Paracas, Beach and Desert All in One Place

Paracas provided a nice location for me to spend another few days feeling unwell. I hadn’t been sick since Iceland which seemed an unfairly short period of time between instances, but I guess I can’t expect my body to keep up with the constant changes in diet and international bacteria.

The grey sky had remained despite the 200km we had traveled south from Lima meaning I wasn’t missing out on any beautiful days to spend by the water. The town was also decidedly small with little activities to take part in aside from boat tours or an exploration of the National Reserve, something we did on the day I felt a little better. We headed to town first and found bikes that we figured we could trust to survive the day – spoiler, they did, despite the chain falling off within the first five minutes – and took the very uninformative paper map they gave us to help us navigate the park throughout the day. We arrived at the gates and purchased our tickets, taking their advice and heading south first in order to skip a 4km hill we would’ve encountered having gone the reverse route. We visited a few different beaches and stopped at each one for water and snack breaks, admiring the shorelines and the endless expanse of nothing that we rode through on our way to each checkpoint. I am still in awe whenever I encounter the desert, especially when the colour varies from white, to yellow, to red all within one area. I find it cool to be somewhere that has nothing else around but seemingly endless sand dunes and the occasional populated area with a shop or two, catering to tourists like us.

One of the beaches had been affected by the pink rocks sitting near by it and had formed a red beach, hence the name ‘Playa Roja’, meaning red beach in Spanish. There were many birds around and I had the opportunity to watch more blue footed boobies dive into the water for their prey and trot along the shoreline while I attempted to keep my balance on the bike, or while I walked with the bike having lost my energy to continue.

On Wednesday we had a relaxed morning, I needed to recover from the bike ride considering I still hadn’t been well when we went out for it and enjoyed my time by the pool doing so. We caught a minibus to the town of Huacachina, a place with nothing else going for it but the massive sand dunes surrounding it.