HERE for website), stayed for three nights in the poshest accommodations of our Peru trip (click HERE for website of Hotel Paracas), and returned by bus to Lima. Most of the other guests at the hotel and the other bus passengers who disembarked at Paracas appeared to be Peruvians. Paracas seems to be a popular getaway for people who live in Lima. The early-morning return bus was almost two hours late, which meant we had a long wait at the bus stop, and once aboard in our "first class" seats, the promised breakfast wasn't served.
We had three things we wanted to do in Paracas: visit the Ballestas Islands, visit the sprawling -- almost 1,300 square miles -- Paracas National Reserve, and visit a Pisco distillery. All were arranged through the excursions desk at our hotel. The hotel made appointments for us at two Pisco operations and a non-bilingual driver drove us to them -- both near the town of Ica, about an hour east of Paracas. The boat to the Ballestas Islands left from the hotel dock, and the Pisco driver and an English-speaking guide took us to the nearby National Reserve. The candelabra petroglyph was seen on the 20-minute ride out to Ballestas. A highlight of the National Reserve tour was seeing a large flock of wild flamingos, but they were at a distance too great for my camera and we weren't allowed to get any closer.
The first Pisco place we visited was Hacienda la Caravedo, which makes the sipping Pisco called Porton as well as less expensive Pisco Puras, which are used in cocktails. The second was El Catador, which I can't recommend as a tour or as a Pisco. We wanted to leave as soon as we arrived but stuck it out through a tour and a tasting, during which we were told that the run-down place we were at is maintained for tourists while most of its Pisco is made in more modern facilities elsewhere. We were in Ica on a Monday when Tacama, a well-known winery and distiller, is closed to visitors. Tacama makes wine as well as Pisco. We enjoyed its well-priced tannat-petit verdot blend at several meals during our stay in Peru so we were disappointed that a visit wasn't possible.
|The drive from Paracas to Ica took us|
through seemingly endless desert.