Paracas is one of my favorite places in Peru. There are lots of amazing places to visit over the country but to me, the geography of desert and sea that Paracas has is unique.
This destination is only about 4 hours away from Lima (depending on traffic) in car and it’s a perfect place to escape if you only have a long weekend and want to relax. The sea breeze, the wind (it’s very windy) and the low urban density let you really disconnect from everyday life and take it slow.
Paracas has always been a beach where very few fortunate people had houses and could escape every weekend if they wanted to. There were very few options to stay in Paracas which is what made it so unique and isolated from the world. Nowadays are a lot more hotel options which of course is good because now more people have the opportunity to visit this amazing place but at the same time we need to be careful in order to keep this destination special.
Paracas is a National Reserve where there are beaches that are untouched by man and islands that have sea lions and penguins. This is another reason why it’s important that the growth Paracas is having has to be sustainable and take care of the special surroundings.
We were lucky to go to a friend’s house and wanted to explore new beaches within the reserve. The most well-known beaches are “La Mina” and “El Raspon” but we wanted to visit another beach called “Yumaque” and the red beach.
If you want to make the route to Paracas feel shorter, there are a couple of things you can along the way:
1. Stop for lunch at “El Piloto” a classic restaurant in the town of Cañete and perfect place to arrive starving because the plates are huge.
2. Take a walk around Cerro Azul, a nearby beach that is well-known by surfers and fishermen.We arrived at night, the sea breeze and calmness in the area make it the perfect atmosphere for a barbecue.
The next day we were ready to explore the beaches of the reserve. It’s important to get there early because strong winds start blowing around 2-3pm, after that, you can barely stay on the beach.
Yumaque Beach, Paracas National Reserve
We spent the day in Yumaque and after that went looking for the red beach. This beach is like nothing I have ever seen before, but it’s more to go look at and not to spend the day there because there isn’t much beach to hang out and sun bathe. What makes this beach so amazing, is the contrast between the red sand and the tone of blue that the ocean has in this area.The beach in in front of the beach houses is not very friendly for swimming unless you have a kayak or a boat and you can go far out to swim because there are sting-rays and jelly fish right on the shore. What makes this beach great is that it has strong winds and it doesn’t have waves so it’s good to learn Kite Surfing, paddle surfing and water ski. If none of these activities are your cup of tea, it’s still a great place to lay back with a book and simply relax.