martes, 30 de enero de 2018

Exploring the surroundings Colca Canyon

After discovering the Cotahuasi Canyon, the deepest in the world, we continue to travel through the region of the canyons of southern Peru to reach the tourist Colca Canyon.

Located in the northeastern tip of the Region of Arequipa, province of Caylloma, and 165 km from the city of Arequipa, the Colca Canyon has about 100 km length  and runs between the inactive volcanoes of Coropuna (6,613 meters) and the Ampato (6,288 meters), reaching its lowest point at the confluence of the rivers Colca and Andamayo, at 9 meters.

Colca Canyon, How to get Colca Canyon, All about Colca Canyon, Colca Canyon Arequipa

The climate of the Colca Valley will be characteristic of high Andean zones, low temperatures in the upper parts of the mountain and milder temperatures on its slope, where there are air currents where the condors glide.

The best time to visit the Colca Valley is from May by the end of November, with an average of 0 ºC at night and 15-20 ºC during the day. During the rainy season (from November) the temperature is around 5 and 10 ºC more or less stable.

Across the Colca Valley we can find ichu and yareta, the typical Andean highland vegetation and some animals such as alpacas and vizcachas, a species of medium sized rodents similar to chinchillas.

A peculiarity of this area is the 8,000 hectares of pre-Inca irrigation terraces with more than a thousand years old, which besides producing food, served to prevent soil erosion. Inside these terraces are cultivated potato, 32 different varieties of corn, quinoa, 12 varieties of beans, and other products that serve as food for the inhabitants of the region.

In antiquity there lived in this valley about 60 thousand people, who after the arrival of the Spaniards were taken to villages called 'Reductions of Indians' and depleted up to 15 thousand inhabitants because of European diseases.

There are currently 16 villages of the Collaguas and Cabanas ethnic groups in the valley, very characteristic for their hats, embroidered attire and white hats with sequins of the women of Chivay.

About 3.5 km from Chivay, capital of the province of Caylloma, we find the thermal waters of La Calera, which sprouts at 85 ºC and which apparently have healing powers. The entrance fee to these pools is S/10 (€ 3). If you have not booked a tour in the area, you can get there by taxi from Chivay for about S/5 or in a bus with 4-5 passengers by S/ 0,70.

thermal waters of La Calera, Colca Canyon, Arequipa

Bicycle rental in the Colca Valley

If you prefer an alternative plan, in the town of Chivay you can rent bicycles and visit the nearby town of Corporaque, which is located along the road that leads to the termal baths.

 There we will find a beautiful colonial church nestled in a square with arches and if we continue towards the lower part of the town, we will find some ruins and tombs after crossing the river to Yanque.

You can also take buses from the Chivay market and visit Ichupampa, Lari, and reach one of the deepest areas of the Canyon, the Madrigal.

About 30 km from Chivay and following the main road to the southern part of the Colca canyon, you will find the village of Pinchollo, from where you can trek for about 5 days to the snow-covered volcano of Hualca Hualca (6,025 meters), which is part of the Ampato, next to the mountain of the same name and the Sabancaya Volcano.

Hualca Hualca Volcano, Hualca Hualca Arequipa, Hualca Colca Canyon

Precisely the rains and the melting of Hualca Hualca, together with the ashes that emanated from Sabancaya, caused a mudslide that blocked the road that leads to the Pinchollo geyser. This geyser was active until a recent earthquake contained it.

Cruz del Condor Viewpoint: Looking for the Condors in Colca Canyon

Without a doubt this viewpoint is one of the best known and admired by tourists who visit this route, since from here you can appreciate the depth of the Colca Canyon and the flight of the majestic Andean condor, considered the symbol of the region and even Peru.

From this viewpoint, traditionally known as Chaq' lla, you can take impressive photos of these birds that come gliding from the thermal currents coming from the canyon, and glimpse the 1200 meters fall to the river or the summit of the snow-capped Mismi.

