Coming: Take a bus down from Lima. Compare companies HERE. I took Peruhop. It’s a hop-on/hop-off bus that makes your life a heck of a lot easier. You choose your schedule and how long you want to stay in each place, they’ll pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation (assuming it’s in one of the main areas). They offer many different packages so you don’t have to pay if you’re not stopping at every stop, as well some free included tours and discounts at hostels and restaurants.
Sleeping: Kokopelli Hostel is the place to be in Paracas. They’ve got a pool, beach access, bar, restaurant and a great vibe. The beds have curtains which is always appreciated and the facilities are clean. They offer nightly activities and they have a travel agency there if you’re wanting to book things through them. The Wi-Fi is terrible, that would be my only negative about this place.
Overall- 8/10 Price- S/. 30 PEN ($USD 9.17) for a 14 bed dorm or get a 6 bed dorm with a private bathroom for the same price with Peruhop Average for Paracas
Eating: Paracas Restaurant offers typical Peruvian seafood and a view of the port. There are also a lot of places along the beach right outside of Kokopelli. I didn’t try any of them but they were small local places which usually means it’s pretty good, authentic food. Kokopelli also has a restaurant open from 6-10pm that has decently priced and good food.
Doing: Go to the National Reserve and visit the Ballestas Islands
National Reserve- Perhop offers a free tour which is really nice. Otherwise take biks in on your own. It’s a bit of a long ride but the National Reserve is amazing. You can also take a tour through a company, but I’d take advantage of self guided tours when possible as they are hard to come by in Peru.
Ballestas Islands- Said to be the “poor man’s Galapagos” you can take a two hour boat tour around the island. I opted out of this because I have been to the actual Galapagos Islands. Everyone who I talked to that went enjoyed it, though!
Price- S/. 50 PEN ($15 USD)
Staying: 1-2 nights is plenty. You can do both Balestas Islands and the national reserve in one day, especially with Peruhop they’ll fit it into the bus schedule. I chose to stay an extra day to lounge by the pool.
Going: Get back on Peruhop or whatever bus you’re taking and head south to Huacachina in the desert. If you’re going north then Lima is your next stop!