Top tips for Paracas and trips to Islas Ballestas, Peru
Welcome to my Top tips for Paracas and trips to Islas Ballestas, Peru.
We had originally booked to travel to Paracas from Nazca with Cruz Del Sur. However, after our horrendous journey from Cuzco to Nazca, I was prepared to avoid the bus at all costs! We ended up getting a taxi instead – CLICK here for info about taxi costs.
The town itself feels a bit like a deserted sea-side town, despite it being popular with tourists. The main strip of hotels and restaurants runs alongside the beachfront, which is actually quite nice for a stroll. The accomodation varies from the super expensive to very cheap. We stayed at Bamboo Lodge and overall, I would say we were happy with the hotel. The room was clean and had a nice balcony over looking the sea and the breakfast – which was eggs cooked to order, bread, fruit and tea and coffee – was served in the restaurant next door. The staff were also courteous and efficient. We arrived in the late afternoon and enjoyed the view of the sunset over the sea from our hotel room.
We also enjoyed a stroll around the town, looking for restaurants. However, if you are looking for a specific restaurant, it might be worth calling ahead to check they are open. We wanted to go to Restaurante Chalana, as it is highly rated but on arrival we found it was closed!
Boat Trip to Islas Ballestas
We booked in advance with Emotion Tours. We dealt with Carlos, who dealt with all of our questions really well and was incredibly friendly. Our tour cost US$20 each (which I think has gone up to $25) and we were required to pay 50% in advance. However, on the day, the tour was a bit disorganised. We were met at our accommodation and walked down to the jetty (about 3 minutes away). At the jetty, we were told we had to pay for another ticket to the jetty itself and a jetty tax, which we did. Later, there was confusion as to whether that was correct and we had different answers from Carlos, the man who picked us up and the man who helped us on to the boat.
When getting on the boat, I would try and sit on the left hand side. We saw some incredible wildlife – a small group of the endangered Humbolt penguin and many sea lions as well as lots of birds. The noise (and stink!) of the animals and their life on these precarious rocks is humbling. We took some amazing pictures but the view through our binoculars was most impressive. However, this was slightly overshadowed for me by the petrol fumes we could see being emitted from the boats and wafting onto the animals. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t gone on the tour as it feels as if I have contributed to the demise of their habitat.
I hope you enjoyed my Top tips for Paracas and trips to Islas Ballestas, Peru.
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