Pisco Tourist Attractions
The city of Pisco is located a little more than 200km / 120mi south of Lima and is the first sizeable community along this stretch of coast. The primary reason visitors come to Pisco is to see the nearby Islas Ballestas and the Reserva Nacional de Paracas on the Paracas Peninsula.Pisco is a small port and fishing town but does have good facilities for travelers. Tours to the Islas Ballestas can be booked through agencies in Pisco.
The Islas Ballestas (Ballestas Islands) are almost directly west of Pisco. Many visitors come to Pisco and this area of the coast just for the sole purpose of visiting the Islas Ballestas.The islands and the waters around them are home to hundreds of thousands of birds, large colonies of sea lions, pelicans, penguins, and dolphins. The Islas Ballestas are sometimes referred to as the 'poorman's Galapagose'.The boat tours, which visit the islands daily, leave in the mornings from Pisco. The full tour takes passengers passed the 'Candelabra', a hillside geoglyph seen from the coast and then spends a considerable amount of time boating around the islands watching for wildlife. This tour is generally a half-day trip, returning around noon.
About 200km / 120mi south of Lima is the city of Chincha, or Chincha Alta as it is officially known. The city is home to a large black population, giving the city its own unique flair. Afro-Peruvian culture can be seen and heard here in some of the Peñas (bars) in the district of El Carmen, just south of Chincha. The folkloric music and traditional dancing carry on all night.Chincha is also well known for the ancient Chincha culture that once inhabited the area. The best preserved sites near Chincha are Tambo de Mara and Huaca Centinela. This former Inca-Chincha capital was also used by the Inca once they moved into the area.There are a few annual festivals in Chincha and El Carmen. The most important ones are Verano Negro in late February and the festival of the Virgen del Carmen, held in July.
Tambo Colorado was an early Inca site, thought to have been a type of check point for travelers moving through the area or an administrative center. The site was built in the mid 1400s and consists of baths, various rooms, and a sacrificial altar. The adobe walls were painted red and some of the color still remains visible. These are some of the best preserved ruins in the area but are often missed by visitors.Tambo Colorado is about 45km / 27mi from Pisco. It can be easily reached by bus and taxi, or as part of a tour, which can be booked in Pisco.
Most travelers come to Lunahuaná for the whitewater rafting. Whitewater rafting is best during the summer months of December to April. This is when the rapids are the most exciting. Whitewater trips run down the Rio Cañete, year round. The rapids only reach a Class III, making it suitable for beginners.