After waking up, we had to meet at 7:45 am for our first trip: the Ballestas Islands! This place is nicknamed the Poor man’s Galapagos, simply because it is a lot cheaper to see the abundant of wildlife. The islands are a group of rocks located off the Pacific coast near Paracas, housing thousands of birfs and animals like penguins, sea lions, pelicans and other birds.
Oh man, it did not disappoint! We got onto a speedboat with approx 40 other people to head towards the Islands. First we stopped after 10 minutes of boat ride to witness Candelabro, a 2000 year old sand sculpture that is engraved into the Paracas Peninsula. After a few pictures we continued for another 15 minutes to Islas Ballestas.
Man, it was amazing! We saw so many birds on spectacular cliffs made by erosion over the centuries, all of a sudden rocks turn pitch black because of the amount of birds. Penguins roaming around and also hundreds of sea lions (plus babies!) everywhere! Their roars very loud and gives you the chills. Such an amazing spot!
After that we headed back for 30 minutes, at the port some pelicans fishing gave us a show.
After that we ate empanadas from a local vedor for 3 soles a piece and took the Peru hop bus again for the Paracas city tour, also heading to the national reserve.
The reserve is quite impressive, transforming in millions of years from jungle to ocean to desert, giving it a lot of different colors of sand, yellow, black to white.
First stop la Cathedral, a big rock formation in the form of an arch, but this got lost in a earthquake. Two platforms to look from, amazing view!
Second stop is Istmo de la Pennisula, looks like a nice beach side. There are a lot of colors everywhere, thanks to the volcanic activity in the past.
Last stop is the red beach. With a beautiful view on a big red cliff, and a pebble beach it is a great place to catch some wind and relax.
After that we drove one and a half hour to Huacachina, a oasis city just consisting of 8 blocks and 100 inhabitants. Here, sandboarding and dunebuggies are a thing! Through Peru hop we booked for 50 soles each.
Around 16:00 pm we gathered to get the buggy tour started. Man, it was awesome! Our driver, Chino, was driving like crazy. Felt like a rollercoaster the entire trip!
After that we did sandboarding off 6 hills in the dessert. Laying flat on our body and going down with speed, very sweet!
We ended with enjoying the sunset from a desert view and a fast ride back to Huacachina for an astonishing view from the top over the oasis.
We closed the night with a dinner on the roof top of our hostel Desert Nights.