The Paracas Peninsula is a large piece of land, just south of Pisco, that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. It is also home to the Reserva Nacional Paracs and the largest section of protected coastline in Peru. The shoreline of the Paracas Peninsula supports a huge variety of wildlife, including approximately 200 species of sea birds, two types of sea lions, a rare type of otter, and the endangered Humboldt penguins.The Paracas Peninsula has been inhabited for some 9,000 years. From 1,000 BC to 200 AD the Paracas culture thrived here. The history and achievements of these people are well documented at the Museo Julio C Tello.
Paracas National Reserve
The barren, rugged landscape of the Reserva Nacional de Paracas holds its own unique appeal. This desolate area sees no rain, leaving a dry, treeless expanse on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. From July to August, like much of the Peruvian coast, the Paracas Peninsula is covered in fog. The rest of the year it is sunny.Once inside the reserve, there are two main roads which access different areas of the park. The road veering off to the south leads to the village of Lagunillas, a cliff top lookout, and the south beaches. This is the most impressive area of the Reserva Nacional de Paracas. The road to the north leads to the Paracas Necropolis, a Paracas burial site with little left to see. Beyond this is the village of Puerto San Martin with a fish meal plant.Also of interest in the reserve is the Museo Julio C. Tello, which focuses on the history of the Paracas people.
Opening hours: 8am-6pm
Julio C Tello Museum
Just 2 km inside the entrance gate to the Reserva Nacional de Paracas, is the information center and the Museo Julio C Tello. Julio Tello was a Peruvian archeologist who, in 1925, discovered some 400 mummies at what is now called the Paracas Necropolis. The mummies were wrapped in some of the finest pre-Colombian textiles ever found in Peru.On display at the Museo Julio C. Tello are weavings, ceramics, skulls and bones. The skulls are interesting, revealing that the Paracas practiced trepanation. This procedure involved cutting out an area of the skull, probably to treat mental disorders. Some of those subjected to this practice survived as is evident from these skulls.