The shorelines of Paracas are one of the most luxurious beaches in Peru, with several high class hotels making the area a favorite romantic getaway for travelers from Lima and from other countries. The reason for the growth is obvious: the coast is gorgeous, with white sand, blue waters and fresh ocean breezes. But the beach itself isn’t the only draw. The area features plenty of activities like nearby adventure sports opportunities, wildlife reserves and historical archeological sites of interest. It’s because of this that Paracas has become, without a doubt, one of the up and coming vacation spots in Peru.
This dream vacation location offers vacationers the opportunity to visit the Paracas National Reserve, sometimes called the “Galapagos of Peru.” This incredibly rich ecosystem has long been a tourist draw. The mild weather means that it’s a great destination all year long, although the summer months (Dec-March) offer more sun. The ocean currents contribute to vast variety of marine wildlife, and boat cruises bring tourist up close and personal to giant flocks of sea birds like Humboldt penguins, gulls, condors, flamingos and pelicans, as well as a large colony of sea lions. There are often sightings of whales and dolphins. In addition, you’ll find many fish like sole, bonito, pompano and others living in the waters, making it a great place for offshore fishing.
But offshore and deep-sea fishing aren’t the only activities available. This area of coast is well known for surfing and windsurfing, as are areas a short hop to the north or south. Parasailing and sandboarding are available nearby in Ica at the Huacachina sand dune. Scuba divers will find lots to enjoy in Paracas, too. The kelp forests off of Mendieta Beach and Zarate island offer an excellent habitat to explore, with the possibility of swimming along with the sea lions that have colonized nearby. And don’t miss the sunken guano ship that can be found near northern Isla de Chincha.
For those of you interested in history, like much of Peru, Paracas has its share. The area was home to the Paracas culture, a pre-Inca civilization. The Julio C. Tello Museum, located inside the nature reserve, features fabric textiles, ceramics and remains from the nearby Paracas cemetery, where some 400 mummies were discovered back in 1925.
Looking for something more romantic? Paracas has that too! On the coast, you’re only a short drive away from Peru’s famous wineries. Try the Tacama wineries, about an hour away. Famous for their wines and Piscos, they offer tours of the facilities plus free tastings. Don’t forget to try Peru’s national drink, the Pisco sour. The hotels in Paracas offer romantic getaways as well. Try the Hilton Doubletree Resort Paracas, where you’ll find suites with their own kitchen, a beautiful pool and spa and first rate restaurants from around $150 per night. The Hotel Paracas also offers luxury romantic getaways with balcony suite rooms available from $240 a night. The Hotel Paracas also arranges tours of the area; they have a private yacht for tours of the islands, and a private plane used for flights over the nearby Nazca lines.