It is recommended that condors be sighted between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the morning or from 4 p.m. In the rainy season these birds are not usually seen, so it is best to visit during the dry season (from May to November).

Cruz del Condor Viewpoint, Colca Canyon

Cabanaconde District

In Cabanaconde, in the heart of the Colca, it is the starting point for many excursions through the Colca canyon. A small village in which we will find some simple lodgings to eat and sleep. One of these excursions goes to the "oasis" of Sangalle, a quiet place at the bottom of the canyon where bungalows are offered for about S/10.

It is recommended to bring water and food for these excursions. The return from Sangalle to Cabanaconde is done through a slope of 3-4 hours.

An hour and a half walk or 10 minutes by bus from Cabanaconde to Tapay, and from there we will reach to the nearby towns of Coshiñirwa, Malata and San Juan de Chuccho.

In Cabanaconde there are buses that leave towards the Tapay viewpoint at 6.30 a.m. and on the way back you can arrive in an hour and a half by taking the shortcut from the water reservoir and going to the San Miguel viewpoint.

Tapay Viewpoint is located on the left bank of the Colca River, at 3,600 meters above sea level and is an excellent place to observe the depth of the Colca Canyon, as well as the Chila mountain range and the archaeological sites of Kakatapuy, Otupara and Kosñirhua.

There, although not with as many possibilities as in the viewpoint of the Condor, we will be able to see these birds and some others like the peregrine falcon or the kestrel.

Tourist Ticket Colca Canyon

In order to visit the Colca Canyon, it is necessary to buy a tourist ticket from the Autonomous Authority of Colca (Autocolca), which costs S/ 70 (€ 20), and can be purchased at the entrance of Chivay or in Cabanaconde itself. This ticket is required to visit the attractions of the Colca Canyon. The money raised is used to maintain the tourist infrastructure and promote the Colca Canyon.

Buses depart from the small Plaza de Armas in Cabanacoche every day to Chivay (2,5 hours) and Arequipa (6 hours). The companies that make this tour are Reyna (6.00 am); Andalucía (9.00 a.m.); Milagros (11.00 a.m.); Reyna (14.00 p.m.); and Milagros (22.00 p.m.). The price of all bus companies is around S/ 17.

We are also very close to the Petroglyphs of Toro Muerto and the Valley of the Volcanoes, which we will see in the following posts.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
January 2018

martes, 23 de enero de 2018

Cotahuasi Canyon: discovers the world's deepest canyon

If we are following the route towards the south that takes us to the white city of Arequipa, it is time to leave the road that borders the Pacific coast and go into the deepest canyon in the world (3,562 meters): the Cotahuasi Canyon.

Located 200 km northwest of Arequipa (about 9 hours by car), this canyon is twice the depth of the Grand Canyon of Colorado and is accessed through the town of Cotahuasi, at 2620 meters above sea level.

For trekking to the Cotahuasi Valley and Canyon we recommend a minimum of 3 days, although there are tours organized for one week. The best dates to visit the canyon are from May to September.

Cotahuasi canyon, how to get Cotahuasi Canyon

On our way to Cotahuasi we will find some curiosities such as the petroglíficos del toro muerto (dead bull petroglyphs), with zoomorphic and anthropomorphic representations, belonging to the Wari culture (700 BC), or the dinosaur footprints of Querullpa, which correspond to a 150-year-old theropod.

To the northwest of Cotahuasi and beyond the canyon, there are the villages of Tomepampa and Alca, 10 and 20 km away, respectively, which offer simple lodgings to visitors. Before reaching Alca, we find the thermal baths of Luicho, place where from S/. 4 we can have a delicious dip in hot water.

Cotahuasi canyon, how to get Cotahuasi Canyon

From the Plaza de Cotahuasi you can take buses for about S/5 that leave at 6.30 a. m. towards Sipia, and from there you can make excursions through the depths of the canyon to, after 45 minutes of ascent, see the waterfall of Sipia, which has a fall of 150 meters high.

Walking we will also reach the village of Chaupo, with remains of pre-Inca houses and continue through the cactus forest of Judeopampa, one of the most spectacular places in Cotahuasi, the agricultural area of Mayo, famous for its wine and fruit production.

Later, after a brief ascent, we will arrive at the village of Velinga, capital of the district of Quechualla, where we will find all kinds of services, including internet network.

If you want to return to Cotahuasi, buses leave from Niñochaca Bridge every day at 9.00 am.

The surroundings of the canyon have impressive views of the snow-capped Coropuna and Solimana. We can also dedicate a day to visit the community of Pampamarca, which after a two-hour climb through a steep path, will lead us to a series of rock formations that erosion gave rise to forms that the locals attribute to religious figures.

Cotahuasi canyon, how to get Cotahuasi Canyon

There are buses that leave Cotahuasi Square in the morning and in the afternoon to visit Pampamarca in a two-hour ride for a modest price of S/5. From there they will leave us for a while to visit the Uscume Falls, which have a fall of 80 metres high.

Cotahuasi Canyon trek - Tips and Recommendations

For trekking in the Cotahuasi Valley and Canyon we must take into account a series of considerations:

The first is to have a good physical condition, because although these paths are not so complicated, we will be sometimes climbing elevated paths.

There are points above 3,000 meters above sea level, so caution is advised for those suffering from altitude sickness. In these cases there are two remedies, one traditional and the other chemical. The traditional one is to chacchar (chew) coca leaf, and the second one is to acquire in any pharmacy a medicine called sorojchi pils, prescribed for these ailments of altitude.

Remember also the sunglasses, sunscreen, cap or hat, special sneakers for trekking (Merrel, North Face, Mizuno...) and warm clothes, because at night we will be below 15 degrees.

If you want to get to Cotahuasi from Arequipa there are some companies such as Reyna or Cromotex, which leave from the city at 16.00 hours.

This journey is 420 km long and takes about 12 hours. In the middle of this route you will find a mountain pass (4,500 meters above sea level) from where you can observe the imposing mountains with glaciers of Coropuna and Solimana. 

To return from Cotahuasi to Arequipa there are buses that leave from the land terminal at 5.00 pm.

Now that we have known one of the most remote places on the planet, it is time to fill our stomachs and get to know the second most important city in the country, the white city of Arequipa and get closer to the Colca Canyon.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
January 2018

viernes, 19 de enero de 2018

Working and living in Peru

If you are a foreigner and have thought about giving up everything and trying new opportunities in Latin American countries, we want to shed light on the pros and cons of living in a country like Peru.

For this purpose, we have talked with one of the country's most recognized lawyers in migration matters, Verónica Fernández Quereval, who warns that before taking such an important step as leaving the country of origin to work and live abroad, we must be clear about the reasons for our stay.

One option to find work before arriving in Peru is through the companies affiliated to the Chamber of Commerce of your Country, which usually have a list on their website. This webs also has a employment bureau where we can attach our CV.

According to Fernández, some of the jobs most in demand at the present time, of which there is no skilled labor force in Peru, are mainly geologists, sea scholars and technicians specialized in solar and renewable energy. English teacher is also in high demand in Peru.

Migration lawyer Peru, Living in Peru, Employes in Peru

Another field where there is not enough Peruvian talent to cover the demand for employment is in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), which are in high demand in large national and international companies operating in Peru.

The lawyer argues that in the case of unskilled jobs such as construction workers, services (bartenders, cleaners, security personnel), or state security forces, it is not worth thinking about working in the country because of the low pay for these jobs.

The Minimum Vital Remuneration (RMV, in spanish) or minimum wage in Peru is in S/ 850 (US$ 265) and eligible for salaries of more than US$ 1,000 without higher education degrees and even diplomas or master's degrees (masters) is quite complicated.

