisco  at 42Km from the city of Ica, capital of the department.
  • Extension: The Paracas Reserve has  335.000 hectares of which 35 % belong to the mainland and islands, and 65 % to marine waters.
  • Altitude: Its altitude range is from sea level up to 786 meters of altitude.
  • Climate: The climate is typical of the desert with temperatures above 30 °C, and in the winter, the temperature drops to 10 °C in the evenings. The  annual rainfall average is almost non-existent with only 2mm.
  • Access: The fastest way to get to Paracas National Reserve is from Paracas town  at 250 Km from Lima city (4 hours bus ride), It can also be accessed from the city of Ica,capital of the department (75 km) and the city of Pisco to 22 km.

You can include your visit to this place in a trip along the south of Peru. Starting  in the Lima city, then continuing to Paracas, the Nazca Lines, the Colca Canyon, the Lake Titicaca and culminating in the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

 Main Attractions in Paracas

Ballestas Islands

Ballestas Islands

Ballestas Islands

Located outside of the natural reserve, The islands are a set of 3 islands where there is a large concentration of marine wildlife such as sea lions, Humboldt penguins, and many varieties of sea birds. The distance ofthe islands from the Port of Chaco is 6km and you get there by boat on a journey of about 1 hour.

The Paracas Candelabro



This enigmatic geoglyph of more than 120 meters long, It is located facing the sea in the north of Paracas peninsula, and can be seen in the way to the Ballestas Islands. Your stroke reminds the Nasca lines, although your invoice is more recent and dating back to the time of the colony. It is forbidden to go walking until it. by what the candelabrum geoglyph can be only seen from the sea.

Distance: 14 km from la Checkpoint 

Interpretation Center of the Paracas Reserve 

The interpretive center is located at 5 km from Paracas, and offers an interesting explanation of biodiversity and the dangers that Paracas Reserve face. Also exhibits pieces of ceramics and textiles from the Paracas culture found in the area.

Visiting hours: From Monday to Sunday from 09:00 am – 15:00 pm

Balneario de Paracas

The Paracas Balneario is a beautiful place, which main attractions are its climate, beaches, beautiful residences, hotels and restaurants offering typical dishes based on fish and seafood. Also from here starts the tours to Paracas Reserve and the Ballestas Islands.

Playa Atenas

It is located in front of the Paracas Bay. The beach is carved in the extensions of the Sargaso and Colorado mountains, which are part of the terrain present in the Paracas Peninsula. This beach is carved into the cliff, and is a sandy beach with a calm sea.

Punta Arquillo (The cliff Punta Arquillo)                                                                                                                                                                

At 6 km from Lagunillas. In summer the sea lions mate, and if you are lucky, you can see how the condors down to eat their placentas.

Lagunillas Beach 

It is an old bay that still retains its typical harbor. This beach is curved, sandy and the sea is very calm, but swimmers should take precautions because it presents many hedgehogs. 

La Mina Beach

This beach is small and sandy. Also it is encircled by a small cliff, which is accessed by a concrete staircase. This beach is accessed from Lagunillas Beach (2km) 

Raspón Beach

The raspon beach is a beautiful small beach located a short distance from La Mina beach.

Playa Roja (Red Beach)

Located at 2km from Lagunillas beach .The color of the shores gives to this beach a singular beauty, due to its proximity to Punta Santa Maria, that is a solid block formed by rocks containing solidified magma inside. The wave action on the massive rock erodes and drag the red rock fragments that is accumulated on the shore, thus giving rise to the name of the beach.

Playa Yumaque 

The Yumaque begins in the cliffs area formed in front the Cerro El Fraile. The extension of this cliffs in the sea is calledPunta Yunaque or Punta Cielo. The characteristic of these cliffs is that its upper area is very flat and dry.

The Cathedral Formation

This impressive rock formation has an age between 28 and 40 million years ago, and resembled as its name suggests, a giant cathedral. The partial collapse suffered in the Pisco earthquake in 2007 has not limited the majesty of the landscape seen from there. From this natural lookout is possible to see the characteristic fauna of the cliffs as boobies, zarcillos,chuitas, black oystercatchers, sea otters  and dolphins.The cathedral is located to the south of Playa Yumaque.

Playa Mendieta (Mendieta Beach)

This beach is located at 25 km from the checkpoint and is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches of the reserve. In front to its coast there are two islets that local fishermen called Tortuga and Paneton that are ideal for diving and sport fishing.The beach also has sand dunes covered with vegetation. Its waters are cold and the beach is windy.

Independence Bay

In this bay, the General Don José de San Martin, liberator of Peru, disembarked here in 1820 in command of 4,118 menin order to end America’s most powerful viceroyalty. Independence Bay now offers to the visitors a peaceful haven of calm beaches where you can spend a great day of sun. We recommend the Southern side of Cruz Carhuas Beach, protected from the wind by the Punta El Queso area, and has a long sandy beach, ideal for a good swim and diving. The distance is 45 km from the checkpoint.



Barlovento is a large area of ​​sandy beaches, visited by anglers, for the abundance of corvina and lenguado fish. In Barlovento begins the circuit sandy beaches, separated by rocky headlands and dunes. To access there, there are several dirt roads that leave from Laguna Grande or Pozo Santo. But, bear on mind obtain the permit to visit the area with the Paracas Reserve office. The place does not have any basic service, so bring the necessary things to enjoy your visit.

  • Distance: 65 km from the checkpoint.

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