- Duration: 3 days/2 nights
A diverse trip incorporating a variety of habitats. Visit the Villa Marshes nature reserve on the outskirts of Lima, Pucusana Bay, the Ballestas Islands and the vast desert area of Paracas National Reserve. Spend 2 nights at La Hacienda Bahia.
Day 1 – transfer Lima – Paracas with birding stops en-route. As you travel south along the coast, visit Villa Marshes, a coastal lagoon with brackish water and abundant vegetation on the outskirts of the city. The wetland is situated in the desert with habitat for waterfowl typical of coastal Peru and 17 species of migratory shorebirds. You can see Andean Coot, Puna Ibis, Great and White-tufted Grebes, Cinnamon Teal, White-cheeked Pintail, Franklin's Gull, Gray-hooded Gull, Bay-winged and Red-backed Hawk.
Pucusana Bay is another great spot for shorebirds – possibly Peruvian Tern, Chestnut-collared Swallow and Pacific Bran-coloured Flycatcher. The calm waters of Pucusana Bay are ideal for a short boat trip. Look out for Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants and Peruvian Boobies, a stunning sight. Other wildlife includes sea lions and maybe the Humboldt Penguin. Continue to the town of Paracas and overnight at La Hacienda.
Day 2 – the Ballestas Islands are part of an archipelago protected as a national reserve. Barren guano -covered rocks support an extraordinary ecosystem of birds, sea mammals and fish, easily accessible by boat from the town of Paracas. Admire the Candelabra Geoglyph, a giant three prong figure etched into the sandy hills. As you cruise around the islands pass large herds of sea lions and look out for the guanay cormorant, the Peruvian booby and the Peruvian pelican.
After lunch, visit the vast Paracas National Reserve, a wonderful example Pacific subtropical coastal desert. More than 215 species of migratory birds spend at least some part of their lives in Paracas. Many of the residents have been declared endangered or vulnerable by the Peruvian government including the Humboldt penguin, Peruvian diving petrel and the the Blue-footed, Peruvian and masked boobies.
Day 3 – Return to Lima along the coastal road, spend another night in Paracas and take a spectacular flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines or continue south to Ica, the heart of the Peruvian wine region.