Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Having travelled, for what seems like an eternity, over moonscape-like terrain, I was relieved to set my sights on a small fishing village called Paracas as we crested the hill. Paracas also refers to the Peninsula, the Bay, the pre-Inca culture and the National Reserve. Paracas culture on the Peninsula dates back to 750 BC to 100 AD.
The Bay of Paracas holds special historical significance to the Peruvians - it is here where Jose de San Martin landed with liberation forces and began the campaign for independence from Spanish rule in the early 1800’s and culminating in the proclamation of the independence of Peru in 1821. At El Mirador, a lookout point high on a hill just to the east of the village, stands a large red and white monument commemorating San Martin.
The Paracas Peninsula is contained within the Paracas National Reserve ( a designated UNESCO World Heritage site) and Peru’s only marine reserve. It is one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world due to its geographical and biological features. Many a birdwatcher and hiker make their way to this Reserve. We went out by boat to see the coastline wildlife, the gorgeous landscapes and spotted dolphins swimming along side the boat in the bay. Sadly, ran out of time to do any hiking.
Day 4 - Friendly Planet - Amazing Peru Tour