The next stop on the gringo trail of Peru, was heading a few hours south to Paracas which is a tiny town near Pisco. Paracas is famous for its Ballestas Islands which is also commonly known as “poor man’s Galapagos”. This statement couldn’t have been truer for us as we heavily contemplated whether we could afford to go to the Galapagos while we were in Ecuador and ultimately decided that no we could not.
But hey, a speed boat out to Isla Ballestas only set us back 50 soles each, instead of the 5k for Galapagos! We absolutely loved these islands. We saw Humboldt Penguins, Peruvian Boobies (no blue feet), Sea Lions and a lot of other bird species.
We also took a trip out to the Paracas National Reserve which had some amazing view points of where the desert meets the ocean and surprisingly enough, a flock of flamingos. Paracas itself was a charming seaside town that was nice to explore for an afternoon.
Next up, we were on our way to Huacachina to see the biggest sand dunes I had ever seen. Huacachina is a tiny town outside of Ica and is a desert oasis, a vibe of desert luxury best describes Huacachina.
We did a sunset ride on a dune buggy which ended up being much more fun than I initially thought it would be. We also sandboarded down some really huge dunes which was fun the first few times but the bigger the dunes, the scarier, faster and steeper it became. Sand isnt as forgiving as snow and I ended up with a few good sand burns.
The best part, was being asked ever so politely by the guide to “open your legs please” so that he could push you down the dune each time hahaha.
Huacachina has definitely been a highlight of Peru so far! Next up we continue onto Nasca to view the mysterious lines 🙂