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Paracas - Ica
Paracas is located in the middle of the coastal desert in the department of Ica, covering an area of 335,000 hectares.
Paracas is the only national reserve that protects part of the Peruvian sea which is chilled by the cold Humboldt current.
This unique area is home to some of the world's richest fishing grounds, which has been made possible by marine upswells which bring to the surface vast masses of plankton, a vital food supply for hundreds of fish species.
Paracas is also home to guano-producing bird species and large colonies of sea lions, and is a haven for dozens of visiting migratory bird species and endangered species such as the marine wildcat or chingungo, the Humboldt penguin and pink flamingoes. The area also saw the rise of the Paracas culture, a major pre-Colombian civilization who left a legacy of superb textiles and items of pottery whose quality continues to astound visitors.
Typical desert climate, where temperatures can top 30°C. Days are sunny during summer (December to March) and part of winter, when temperatures can dip at night to 10°C. In the afternoon, the area is often swept by gusting winds -known locally as paracas.
From Pisco (240 km from Lima) visitors need to take the paved road that leads to the reserve, which is connected to a network of branch roads that lead down to the beaches and main attractions.
Visitors are advised to spend two to three days at the reserve and camp on the beach for true contact with nature.
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