First Steps to living in Perú

Upon entering the country you will have a stay time for tourism, which may not exceed 183 days during the calendar year; if during this stay in the country do not perform the "Change of migratory status", the Peruvian State may apply a penalty of US$ 1 per 'extra day' stay, or even mandatory departure.

According to the Immigration page,"temporary or permanent authorization obtained by Visa or by Change of Immigration Status, after its approval and payment of the respective fees, will be accredited by means of a special stamp in the passport or Inmigration Card, respectively".

Verónica Fernández informs that in order to access our Inmigrant Registration Card we need a contract of at least one year's duration (without a probationary period) or indefinite. The contract for existing agreements with other countries must be very similar to that of any other Peruvian.

As far as consular registration is concerned, Fernández recommends not to do this procedure if you are not sure that you are going to reside in Peru, although there is also the temporary consular registration, which will be necessary if you are going to use the services of you Consulate in Lima. In the case of having a job, it is advisable to register as a consular officer, because in an emergency and disaster situation the Consulate is obliged to take care of its fellow citizens.

There are several types of "migratory qualities" when applying for our Inmigration Registration Card, the most common being those of "Worker" and "Independient Professional", as well as those who come to Peru for the purpose of undertaking.

In order to ensure that the new Migration Law, recently launched in January 2017, is expected to streamline the formalities for foreigners in Peru and among other actions, has begun to eliminate the Annual Foreigners' Rate, which meant the payment of US$ 20 annually and all fees that a foreigner was entitled to pay in dollars.

It is also expected that the renewal of the Inmigration Registration Card and its respective fees will take from one year to two years.

Other migratory qualities are those related to 'Businessmen' (entrepreneurs who demonstrate a capital of US$ 30,000) or 'Immigrant', who offers an indefinite residence and avoids having to go to renew the I.C. annually. It can be the closest thing to having Peruvian nationality without having to deal with it. For this quality, you are asked to demonstrate a year of income above S/40,500 (10 UIT).

Fernández assures that this quality can offer the benefits of nationality, local and regional (although not presidential) voting and the advantages of being an indefinite immigrant. It does recommend nationality if you have children with a Peruvian partner.

It should be noted that all requirements for immigration status are at the expense of being regulated by directives and internal regulations of the National Superintendence of Migration, such as the TUPA (Single Text of Administrative Procedures) of the institution, so that these procedures are in full evolution in order to adapt legislation to the reality of foreigners residing in Peru.

A new Nationality Law is also envisaged, which is already in the pipeline and hopes to remove requirements and adapt it to a better quality procedure.

Migration lawyer Peru, Living in Peru, Employes in Peru

The lawyer states that all foreigners who are thinking of coming to live in Peru, think that public institutions here (despite the considerable advances of recent years) do not work as in Europe, and that deficiencies in transport or citizen insecurity can disappoint many visitors.

For this reason, it recommends tolerance to a different culture, a different country and a period of adaptation according to the personality of each one, not to lose patience and the achievement of objectives if one wants to reside.

If after arriving in Peru you get a job, it is best not to work in the black and claim all the social benefits that the law stipulates. In Peru Travels Blog we have compiled a collection of websites where you can find job offers. To do this, ask for a record and attach the CV.

This webs are in spanish, we recommend you to speak some Spanish upon arrival (Google Translate could be a great help).

Redinfor (for jobs in non-profit organizations)

This article is open to comments, from Peru Travels Blog, we will be happy to answer any questions or doubts.

Esteaban García, Peru Travels Blog
January 2017

miércoles, 17 de enero de 2018

Peru wins the Excelencias award in the present edition of FITUR

The Peruvian delegation received today the Excelencias Award in this year's edition of the FITUR in Madrid; an award given by several Spanish media to accentuate the most distinguished international tourism industry and culture.

The media of the Iberian country gave this award to the campaign "Generation with Cause" that was advertised in the content platforms of The New York Times for the promotion of national cuisine, and that could reach 130 million people in the U. S. and the rest of the world.

