Year-by-year, the areas of Paracas and Nasca continually get more attention from tourists. With more than 13 million dollars having been recently invested in the areas, visitors should expect to find many options to suit their tastes.
A plethora of investments
Over the years, investors have steadily been turning their attention to these areas. For those seeking luxury accommodations, this is good news. According to Peru’s Ministry of Commerce and Tourism (Mincetur), both Nasca and Paracas boast wide-ranging options for tourists. The sights include the Nasca Lines, The Paracas National Reserve, the Ballestas Islands, and the Bay of San Fernando. Mincetur is projecting that private investors will be injecting at least $13 million into the development of maritime routes between Paracas, the Ballestas Islands, San Fernando, and Marcona. They also plan to invest another $2.4 million into a new Nasca bus station that will be located 10 minutes from the city center. Additionally, over the next two years, investors will spend another $45 million to expand the Pisco airport. All of this investment will vastly improve access to the area.
Paracas: Luxury and adventure
Being three hours away from Lima by car, the Paracas National Reserve is a major tourist destination. Visitors come to enjoy its 13,000 square miles of protected desert, wetlands and seashore. In addition to swimming, camping, and off-road tours through the desert, tourists also come to visit archaeological sites including the Candelabro, a huge desert etching, Cerro Colorado, and Wari Kayan, two burial remains where archaeologists discovered some of the most beautiful textiles in all of Paracas.
Rediscovered by tourism developers in the last few years, Paracas has seen a number of new, luxury hotel projects including the Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort, the DoubleTree Resort By Hilton Paracas, the Hotel Hacienda and the Aranwa Paracas Resort & Spa. Carla Lau, Head of Marketing for Aranwa Paracas Resort & Spa, says:
“One of the principal attractions for us in investing in Paracas has been the increase in demand. Since 2008, demand has gone up 43 per cent, 23 per cent of which is international tourist demand. This shows us that for the Peruvian tourist, and in particular, for tourists from Lima, Paracas is a perfect place to get away from the city – but with the same level of comfort and service.”
Nasca: Further South
If you follow the Panamerican Highway south six hours from Lima, you’ll arrive in Nasca, the second largest
of Ica’s five provinces. Nasca’s principal tourist attraction is, of course, the Nasca Lines, a series of figures visible only from the air. Thanks to the dry, sunny, desert climate, these figures, which include images of a whale, dog, monkey and hummingbird, along with a series of geometric figures, are still clearly visible. Increased tourism to the region has inspired investors to start making service improvements, particularly by organizing better service for those looking to take flights over the lines.
While most international tourists arrive in Paracas and Nasca by car, increasingly, visitors now fly from Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport to Pisco on local airlines such as Aerodiana and LCP Peru. From here, tourists can easily take a flight over the Nasca Lines. A new option for tourists continuing on to Cusco is LCP’s recently-introduced service from Lima to Pisco with an overflight of the Nasca Lines en route to Cusco – all in one trip.
Arriving in Nasca by sea at the San Juan de Marcona Port is also an option. It’s part of a group of projects that are currently under review for approval by the Peruvian government. Once the government grants the approval, the Peruvian National Port Authority will create a license for a concession of the port. The plan focuses on infrastructure improvements that will include a first phase for mineral shipments, a second phase for agricultural shipments, and finally a third phase that will include port space for cruise ships.
Paracas beach activities
In addition to the beauty of nature and the area’s archaeological remains, the route from Paracas to Nasca attracts visitors because of its unspoiled beaches, and because of the variety of aquatic activities you can practice here, primarily kayaking, surfing, kite surfing, and sailing. If you are looking for a more low key adventure, try the spa services at some of the area’s new, five-star hotel and spas.
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Cover photo: Ultimate Journeys Peru
Credit: Ultimate Journeys Peru