3. From Paracas: Ballestas Islands and Tambo Colorado Tour
Start with convenient pickup from your hotel in either Paracas or Pisco before heading to the Marina Turistica to start your adventure. Board a speedboat with your bilingual, Spanish and English-speaking guide, and jet out onto the sea towards the stunning Ballestas. Along the way, stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see the Candelabro, an enigmatic glyph carved into land whose purpose, and creator, remain a mystery to this day. Afterwards, continue onwards towards the marine sanctuary of Ballestas. Gaze upon the rocky shores, filled to the brim with sunbathing seals, and penguins diving into the turbid waters to hunt underneath the surface — all alongside other beautiful specimens, like majestic pelicans, and colourful blue-footed boobies. Return to the Marina Turistica for a drive to the Inca settlement of Tambo Colorado. Most-likely built at the end of the 15th century, the site was ruled by the Inca Emperor Pachacutec. Wander around the site with your guide and admire the decorated surfaces and structure that has survived remarkably well over the centuries, thanks to the dry climate of the region. The site was built in the typical Incan design, with recessed trapezoidal niches and a rectangular floor plan. Learn about the styles of architecture from this historical period, and the cultural influences from the Ayacucho and Cusco people. Explore the site’s ceremonial plazas, platforms, and houses, as well as the main building known as La Fortaleza. Listen to your guide explain the heritage of the site, that is believed to have been used as an administrative, ceremonial, and military center which controlled the main road from the coast to the highlands. The site was also used as a resting place for many of the Inca army soldiers across the local territory.