Edging towards the Andes in a dramatic spread of beiges, pinks, and purples, the arid desert meets the frigid Pacific waters at the Paracas National Reserve, creating a rich environment of biological diversity.
Almost one third of the reserve is desert that, millions of years ago, was under the Pacific Ocean until the Nasca and South American plates collided and the Andes Mountains were born.
In this ancient territory characterized by beautiful geological formations created from water and wind, one can still find fossils of the whales and dinosaurs that once populated the region. There also are close to 100 archaeological sites left by the Paracas and Nasca people, both of whom developed societies based on agriculture, fishing and shellfish collecting. Their remains attest to societies able to adapt to their environment.
There are 216 species of birds, between resident and migratory, 36 mammals, 10 reptile species and 168 species of fish in the Paracas National Reserve, making it the most bio-diverse coastal area in Peru.
The Ballestas also are a part of the National Reserve of Islands and Guano Points, a conservation Project that includes 22 small islands and 11 points along the Peruvian coast where birds congregate and guano is produced in large amounts.
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