It was my first time to Peru and what a visit it was. It was the height of the full moon, the week of several students' spring break, Easter week, and there were so many people in the airport. Research doesn't confirm the effects of full moon on people's behavior, but I definitely observed some interesting phenomenon.
Fortunately, I left hours in advance for my flight from BDL to FLL and arrived at 9 AM. I had a work meeting at 10 AM with my Goldman Sachs advisor and then met with my sister, Melanie at 11 AM. Our flight expected to leave at 5:47 PM was initially delayed to 9:40pm. However, we didn’t take off until 10:30 PM. We checked out the Escape Lounge to see if this location would be worth it. We had already eaten so it wouldnt be and there was no private place to rest, so we skipped it. Our airlines gave us meal vouchers for the inconvenience so we walked around to decide which restaurant had the best options. We finally boarded and I slept the entire time. We arrived the next day in Lima at 1:45 AM.
By the time we walked off the plane, went through immigration, got our taxi, it was 2:30 AM. The taxi was $20 US for a 45 minute drive. We got to our hotel at 3:30 AM, showered, and prepared for the day. Yup, we didn’t even get to sleep in the beautiful clean white sheets at the Iberostar Selection Miraflores.
Melanie and I were downstairs by 5:00 AM awaiting our travel tour, Las Adventures. When 5:37 AM arrived and we didn’t see our tour bus, we asked Brenda, the front desk receptionist, to call them. They didn’t explain why we weren’t picked up, only that they would refund us fully, which they did. Brenda recognized our disappointment and offered us two alternatives: another group guide or a private one. We took the private tour with Reuben. He arrived by 6:30 AM and we were off to Paracas located in the province of Pisco, Ica region. There was so much traffic! The news reported that 30,000 tourists were expected during the long holiday according to Chamber of Tourism and Foreign Trade of Paracas (Capatur), Eduardo Jáuregui.
There was a line for everything- taking a photo at the P A R A C U S sign, getting onto the boat tours, and getting food at the best restaurants. After an hour of being online, we got to sail through the Ballestas Islands and were given a tour in Spanish. With the cool sea breeze going through our hair and splashes of ocean water in our faces, we got to the coast where we saw penguins, pelicans, and sea lions in their natural environment.
The Paracas National Reserve is the only coastal marine reserve that includes a portion of the Pacific Ocean within its borders. It features unique flora and fauna species and is a haven to a variety of migratory bird species. The landscape is mostly sandy desert. There are 74 plant species identified, approximately 216 bird species, 19 mammal species, 52 fish species, and 6 species of reptiles in the protected area. The reserve is a haven for large numbers of bird species, native, migratory, threatened, and endangered species including the kelp gull, black skimmer, the American oystercatcher, the South American flamingo, the condor, the Humboldt penguin, and the Peruvian diving petrel. Both the Humboldt penguin and the Peruvian diving petrel are endemic species of the Pacific Ocean and are found in the marine portion of Paracas National Reserve.
I truly enjoyed learning about these animals in this marine habitat. It reminded me of how much fun Olivia Lauren and I had writing Olivia Lauren's A Guide to Animal Habitats. Be sure to grab a copy!
We also learned about the history of Paracas. The Paracas culture was an Andean society existing between approximately 800 BCE and 100 BCE, with an extensive knowledge of irrigation and water management and that made significant contributions in the textile arts. Then we headed back to the car and stopped to get a few photos in front of the sign.
The next stop on our tour was Huacachina, 4 hours south of Lima and 1 hr from Paracas.
Huacachina is known for its desert oasis. It began to pour. We wondered how we were going to go sandboarding. But believing that everything works for our good and the importance of preparation, we had our rain ponchos packed for moments like this. We put on our ponchos and walked to the desert and the rain stopped, just like that. We got our tickets and climbed to the top of the sand dune and saw gorgeous views of an oasis, green waters of the Huacachina Lagoon, which is circled with palm trees and thought to have therapeutic properties.
Dune buggies ran across the high, rolling sand dunes surrounding the village. We went up and down the dunes at super-fast speeds and had a blast.
The ground was completely dry. Our guide took our phones and took some great shots of us. We had to tip him well!
Next we got sandboards and sandboarded down the beautiful sandy mountains.
After an adrenaline rush, we hiked back down to get closer photographs by the lagoon's shores, where families were spotted in paddleboats and rowboats and taking in the scenery.
We went back to our driver and told him to head towards our hotel as it was getting late, we were hungry and exhausted. We stopped to get some food and then made it to our hotel safely. The next morning we got up and asked a taxi to take us to Condor Xtreme. We got to parasail and received a complimentary video of the experience.
We went back to the hotel to freshen up and then toured Lima Centro.
We saw the Presidential Palace, an impressive large building in the Plaza de Armas. Also located in the plaza was Palacia de La Union and the Archibishop's Palace.
Then we headed back to Miraflores to see Parque del Amor and Parque del Kennedy. Parque del Amor is known for the statue of a kissing couple and Parque Kennedy is known for stray cats.
We had lunch at the renown Rosa Nautica. We had delicious sea food. The experience in which it was served and the way the bill was presented was very luxurious. The older you get the less hustle and bustle you want. Instead peace, tranquility, and great customer service.
We headed back to the hotel, relaxed by the pool, and drank a Peruvian Pisco, a yellowish-to-amber colored spirit produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile.
We got ready to head to the airport, checked out of the hotel, and had dinner at Tanto. That is how you spend three days in Peru. If you are able to spend more than 6 days, you can take a stroll by Machu Picchu, climb up to Choquequirao, hike the popular Inca Trail, visit the Sacred Valley, tour through Lake Titicaca islands, explore the Amazon, tour Arequipa, hike the the Rainbow Mountains, swim with turtles, watch the whales in the Pacific Ocean, and sunbathe on north beaches. This is a trip you will not regret!
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