Punta Arquillo

South Coast

Just before the Lagunillas turnoff, a spur road branches off the main La Mina road and heads to the southwest for a few kilometers to a parking area near this clifftop lookout. It has grand views of the ocean, with a sea-lion colony on the rocks below and plenty of seabirds gliding by.

Other seashore life around the reserve includes flotillas of jellyfish (swimmers beware), some of which reach about 70cm in diameter with trailing stinging tentacles of 1m. They are often washed up on the shore, where they quickly dry to form mandala-like patterns on the sand. Beachcombers can also find sea hares, ghost crabs and seashells along the shoreline, and the Andean condor occasionally descends to the coast in search of rich pickings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Coast attractions

1. Playa La Mina

2.56 MILES

This beach is a short drive or walk south of Lagunillas on a dirt road and has gentle waters that make it the best swimming area in the reserve…

2. Lagunillas

3.29 MILES

Turkey vultures feast on the washed-up remains of yesterday’s marine carcasses on the lonely beach at Lagunillas, 5km south of the visitor centre, where a…

3. Playa Roja

3.99 MILES

This narrow bay southwest of the visitor center features a peculiar reddish sand that contrasts dramatically with the low yellowish cliffs behind and the…

4. La Catedral

4.47 MILES

This local landmark just south of Playa Yumaque was once a majestic natural arch that jutted out into the sea but was destroyed by the 2007 earthquake…

5. Playa Yumaque

4.96 MILES

The reserve protrudes south a fair few kilometers below the Paracas Peninsula. Dirt roads branch off just east of Lagunillas to Yumaque Beach where there…

6. Reserva Nacional de Paracas

5.38 MILES

This vast desert reserve occupies most of the Península de Paracas and houses remote beaches backed by dramatic arid landscapes and plenty of wonderful…

7. Paracas Necropolis

6.45 MILES

A few hundred meters behind the visitor complex on Cerro Colorado are the 5000-year-old remains of a necropolis related to the Paracas culture, which…

8. Museo Julio C Tello

6.62 MILES

Right next to the park visitor center, in front of the Paracas Necropolis burial grounds on Cerro Colorado, this recently expanded museum features…