Paracas to Nazca

Nazca Travel Blog

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Humboldt Penguins on Ballestas Islands.

Got up early today for our trip out to the Ballestas Islands, which sit just off the coast of Paracas.  We all walked down to town to take our tour boat from the local pier, which was swarming with tourists.  On the way out to the islands, there is a massive cliff-side line carving known as The Candelabra, along the same idea as the Nazca lines.  It is quite impressive, sitting there on the side of a mountain, visible best from the air or the sea.  The Ballestas Islands are a wildlife haven, and also a guano facility, so the smell is interesting to say the least.  We saw many different types of animals including sea lions, gulls, starfish on the rocks, spider crabs and many different types of cormorants, including the red-legged variety particular to Peru.

A shipping jetty as part of the guano complex, Ballestas Islands.

After we arrived back on dry land, we left in our mini-bus to head for Nazca.  We stopped at Ica on the way to tour a pisco distillery and have lunch.  It was incredibly hot today, so the tour was kept to the minimum, and we then enjoyed a tasting of the wines and piscos produced here.  Pisco sour is very nice, but not sure about the straight stuff - very powerful, similar to grappa.  Next stop was the oasis of Huacachina where most of the group took off on a dune buggy and sand-boarding excursion.  We decided to stay in the town, so had a quick wander around and then went back to the dune buggy base to have a swim and relax for a bit.  It was still stinking hot, so the swim was really welcome.  The town is just like an oasis town in the Middle East, a splash of green in the middle of massive sand dunes.

We then drove on for another couple of hours to our hotel in Nazca, which turned out to be in the middle of nowhere with virtually no running water and toilets that didn´t flush.  There was also a full-scale party going on so sleep was out of the question.  The in-room bugs and cockroaches were an added touch!  Definitely hoping that Gap review this place because it´s horrendous (don´t actually know what it´s called, unfortunately, we were so busy trying to get away from it!).

margmack says:
how cute are those penguins!!! I feel like I am seeing it all from your great descriptions! Bad luck re the "hotel".
Posted on: Feb 13, 2008
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Humboldt Penguins on Ballestas Isl…
Humboldt Penguins on Ballestas Is…
A shipping jetty as part of the gu…
A shipping jetty as part of the g…
Sea lions, Ballestas Islands.
Sea lions, Ballestas Islands.
Pisco fermentation jars, Ica.
Pisco fermentation jars, Ica.
Huacachina Oasis (note large sand …
Huacachina Oasis (note large sand…
photo by: ulysses