Paracas City Guide – 2018

Paracas Peru: Our 2018 detailed guide from how to get there, where to stay, how to book the ballestas islands and much more!

Paracas Brief Summary:

  • Paracas is a beautiful small town by the sea.
  • Located 4 hours South of Lima, Paracas is drenched with sunshine all year round.
  • Home of the Paracas National Reserve, which includes one of the biggest protected deserts in the Americas as well as the Ballestas Islands, also known as “poor man’s Galapagos”.
Below we have created our extensive guide to Paracas based on our expert local knowledge having helped to transport over 30,000 tourists here since our formation in 2013.

Paracas Guide Contents:

1. How to get to Paracas – Compare transportation options.
2. Must do in Paracas – A list of the most popular activities for travellers.
3. Must see in Paracas – The sights you cannot miss.
4. Paracas safety tips – Safety issues to be aware of.
5. Where to stay in Paracas – The best hotel/hostel options.
6. Photo Gallery – The best hotel/hostel options.

Note:

Paracas is a perfect stop and a definite must-visit for any trip between Lima and Machu Picchu (Cusco). Or, if you’re planning to take a flight between Lima and Cusco, visit Paracas on a Day Trip from Lima

lima-huac-cusco
Note:

Paracas is a perfect stop for any trip between Lima and Machu Picchu (Cusco). Or, if you plan to fly between Lima and Cusco, visit Paracas on a Day Trip from Lima

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How to get to Paracas

How to get to Paracas:

Paracas is approximately a 4-hour drive away from Lima. There are many public bus companies operating the Lima to Paracas route. The only problem is the headache you will have trying to compare prices and after you choose one, having to find the companies terminal since there is no central bus terminal.

Peru Hop busses offer comfortable and a safe trip, with free pickups and drop-offs being included for free. There are also free additional stops and tours on the way to Paracas which will make your trip much better!

Must do in Paracas

Must do in Paracas:

  • Paracas National Reserve Tour, free with your Peru Hop pass.
  • Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas) Tour.
  • Rent quad bikes and drive around the desert.
  • Rent bicycles.
  • Practice kitesurfing.
  • Sample local Peruvian Chocotejas, a typical Peruvian chocolate.
Paracas is perfect for all types of travellers. With its relaxed vibes, this beach town has a surprising variety of activities to choose from. The Paracas National Reserve is one of the main attractions here in Paracas. It is the oldest marine reserve in Peru and consists of almost 335,000 hectares of area, with its main function to preserve the marine life ecosystem. You will find many different species of birds here, most sitting on the shore’s edge basking in the sunshine that reflects of the water. This offers some excellent photo opportunities as the desert lands and endless ocean waters provide the perfect scenery to capture that treasure memory on film.

Just 45 minutes away on boat from the Pacific Coast lie the Ballestas Islands, also referred to as the “poor man’s Galapagos”. With a tour of these islands you get to see a lot of animals in their natural habitat at just a fraction of the cost! The Ballestas are a must do for all wildlife lovers as they’re home to thousands of birds and mammals including penguins, sea lions, Inca terns and pelicans. The islands are protected, meaning you cannot swim with the animals or walk on the islands themselves, but you will get very close to them by boat.

Must see in Paracas

Must see in Paracas:

  • Watch the sunset along the Pacific coast
  • See an interesting exhibition of the evolutionary process of the Paracas culture, textiles, ceramics and reproductions of their daily life at the Julio C. Tello Site Museum.
Like mentioned before, this beach has a really relaxing vibe and you will feel it even more while watching the sun set along the Pacific coast. Just grab a couple of beers and enjoy the view.

The town has expanded a lot over the last few years as many new hotel complexes open up to accommodate this increase in tourism, but the stunning local beauty has not been affected and if anything, it has only been enhanced.

Paracas safety tips

Paracas safety tips:

  • Bring sunblock and a hat, it is sunny all year round
  • Never carry your passport/credit card unless 100% necessary
  • Avoid using ATM machines at night.
  • If moving on to Huacachina after Paracas make sure you take cash out from the ATM while you can. While there are two ATM machines in Paracas there are NONE in Huacachina.

