Reserva Nacional de Paracas

South Coast

This vast desert reserve occupies most of the Península de Paracas and houses remote beaches backed by dramatic arid landscapes and plenty of wonderful wildlife. In front of the Centro de Interpretación near the park entrance there is a lookout from which it's possible to spot Chilean flamingos in the bay below. Further south, La Mina is the best beach in the reserve with gentle waters perfect for swimming. To the west of La Mina, Punta Arquillo hosts a significant sea-lion colony.

Wildlife aficionados will want to check out Playa Yumaque which has excellent birdwatching and often attracts dolphins.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Coast attractions

1. Candelabra Geoglyph

2.83 MILES

A giant three-pronged figure etched into the sandy hills, which is more than 150m high and 50m wide. No one knows exactly who made the glyph, or when, or…

2. Paracas Necropolis

4.39 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…

3. Lagunillas

4.53 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…

4. Playa Roja

4.57 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…

5. Playa La Mina

5.32 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…

6. Punta Arquillo

5.38 MILES

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…

7. Centro de Interpretación

5.43 MILES

Located 1.5km south of the entry point to Reserva Nacional de Paracas, this visitor center seems to be aimed for the most part at school groups rather…

8. Museo Julio C Tello

5.45 MILES

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