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As part of my creative process, I challenged myself to document my time in Paracas by using only my iPhone. I gave Priime, the new mobile photography editing app a try and I have to say, I’m in love with it. For most of these images, I used “Tamalpais” by Art Chang, a free preset included as a bundle, with some minor tweaks for exposure and structure.

We left the craziness of the capital behind and reached Paracas around 4 pm. We walked and checked prices for a couple of spots, and decided on a fairly new hostel right on the main street. Dinner ended up being a street food before we turned in.

We always arrive at a new place thinking we will be there for only a couple of days, and this place was no different, work kept us here for the following week. We understood why people come here, stay two days, check out the islands and keep going. There isn’t much to do.

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The main reason tourists visit the area is to check out the Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas island. Both are considered to be part of the must do things in Peru, and they were not wrong. Both were amazing activities and great fun.

[mk_image src="http://www.be-lost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_7796.jpg" image_width="800" image_height="350" crop="false" svg="false" lightbox="false" frame_style="simple" target="_self" caption_location="inside-image" align="left" margin_bottom="10"][mk_image src="http://www.be-lost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_7795.jpg" image_width="800" image_height="350" crop="false" svg="false" lightbox="false" frame_style="simple" target="_self" caption_location="inside-image" align="left" margin_bottom="10"][mk_fancy_title tag_name="h2" style="false" color="#393836" size="20" font_weight="inherit" font_style="inhert" letter_spacing="0" margin_top="20" margin_bottom="20" font_family="none" align="center" txt_transform="uppercase"]The Paracas National Reserve[/mk_fancy_title]

The National Reserve is a subtropical desert part of the Paracas peninsula alongside the coast; it takes a half day to visit it if you do it like we did: ATV’s! The scenery is magnificent and extends as far as you can see. Some people do it on bicycles, but I think that riding ATV’s around deserts, with the wind, the sun and the road in front of you is magical. It is also possible for you to camp in the park and there are a couple of small towns, mostly restaurants, that will offer deals for showers and food. Keep in mind that you will be camping in the middle of nowhere and they will charge accordingly for anything you wish to buy. It took us over 3 hours to see the north part of the park, just a small section of the totality of the National Reserve before we had to head back to catch our bus to Huacachina, our next destination.

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The town itself is only a few blocks and like every other city, life revolves around the small plaza. The waterfront serves as the “fancy” boardwalk where the most expensive restaurants are and to the south end, the little kiosks where locals eat. When we were not cooking at the hostel, we ended up eating there.

[mk_image src="http://www.be-lost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_7786.jpg" image_width="800" image_height="350" crop="false" svg="false" lightbox="false" frame_style="simple" target="_self" caption_location="inside-image" align="left" margin_bottom="10"][mk_fancy_title tag_name="h2" style="false" color="#393836" size="20" font_weight="inherit" font_style="inhert" letter_spacing="0" margin_top="20" margin_bottom="20" font_family="none" align="center" txt_transform="uppercase"]The Ballestas Islands[/mk_fancy_title]

The Ballestas is a group of small islands off the coast of the town of Paracas; it usually takes about 3 hours to visit them as part of a tour hired from either hostels or directly with tour companies. Our visit to the islands was wonderful and seeing the amount of wildlife we saw was staggering. Penguins, sea lions (which we see tons of in San Francisco), blue footed boobies and many other mammals/birds I can’t remember the names of, all while enduring a shit storm coming from the hundred of birds flying above. The captain will get so close to the jagged rocks that it will be almost too close for comfort, but rest assure that he has done this a few times and life will continue. Overall a very pleasant experience well worth the 45 soles. Just make sure you bring a hat.

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