On the way to Ica from Lima, we stopped off in Paracas for a night, staying at the Las Frayles hostel and went on the tours first thing in the morning. The tour of Islas Ballestas is from 7:45 am and you return to the hostel at 10am. You can then put your baggage in storage while you go on a tour of the Paracas National Reservation. The tour of the Islas Ballestas was absolutely amazing and an epic way to spend my birthday morning, however the Paracas National Reservation did go on a bit long as we didn’t get back to the hostel till 3pm.
You will definitely see sea lions and a huge variety of birds, however your chances of seeing dolphins are much lower so don’t go in expecting to see any.
You will also see a much smaller version of the Nazca lines on the boat trip around Islas Ballestas, believed to be from around 300BC. This one clearly is no where near as big as the ones in Nazca, but it is still good as an extra addition as we really came for the animals.
Some of the animals you will find on your tour are the sea lions (as you can tell from the pictures), penguins, whales and dolphins (unlikely to spot but keep your eyes out for them) and a ridiculously large amount of birds.
All of the birds that you will find in this area are migratory birds, meaning depending what time you arrive will decide what birds you will spot. There are over 215 species of birds which spend at least part of their lives in this area so you will undoubtedly see some birds you don’t see back home.
Just to name a few of the birds you should spot, look out for the Humboldt penguin, Peruvian pelican, Belchers gull, turkey vulture, Peruvian Booby (Giggidy), Inca Tern and the Neotropic Cormorant.
Through the Paracas National reservation, one of the main sights you will be shown is the La Catedral arch, however the arch has now been destroyed due to an earthquake during 2007. The sight is still pretty amazing though, as you can see below:
A lot of the beaches around La Catedral have red sand which also adds to the beauty of the area.
I have also stuck up some extra pics below which I hope you enjoy: