Author: Jorge Riveros

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Paracas for Fiestas Patrias
Sunset over the Bay of Paracas, a favorite destination for Limeños, nature lovers, birdwatchers and free spirits. See slide show.

By Jorge Riveros-Cayo
Photos by Eileen Marie Roche

We decided to leave early in the morning on the first bus departing at 3.45 a.m. to be exact. After some deadly strong pisco sours and supposedly refreshing pitchers of beers, we headed to the bus station – quite dead indeed – with the hope of sleeping tight during the approximate four-hour drive between Lima and Paradise. We were escaping from Peru’s capital damp weather and grayness to start a four-day trip in Ica, the sunny region 300 kilometers south of Lima. We were going to explore the land of superb pisco, of creamy butter beans and of a nature haven called the Paracas National Reserve.

People are reputed to live happy and warm all year round in Ica. Okay, maybe not the entire year but anything could be better than drowning in Lima’s humidity between June and November. And anyway, our boundless enthusiasm was going to summon the sun from wherever it was hiding from us. Eileen, a U.S. born photographer traveling South America who I met weeks before, and myself had been invited to spend a couple of days at the Doubletree Hilton-Paracas Hotel. The plan was to explore the sledgehammer-shaped chunk of desert coastline jutting in the Pacific Ocean from this comfy base. And that is exactly what we did.

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