Here we are again. Saturday 04 January 2013 we went to visit a captive marine reserve located an hour's drive from Ica. Instead of the usual and comfortable minivan with driver managed by tourist agency we rented a Tico several years ago with assets of nearly 700’000 kilometers. Launched in well 90 kilometers per hour on the Pan-American Highway with trucks and buses that pass us honking we managed to arrive unharmed in Paracas.
From there we bought the ticket for 50 Soles per person plus 2 Soles of tourist tax to be able to get on the boat in the direction of the Ballestas Islands. During the excursion we made a stop to admire the enigmatic figure of the Candelabra, an impressive design traced on the slopes of a mountain in the Bay of Paracas. No one has so far found out who designed this immense figure because neither the.
There are many hypotheses about which aim to demonstrate a relationship between the candlestick and the lines Nacza located in 120 km south of Paracas or more between this figure and the San Pedro cactus ritual. The guide boat keeps telling us that another hypothesis is that the figure would be a kind of useful reference point to the navigation used to navigate the fog of impennetrabili area.
Navigation is then continued in the direction of the Ballestas Islands. The islands have given us an incredible marine scenery inhabited by endless colonies of birds, Penguins, and friendly sea lions consumed as actors lent themselves to our goals.
Until recently, the Paracas islands were exploited for the collection of guano, used in agriculture as fertilizer.
Thanks to the skill of the captain jokingly dubbed “Roller-skate” we passed close to the beautiful natural caves and a beach that sometimes comes to accommodate up to 100 sea lions. The climate in the area is semi-tropical, therefore it is advisable to equip themselves with sunscreen and a hat for protection from the intense sun. It’ a tour not recommended for those suffering from seasickness or children less than one year.
After the visit to the islands we made it back to the dock Chaco through the picturesque fishing harbor full of seagulls and pelicans.
From there we went to eat at one of the seafood restaurants in the area. We do not recommend the ceviche that is made with raw fish marinated in lemon juice to avoid incurring the curse of Ataualpa. Instead, we recommend a good lenguado a la plancha (grilled sole) or corvina a la plancha (a cousin of grilled sea bass).
From there we tried eaten burdened by arriving at the Marine Museum of the Paracas reserve via a secondary road is not paved and we covered up with our poor machine.
We then put the 4×4 that is all we are down and we pushed!
After this Herculean effort we finally managed to get to the Paracas reserve.
The cost to enter the reserve is 15 Soles head.
The primary attraction of the place is the marine museum Julio C. Tello, nice and well taken care of with a little road that leads up to a lagoon where you can see flamingos pink bird with beautiful feathers that gave rise to the colors of the Peruvian flag.
The museum displays the fauna and flora of the place and a room devoted to the reconstruction of the habitat as it was millions of years ago when most of the wilderness of the area was submerged by the waters of the ocean and giant sharks, whales dwarf, mangroves and sea gulls prehistoric giants lived in the area since the toothed beak.
From the museum due to lack of time we had to return home, I would still recommend, given that there are already a few years ago, go to see the beautiful beaches of the reserve offering views and atmosphere very appealing.
The most interesting are: La Mina, La Catedral and Mendieta.
A complete tour you can buy it in Ica at the Plaza de Armas in one of the many travel agencies, not what we look for a rental car as we did (above all a Tico).
Essential equipment: hat, Sunscreen total, bottle of water and a camera with a good zoom if possible.
I enclose a link to photos taken by the very talented Italian photographer William Lima Zanatta: