Paracas National Reserve

2018 Update: Paracas National Reserve. One of the biggest protected desert reserves in South America, spanning over 200,000 hectares of desert and ocean.

The Paracas National Reserve consists of the Paracas Peninsula, coastal areas and tropical desert. It provides a sanctuary to 74 species of plants that grow in this extremely arid area, and to 216 species of birds, 16 types of mammals, 10 species of reptiles and 193 species of fish. The protected natural marine area covers 3350 square kilometres, 65% of it is sea and 35% land and islands. It is considered as one of the richest and most uncommon ecosystems in the world, but in all honesty the attraction is not only the wildlife, but the beauty of the ocean and desert landscapes.

Quick Tip: If traveling to or from Lima Airport, it is strongly recommended to use the luxury Airport Express Lima bus to get to or from your hotel. Safer and cheaper than a taxi with no baggage limit as well as free Wi-Fi and USB chargers onboard, it is ideal for travelers.

Established in 1975, it is the oldest marine reserve in Peru, and in addition to the biological areas, the reserve protects prehistoric sites of the Paracas culture and other ancient civilizations. Near the entrance of the reserve is the Centro de Interpretación de la Reserva Nacional de Paracas and the Museo de Sitio Julio C. Tello named after the archeologist who made major discoveries about the ancient Paracas culture, like the elegant pieces buried with the mummified remains of the Paracas elite.
Located between Playa Lagunillas and Punta Santa Maria is Playa Roja. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Paracas National Reserve due to the reddish colour of the shore, most unusual along the Peruvian Coast. The red colour of the sand is caused by the nearby massif of Punta Santa Maria, formed by a sort of igneous rock known as pink granodiorite, which contains solidified magma inside. When breaking against the cliffs of Punta Santa Maria, the waves carry fragments of the reddish rocks that then settle on the shore, in a beautiful contrast with the yellow and ocher colours of the cliffs.

This reserve is unique not only because of its protection and the conservation of marine ecosystems but also the protection of the cultural and historical patrimony of the pre-Inca Paracas culture.


The monthly average temperature ranges between 15.5 °C (60° F) – 22 °C (72° F). There is no rainy season. The Park can be visited throughout the year.

What to bring:

  • Hat or cap
  • Sun block
  • Camera
  • Summer clothes and a light jacket cause it gets windy
Paracas National Reserve tour
Regular PriceWith Peru Hop
S/.35 solesFREE
Did you know?
You can visit the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas National Reserve in the same day!

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