This campaign aims to strengthen the international exhibition of Peruvian cuisine, thus promoting its development and strengthening internationally.

The director of Communications and Country Image of Promperú, Isabella Falco, received the recognition, highlighting the effort made by the extensive production chain of Peruvian gastronomy to be recognized throughout the planet.

 FITUR 2018, FITUR Promperu, FITUR Excellence Award
Isabella Falco with Bernado Muñoz, Economic Advisor
Commercial Peru in Spain
Peru, the world's richest country

With regard to the Spanish travel market, Peru is committed to a different type of tourism within the framework of the campaign "Peru, the world's richest country", launched with great success at the end of last year in 19 countries.

All those attending the fair will be able to discover in this way the great variety and offer that Peru offers in the segments of adventure and nature and to see first-hand why the Andean country has decided to promote its tourist experiences as a new paradigm of wealth.

This offer of tourist packages goes from the coast, mountains and jungle, presenting a multitude of options that can satisfy both the most intrepid travelers and those who are just starting out in adventure tourism and looking for alternative travel.

From today until next January 21, the stand of Promperú will seek to attract the attention of the international buyer. They also have a bar  'Peru, Mucho Gusto', where visitors are shown various dishes of Peruvian cuisine and cocktails based on pisco, the national flag drink.

On the other hand, a virtual reality space has been developed on the Nazca Lines and Kuelap, complemented with a 3D photocall of the Chachapoyas culture's referred strength and with dance presentations during every day of the event, in order to make known the cultural diversity through the typical costumes.

 FITUR 2018, FITUR Promperu, FITUR Excellence Award

FITUR consolidated itself last year as the first major event of the world tourism industry by breaking new records for participation and business: it received 245,000 participants, managed to gather 9,700 companies and 6,800 bilateral meetings were scheduled.

The 20 Peruvian companies attending are expected to hold several business meetings with the main tour operators and airlines in the market with the intention of reaching a business potential valued at nine million dollars.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
January 2018

The Nazca Lines

There are few tourist attractions in the world as fascinating and enigmatic as the Nazca Lines. These geoglyphs, made between 500 B.C and 500 A.D, are located on an area of 750 km² in the desert of the same name, with geometric, zoomorphic and phytomorphic shapes and lengths ranging from 50 to 300 metres.

Since 1994, the Nazca Lines were declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Nazca Lines, Nazca Lines Tours, Nazca Lines Tours, Nazca Tours

Despite some strange theories, such as those of the Swiss writer Erich von Däniken, who spoke of the Nazca Lines as runways for extraterrestrials (published in his book Memories of the Future, 1968), recent studies confirm that the function of these geoglyphs would have to do with purely ritual aspects, being on a pilgrimage path to the pre-Inca city of Cahuachi.

The Nazca Lines would have a suitable location for pilgrims from cultures such as Paracas or Nazca to see them from nearby hills. The German archaeologist Maria Reiche - the main scholar of geoglyphs for about half a century - argued that the Nazca Lines served as an astronomical calendar that looked at the firmament.

If you want to visit the sacred city of Cahuachi you must take a road 25 km west of Nazca. This settlement was the most important center of Nazca culture and still maintains some pyramids in a considerable state of conservation, a cemetery and La Estaquería, where mummifications were believed to have been made. 

The average price for these tours is S$ 50 and you can count on a trip to the pre-Inca settlement of Puerto Viejo.

Visitors arriving at this deserted place can observe the geoglyphs from the viewpoint next to the Pan-American Highway or renting light aircraft services, which costs an average of US$ 100 (€ 95) for about 45 minutes of flight with the comments of a specialized guide.

Nazca Lines, Nazca Lines on the Sky, Nazca Lines aeroplane

Some of the best known Nazca Lines are listed below:

The monkey is without a doubt the best known geoglyph of the hundreds of lines found in this desert. Its spiral-shaped tail, or nine fingers, are some of its most remarkable features. It is believed that it represents the Great Bear constellation.

