This Coastal Peruvian Hidden Gem Should Be on Your Travel List

This Coastal Peruvian Hidden Gem Should Be on Your Travel List

Paracas, a Peruvian coastal town, is a hidden South American gem famed for its magnificent beaches, unusual marine wildlife, and the Paracas National Reserve, which spans desert, ocean and islands and is home to protected wildlife such as penguins, sea lions, dolphins and migratory birds.

The town draws travelers in from all over the world who wish to explore the area’s natural beauty, relax on its quiet beaches, participate in water or desert sports, and indulge in world-famous Peruvian gastronomy – much of which is centered around fresh seafood straight from the South Pacific Ocean.

Getting There

  • Paracas is located about 4 hours south of Lima, Peru. Travelers must fly into Lima and arrange private transportation or use public transportation via bus to get there.

Exotic Location

  • Enclaved on the northern tip of Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, Paracas is a place where you can find millenary pre-Inca cultures, as well as the important wildlife reserve, the Paracas National Reserve. Being so close to Lima, Paracas has been the traditional weekend escape for the capital dweller who looks for sun, nature, nautical sports, and relaxation. Paracas has become an interesting trip extension for the traveler who comes to see Machu Picchu and the culture of the Incas.

Things To Do

  • Travelers looking to explore the wildlife of Paracas can tour Las Islas Ballestas, a group of small, rocky islands nicknamed “The Peruvian Mini Galapagos.” Although these rocky islands must be admired from afar via boat ride, travelers are sure to spot Humboldt penguins, pelicans, and sea lions in their natural habitat. Travelers will also spot “El Candelabro de Paracas” (the Paracas Candelabra), a famous 2,500-year-old geoglyph shaped like a chandelier etched into the sandy mountains, whose origins and meaning are still a mystery to Peruvians to this day.
  • Paracas is a haven for the adventurous traveler, whether via water sports or on-land activities. With many beaches to choose from including Playa Roja and Playa de la Mina, travelers can spend all day on the water via kayaks, catamaran rides, paddle surfing, and more. Alternatively, those looking to adventure on-land can rent a dune buggy to explore the Paracas National Reserve for scenic viewpoints and colorful landscapes that can’t be reached by car or on foot.
  • Those who travel for food can take part in a very special boat ride to a local scallop farm in the middle of the ocean. During this unique experience, guests board a 52-foot-long private yacht and are taken out to sea, where they will meet personal with the owner of a local scallop farm to learn all about scallop harvesting, followed by an exclusive scallop collecting and tasting for some of the freshest scallops one has ever eaten!

o   Additional dishes to be enjoyed in this Peruvian beach town include:

  • Tiradito: The Peruvian take on sashimi featuring raw fish of aspect similar to crudo or carpaccio in a spicy citrus sauce
  • Causa: A versatile layered potato dish made with potatoes, chiles, avocado, and eggs, topped with fresh scallops
  • Arroz con mariscos – The Peruvian take on paella with fresh seafood

Where to Stay

  • Those looking for a magnificent stay in Paracas can look no further than Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Located three hours south of Lima and facing the Paracas National Reserve, Hotel Paracas is a world-class property with a private dock, exquisite local cuisine, rare nature experiences near Raspon Beach and one of the only luxury spas in Paracas. 
  • With 120 rooms and suites, each accommodation boasts a furnished terrace with views of the sea or the hotel’s enchanting gardens. Two heated pools – a main pool and family pool – are available to guests throughout their stay, all year long. The hotel offers a plethora of personal activities for nature lovers and water sports such as those listed above for a transformative Peruvian journey.
  • Nestled directly across from the nature reserve, the spa at Hotel Paracas plays upon this special location by incorporating elements of nature in everything from the design of the spa to the long menu of treatments, such as Andean cocoa, tea, grapes and seaweed.
  • Hotel Paracas features several dining venues that immerse its guests in the wildlife of the surrounding area including Chalana, the property’s seafood restaurant offering seasonal dishes, which is located on a private dock offering beautiful views of Paracas Bay.
  • To “Be Epicurean” is to be a connoisseur of the arts, the refinements and the pleasures of life. As such, Hotel Paracas offers a “Be Epicurean” program which allows guests to immerse themselves in the cultural and gastronomic experiences of the beautiful Paracas region personified by the highest quality. 

Fan Shells Harvest Cooking Program: Board the hotel’s premium 52-foot luxury yacht, the “Rayador”, on a journey to the Paracas National Reserve to be part of an authentic harvest of shells in the sea; followed by an exquisite and elegant tasting at a local scallop farm by top chefs who will prepare six tempting dishes with the freshly caught shellfish. 

Ceviche Master Class: Learn how to prepare an authentic Peruvian ceviche during a master class lead by the hotel's executive chef, using fresh products from local fishing and agriculture. 

Ancestral Tasting Menu: Experience the best à la carte dishes through a carefully curated tasting menu that pays homage to regional products and the fusion of cultures, offering the best of international cuisine.  

Ocean to Table Experience: Discover the exquisite taste of the best local seafood on a culinary journey that begins at the sea and ends at your table. Enjoy an elegant lunch in the gardens of the hotel which includes 4 starters, 4 main courses, 3 side dishes and 4 desserts. 

Mixology Class for Gin & Tonic Lovers: Enjoy and discover an exclusive gin menu, designed to surprise even the most demanding connoisseurs of this drink. Combine with a wide selection of tonic waters from around the world and ingredients from the region to surprise your taste buds with unique flavors.

Desert Adventure + Creole Music Show: Dine in a luxurious tent in the Paracas desert under the stars to enjoy a feast including spit-roast pork, prawns, chicken and loin grilled brochettes, all while listening to classic Creole tunes.