Where to stay in Paracas

LOS FRAYLES 3-STAR HOTEL – Paracas

Note: From January 5th – 8th 2018, limited accommodation in Frayles due to Dakar Rally. Description: Beautiful 3-star hotel with clean 4bed/3bed and private rooms. Facilities: Swimming pool, Wi-Fi, secure rooms ALL with private bathroom. Excellent for: Those who want to avoid large dorms – hotel quite empty apart from Peru Hop passengers. Peru Hop Deal: Up to 60% OFF for Peru Hop passengers
ROOM TYPE NORMAL PRICE PERU HOP PRICE
6 BED DORM* N/A 30 SOLES PP
TWIN 200 SOLES PR 90 SOLES PR
DOUBLE 210 SOLES PR 90 SOLES PR
DOUBLE SUPERIOR (incl. balcony & bath) 230 SOLES PR 120 SOLES PR
TRIPLE 250 SOLES PR 105 SOLES PR
QUADRUPLE 300 SOLES PR 140 SOLES PR
PP: per person  | PR: per room  | *Towel hire 5 soles
How to Book: Email hostallosfrayles@hotmail.com and say you are a Peru Hop passenger. Conditions: Book directly with the hotel and show your Peru Hop wristband upon arrival. Rooms in hostel or hotel depending on availability, but all rooms private and ensuite. Towels aren’t included. Website: http://www.hotelresidenciallosfrayles.com/throw toothrow toothrow too

KOKOPELLI BACKPACKERS HOSTEL – Paracas

Description: The best hostel in Paracas, swimming pool and lively bar. Facilities: Swimming pool, small bar, breakfast included, Wi-Fi. Peru Hop Deal: 10% OFF private rooms
ROOM TYPE NORMAL PRICE PERU HOP PRICE
DOUBLE S/B 115 SOLES PR 104 SOLES PR
DOUBLE P/B 150 SOLES PR 144 SOLES PR
TWIN P/B 160 SOLES PR 144 SOLES PR
PR: per room S/B: shared bathroom  | P/B: private bathroom
20% OFF shared rooms
ROOM TYPE NORMAL PRICE PERU HOP PRICE
14 BED DORM P/B 33 SOLES PP 30 SOLES PP
8 BED DORM S/B 35 SOLES PP 30 SOLES PP
6 BED DORM S/B 38 SOLES PP 30 SOLES PP
6 BED DORM P/B 40 SOLES PP 32 SOLES PP
4 BED DORM S/B 40 SOLES PP 32 SOLES PP
PP: per person S/B: shared bathroom  | P/B: private bathroom
How to Book: Email paracas@hostelkokopelli.com and say you are a Peru Hop passenger. Conditions: Must book directly with hostel and must show Peru Hop wristband upon arrival. Website: http://www.hostelkokopelli.com/welcome-to-kokopelli-paracas/throw toothrow too<throw too

PARACAS BACKPACKERS HOUSE – Paracas

Description: Family owned quiet hostel, good ratings on Hostelworld. Facilities: Kitchen, common area, Wi-Fi (no swimming pool). Peru Hop Deal: 10% OFF for Peru Hop passengers
ROOM TYPE NORMAL PRICE PERU HOP PRICE
SINGLE S/B 45 SOLES PR 40.50 SOLES PR
DOUBLE/TWIN S/B 55 SOLES PR 49.50 SOLES PR
TRIPLE S/B 75 SOLES PR 67.50 SOLES PR
DOUBLE/TWIN P/B 85 SOLES PR 76.50 SOLES PR
TRIPLE P/B 115 SOLES PR 103.50 SOLES PR
QUADRUPLE P/B 135 SOLES PR 121.50 SOLES PR
PR: per room S/B: shared bathroom  | P/B: private bathroom
 
ROOM TYPE NORMAL PRICE PERU HOP PRICE
10 BED DORM S/B 20 SOLES PP 18 SOLES PP
6 BED DORM S/B 25 SOLES PP 22.50 SOLES PP
8 BED DORM P/B 30 SOLES PP 25 SOLES PP
PP: per person S/B: shared bathroom  | P/B: private bathroom
How to Book: Email albertovelarde@hotmail.com and say you are Peru Hop passenger. Conditions: Must book directly with hostel and must show Peru Hop wristband upon arrival. Website: http://www.paracasbackpackershouse.com.pe/backpackers1backpackers2backpackers3

Photo Gallery:

Paracas photo gallery peru
Overall, Paracas is the perfect place to relax and have some fun by the beach. We strongly recommend spending at least 1 night to experience it to the maximum.

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Looking for more stuff to do on your trip? Check out these places!
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To book a tour in Paracas we recommend you use FindLocalTrips.com a search and comparison website for tours across South America.
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Quick Tip: If travelling 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 travellers.