The distance between the wings of the Hummingbird figure is 66 meters and is one of the most remembered lines for its harmonic strokes. The purpose of this hummingbird would be to pay homage to a flying god of the area's cultures, who would control rain and wind.

This figure of a Frigate Bird of about 160 meters has an astronomical significance, being aligned with the Fomalhaut star of the constellation of piscis. Its head is made up of segments of circles between 10 and 20 centimetres in length.

The geoglyph of the Spider is part of a network of lines located next to a trapezoid and measures about 46 meters long. It has an important astronomical and religious symbolism, since it is related to the constellation of Orion and drought in the rainy season.

This Giant bird shaped geoglyph is 300 meters long by 54 meters wide and stands out for its peculiar snake-shaped neck.  According to several theories, the Inti Raymi or Inca's solar festival would be announced, since during the mornings between 20 and 23 June you can see the sunset at the end of its enormous peak.

How to get the Nazca Lines

Nazca is 450 km south of Lima and can be reached by road through several bus companies from Lima, Arequipa and Cusco. If we want to get to Lima from Nazca, in Avenida Los Incas you can take the buses Cruz del Sur and Ormeño. Cruz del Sur also offers trips from Nazca to Cusco for about S/ 150 (US$ 46,7) (14 hours) through Abancay, a route that exceeds 4,000 meters above sea level, so we recommend warm clothing. There are also direct routes through Arequipa with other companies.

There are also some more exclusive experiences to fly over the Nazca Lines directly from Lima to Nazca, such as those offered by Aerodiana. Reservations must be made in advance.

In our journey to the south of Peru we will be visiting the Cotahuasi Canyon in the next post, a must before visiting the White City of Arequipa.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
January 2018

martes, 16 de enero de 2018

Pisco & Paracas

If on your trip through Peru you plan to take the classic route of southern Peru, most known as' El Camino del Gringo', one of the first stops that you will find from Lima is Pisco, and the nearby Paracas, where the Paracas National Reserve (in the department of Ica) is located.

This is one of the six coastal Marine Protected Natural Areas -ANP, by the acronym in Spanish- located between Tumbes (north) and Moquegua (south) and is also a must to observe the nearby Ballestas Islands, home to thousands of guano birds and where you can see the famous trident shaped geoglyph known as' El Candelabro'.
The city of Pisco also gives its name to the famous national licour because in the 16th century, when the Spaniards brought the first vineyards to supply wine to Peru, they noticed that the inhabitants of these valleys called the birds' piskos' and "there were so many of them and they flew so close".

The Paracas Valley was the cradle of one of the most developed pre-Inca civilizations, the Paracas culture, which encompassed the period from 700 BC. until 400 AD. It is not known exactly what happened in the region after the disappearance of the Paracas culture in the next thousand years, but something more to the southwest, the Nazca culture became predominant for centuries, monopolizing influences such as the Huari, or the Ica culture, reaching its end with the dominion of the Inca Empire.

Reserva Nacional de Paracas, cómo llegar Reserva Paracas

It should be noted that on August 15, 2007, Peru suffered one of its worst earthquakes, having Pisco as its epicenter. This terrible earth movement of 8 degrees on the Richter scale, lasting three minutes, left a balance of 500 dead and the collapse of a large number of buildings, including some historic, such as the Cathedral of San Clemente, located in the middle of Plaza de Armas in the city.

Many other colonial buildings of great historical value were also lost after this earthquake.

Pisco, terremoto de Pisco

Transport between Pisco and the port of Paracas (about 15 km south) is simple. There is public transport that can be taken next to the commercial area in Pisco, and in the Plaza Mayor of El Chaco, in Paracas.

*As a warning, we recommend avoiding the commercial area and beaches when night falls, and taking taxis after sunset. There are many cases of assaults on tourists and it is always advisable to be cautious. At the Panamericana Sur exit you will find taxi drivers who offer accommodation or agencies, usually in exchange for a commission.

Ballestas Islands

These islands are one of the main tourist attractions of the area, and can only be visited in boats chartered by the travel agencies operating on its beaches.

From the boats, visitors will be able to observe the large number of guano birds (like the guanay cormorants), Peruvian booby birds or pelicans, and will be able to observe sea lions, Humboldt penguins and even dolphins.

The tour lasts approximately one and a half hour and costs about S/40 (US$ 12,5). In addition to the crossing between rocks and caves watching these birds, it includes the view of the well-known geoglyph of 'El Candelabro'.

Of this little is known, only that it is 150 meters high and 50 meters wide. The rest are conjectures, such as a sister line of the Nazca Lines, or a sign that the ancient sailors used as a navigation guide.

Islas Ballestas, Candelabro, Tour Islas Ballestas

Islas Ballestas, Pinguinos de Humbolt, Tour Islas Ballestas

Boats are not covered, so remember to wear sunscreen and a hat or cap to cover your head. If you are prone to dizziness, take some medication that can reduce it.

Paracas National Reserve

The Paracas National Reserve covers an area of 335,000 hectares (217,594 of sea surface). It can be visited through several tour operators or with taxi drivers waiting at the El Chaco pier.

You can also reach walking, leaving from the obelisk dedicated to the disembarkation of the liberator José de San Martín and following on foot along the road to the south.

After 3 km you will arrive at the park entrance, which has a cost of S/ 5 for adults and S/ 1,5 for children. The Paracas National Reserve is a wetland of international importance, declared a Ramsar Site in 1992.

Currently, the Reserve preserves more than 120 archaeological sites belonging to the Paracas culture.

The average annual temperature is 25 ºC (in February) and 15.5 ºC (in August). It should be noted that between June and September, but especially in August, there are the famous "paracas" (for rain and Acco sand), very intense winds loaded with fine sand.

Paracas Beaches

Lagunillas, La Mina or Raspón, are some of the sandy beaches and calm waters, ideal for a family stroll, but you can also camp on the wide beaches of Yumaque, Supay, Playón and Mendieta.

National Reserve of Paracas, Paracas, how to get to Paracas

Interpretation Centre

At an international level, this Interpretation Centre offers free and didactic information on the historical, geological, palenteological, oceanographic, biological and socioeconomic values of the 335,000 ha of the ANP.

The Cathedral

A rock formation with an antiquity of 28 to 40 million years old, and resembled, as its name suggests, a gigantic cathedral. In 2007, due to the earthquake that affected the area, it had a partial collapse in its arch, although the landscape is still spectacular.

National Reserve Paracas, Paracas, How to get to Paracas

Necropolis of Paracas

More than 400 funerary remains were exhumed in this area, with the particularities of the funerary rites of the Paracas culture, among which are its characteristic tombs with funerary bundles that cover the bodies with beautiful tissues and mantos with representations of animals and men of the time, and the applications of techniques of trepanation and deformation of skulls. Most of these discoveries are found in the Larco Museum and the Regional Museum of Ica.

Tambo Colorado 

This monumental Inca adobe citadel is located 45 km northwest of Pisco and is the best preserved Inca urban center of the Peruvian coast. Built during the government of the Inca Pachacútec, it takes its name from the red and yellow color of its walls, which served as a shelter for the soldiers and high authorities of the Inca empire.

Near the entrance of the citadel -which was known in colonial times as Limay Caxca- there is also a Site Museum, which exhibits archaeological pieces found in the area. SCHEDULE: Mon to Sun from 8.00 to 16.00 hours. S/ 7.50 general admission, S/ 3 reduced admission, S/ 2 students.

It can be reached from Pisco in about an hour by the Los Libertadores Highway. There are taxis that can take you for about S/50, or circuits can be programmed from Pisco for about S/60.

