PARACAS

It is located in the province of Pisco, department of Ica, four hours south from Lima city. Due to its proximity to the sea, it is a seaside bay resort. The attraction of the area is the climate, beautiful beaches and the fishing port. Paracas means "Rain of sand” here as winds carry sand, these winds can reach a speed of 32 km per hour. Paracas, covers an area of 335.000 hectares, between land 117.406 hectares and sea water 217.594 hectares. Paracas has been declared a regional reserve for migratory birds in Peru.

The main attraction in Paracas, is the National Reserve of Paracas and the Ballestas Islands. Visitors will always observe different ecosystems, archaeological remains of the Paracus culture, windswept dunes and the great biodiversity of marine fauna found in the area.

Paracas bay, with its southern end lying within the Paracas National Reservation is well-known for its abundant wildlife. The unique ecosystem, insulated from thrashing ocean waves and current by Paracas Peninsula, and its shallow warmer waters, stimulate a remarkable growth of seaweed for which much of the wildlife, particularly the birds of Paracas and the Islas Ballestas, thrive upon directly or indirectly. The bay appears as the gateway to Paracas National Reserve, its warmer shallow waters foster wildlife and many nautical sports, and its calm shoreline protects the municipality of Paracas and the various cottages and hotels that have sprung up in the last few years. As of recent years, the bay has hosted many sailors on catamarans and kite-surfers seeking the flat water and strong wind found in the bay.

PARACAS CULTURE

The Paracas culture was an important Andean society between 600 BC and 200 AC, with an extensive knowledge of medicine, textile art, irrigation and water management. It was established and developed in the Paracas Peninsula, located in what today is Paracas bay area and district. Paracus was mainly studied and investigated by the Peruvian archaeologist Julio C. Tello in the 1920s. Excavations show two different epochs of the Paracas Culture, Paracas Cavernas and Paracas Necropolis. The Paracas Cavernas culture was characterized by their big, underground necropolis, where bodies were preserved as mummies wrapped in luxurious cloths and mantles, forming conical bales that were conserved under excellent conditions by the characteristics of the sands of the area, and craneal trepanations. On their first stage the mummies were located in collective tombs, dug in the form of caverns. On their second stage the mummies were buried directly in the earth.

Their knowledge of medicine was advanced, just as they demonstrated, the remains of surgical operations to the brain (cranial trepanations) with the patients' survival. These people used to deform their skulls while still alive, giving them a 'lengthened head". Their textile art is considered as the best of all ancient cultures and it is spectacular to see. They used Vicuña wool and cotton; harmonious and colorful, animal designs, anthropomorphous and geometric figures. Some textiles included feathers of tropical birds, demonstrating their commercial connection with the jungle region. Their ceramics did not reach remarkable development. Paracas ceramics, influenced by the Chavin culture, included simple shapes, with many colors and illustrations. They usually created double-peaked bottles united with a handle bridge; one of these peaks was sometimes replaced with forms of heads of birds, with the shape of animals or anthropomorphous and the body painted in the bottle. They also highlighted their plates, cups and single-necked bottles. Their ceramics were made without molds and baked in closed ovens. Their economic activity was based on agriculture and fishing; the agricultural activity included the intelligent handling of the aqueducts along the deserts of the Peruvian coast. Agricultural improved due to artificial watering channels and the use of the guano de Isla as fertilizer. The main cultural center is located in Cerro Colorado, within the National Reserve of Paracas.

RECOMMENDED TOURS IN PARACAS

BALLESTAS ISLANDS TOUR
You will enjoy a two hour tour sailing the waters of the Pacific Ocean over a motor boat. On the way you will see thousands of sea birds inhabiting the islands; you will also see many sea lions and Humbolts penguins around.

  • Duration
  • Two hours
  • Activity Type
  • Nature
  • Transport
  • Motor boat
  • Level
  • Easy

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NATIONAL RESERVE OF PARACAS
It is an historical and archaeological area that has hosted one of the most highly developed pre-Inca civilizations - the Paracas culture. Walk over the desert of the Peruvian coast, enjoying the views to the peninsula and many geological formations.

  • Duration
  • Half day
  • Activity Type
  • Archaeology, history and nature
  • Transport
  • Bus
  • Level
  • Easy

For further information, please write us to