After spending a single night in Lima to recover from our thirteen-hour flight, we headed straight for the first stop: Paracas.
A short 180 kilometers southward of Lima is a lovely little harbor town called Paracas. On its southern edge it borders the Paracas Natural Reserve, which turns out to be mostly just sand and rocks (rocks which happens to contain a boatload of shellfish fossils!). Near the water it has quite a lovely cliffside though, and it has a cute little fishing bay where a couple of restaurants have set up shop so the starving tourists can get their seafood lunch. We traveled through part of the reserve, mostly along the coast, with a small group and a nice guide. It was really pretty!
The very next day, we went with the same tour guide to the other nearby natural “tourist attraction”, Islas Ballestas. Or the Ballestas Islands, for those who don’t speak a single word of Spanish. It’s a small group of islands where you’ll find a lot of bird poop. And birds! And seals! Even penguins, too. I don’t have many great pictures of it because when you’re on a crowded boat people’s heads get in the way. This one captures the general look of it quite well though. Apparently workers would periodically come to the island to collect the bird poop, and then ship it off someplace for further procession. For what purpose, I wonder? Probably fertilizer.
After filling the first half of our second full day with the Islas Ballestas tour, we continued onward to our next destination: Chivay. More on that tomorrow!