There are also combis (buses) that leave the market for about S/ 8. It is recommended when arriving to ask the locals for the schedules of the buses of return, since the transport of return to Pisco is scarce and usually it is complete.

Tambo Colorado, Pisco

Where to Sleep in Paracas & Pisco

If you're thinking of staying in Pisco and Paracas, the cheapest option is the first, because for some years now Paracas has become a holiday resort for wealthy families in Lima.

For this reason, hotels such as the Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort or DobleTree by Hilton Resort Paracas have settled in the city.

Hostels in Pisco

Tambo Colorado Hostel***

This beautiful and simple accommodation is 12 minutes from the beach and only 50 meters from the town square and 5 km from the bus station. Rooms have cable TV, free wifi and breakfast for an extra charge of S/6.

The hostel is run by a charming couple that offers all kinds of information about the city. There are also excursions to the Ballestas Islands and the ruins that give the hotel its name. The room rounds the S/ 80 (US$ 25). hostaltambocolorado. com/

where to sleep Pisco, hotels in Pisco

Villa Manuelita Hostel***

This hostel is located about 100 meters from the church of the Society of Jesus, the church of San Clemente and the Municipal Square. Rooms offer cable TV, free wifi and the price includes a continental breakfast. It also offers a tourist information counter and luggage storage service. The price of the double room is S/140 (US$ 43,5). Telephone: +51 (056)80834. Email:

where to sleep Pisco, hotels in Paracas

Hostel San Isidro

This small but well furnished accommodation is 2 minutes drive from the town square, with restaurant and outdoor swimming pool. The rooms have free wifi, cable TV and private bathroom, with a fully equipped common kitchen. It also has a reception with terrace, bar and games room. The room rounds the S/ 72 (US$ 22,5). sanisidrohostal. com/ (inoperative website)

where to sleep Pisco, hotels in Paracas

Hotels in Paracas

DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Paracas*****

This luxurious hotel is located next to the Paracas National Reserve and offers luxury suites, spa, fitness center, free Wi-Fi and water sports facilities. The rooms have balconies overlooking the sea or the indoor swimming pool, kitchen area, living room and TV via LCD cable. Its restaurant offers dishes based on local fish and seafood. A garden view suite around the S/605 (US$ 189). hiltonhotels. com/

where to sleep Paracas, hotels in Paracas

Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort*****

This is one of the most luxurious options to stay in Paracas, also located in front of the National Reserve and with beautiful sea views. One of the most exclusive offers offered by this hotel is a yacht trip to the ecological sanctuaries of the Ballestas Islands, from its own private dock. It also has two swimming pools, spa lounge, bar, restaurant specializing in Peruvian food and Italian Trattoria, and conference room with capacity for 500 people. The double room with garden views round the S/ 815 (US$ 254). hotelparacasresort. com/

where to sleep Paracas, hotels in Paracas

Hacienda Bahia Paracas******

Accommodation located next to the bay of Paracas, with panoramic ocean views and rustic rooms with private terrace where you can contemplate the beautiful sunsets. The rooms are air-conditioned and have access to the outdoor swimming pool. The hotel also has spa treatments or massages, and the restaurant El Coral, specialized in traditional Peruvian dishes and local fish and seafood. The double room with views of the garden around the S/ 765. Hotelslahacienda. com/hotel-bahia-paracas/

where to sleep Pisco, hotels in Paracas

If after visiting the wonderful ecological sanctuaries of Paracas you want to continue to Ica, Nazca or Arequipa, you can take the buses of Ormeño and Flores from Pisco.

If you are coming to Pisco or Paracas from a bus that is heading south, you should indicate that you stop at the San Clemente exit. From there you can take fast buses (shared) for about S/5 to the Plaza de Armas de Pisco and for S/10 to the center of Paracas.

In the city of Ica you can discover several attractions, including the famous Pisco Route and the oasis of Huacachina, where you can practice various sand sports such as Sandboarding and tubular buggies.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
January 2018