Paracas is a small town on the west coast of Peru. Mostly known for its untouched desert-like scenery, world-class nature reserve and fantastic wildlife, this town also offers one of the most reliable winds all year round. If you are backpacking through Peru and want to learn, improve and enjoy kitesurfing and nature, Paracas is the place to go. The central part of the town sometimes referred to as El Chaco, is the central hub for bars, eateries and the main meeting point for various tours. To the south of the town, you will find most of the luxurious hotel complexes and different accommodation options scattered. Further down south from the golf course and at the edge of the nature reserve, you will find the Santo Domingo bay or ‘kite point’ where all the kitesurfing action happens. The whole Paracas bay is sheltered from the oceans cool waters and waves by the Paracas peninsula allowing, flatter and warmer waters to create a natural habitat for wildlife species protected in the nature reserve. The vast u-shaped lagoon and the steady cross shore desert winds make this bay an enormous kitesurfing playground that any level kiteboarder will enjoy. Nightlife in Paracas is not very big; however, there are several lively hostels where most kiters and backpackers meet during the nights and some nice bars and restaurants along the seafront to enjoy a quiet evening.
VISAS: Visas are generally not required for travellers entering Peru. Check with the nearest embassy for further details. CURRENCY: PEN (Peruvian Sol), USD PRICES: Beer: $2 or 5 Soles Food: Lunch $5-10 or 20-30 Soles Accommodation: $10-150 Kite Lessons: 6H $320 Kite Gear rental: full day $70 LANGUAGE: Spanish and English INTERNET: Offered in most accommodations, but the signal can be weak. We recommended getting a Local SIM card. TRAVEL ADVICE: there are plenty of ATM’s in town, but they may not always be stocked with the local currency, it would be advisable to have some Soles with you before arriving. TEMPERATURE: Water temperatures range from 16-22°C / 59-71°F all year round so at least a 3/2 wetsuit will be needed, for the warmer summer days you may be fine with a shorty, but for windy days you will feel the wind chill. The air temperature varies from 25°C/77°F in the heat of their summer (February) and drops to 17°C/63°F in July. Hoodie and some warmer clothes will be handy.
NEAREST TOWN: Paracas NEAREST CITY: Pisco NEAREST AIRPORT: Jorge Chávez Airport (LIM) If you are travelling to Paracas directly from the USA or Europe, you are most likely fly to the airport in Lima, from there you can either arrange a private transfer from your accommodation provider or get a taxi directly at the airport. Please note that this can be costly as the distance is 260km one way. The most cost-effective way to get to Paracas would be to use one of the bus routes that will cost you around $15. Cruz Del Sur, Peru Hop, Airport Express Lima are the leading bus companies offering easy daily bus transfers to Paracas. To secure your space make sure to book online and have your passport in hand. The busses only operate in the day, therefore with the flights arriving later in the evening it may be more comfortable to stay in Lima overnight. Another option is to take more frequent bus service to Ica and then take a taxi (45min) to Paracas. GETTING AROUND: Once in town, everything is easy to reach by foot, and if you are staying a little bit further from the kite beach you can take a taxi for only 8-10 Soles. It is very common that the driver will offer you his details so you can contact him anytime you need a ride. Renting a car is also an option, preferably 4x4 as the roads can be bumpy. Note that rental cars and petrol will not be cheap and the roads are very hard to navigate without local knowledge. Therefore using public transportation and organised tours with the kite schools would probably be a better option.
The bay starts as a shallow sandy bottom beach for around 100m before it opens into a deep water bay excellent for hydrofoiling. The flat and shallow beach area is super safe for beginners, and the shape of the bay provides security for the less advanced riders as you will end up at the beach no matter what happened. Due to the natural formation of the beach and the cross-shore wind direction, the water is flatter closer to the beach, and with the deeper water comes the slight chop and you will find some small kickers in the middle of the bay. The flat water in the bay is perfect for the freestyle lovers, and you can even find a perfectly flat speed strip in one part of the bay. If you want to explore waves, then some nearby locations of Playon & Zarate can make a perfect day trip in a search for cleanest waves in the area. The kite schools often organise downwinders to Laguna Grande and Pisco. Apart from kitesurfing, there is also a long list of other activities that you can occupy yourself with while you are here. Join the tours to explore the nature reserve and the famous Islas Ballestas to see the flamingos, sea lions, penguins, pelicans and dolphins in their natural habitat. Trip to Huacaschina dunes to visit desert oasis or go for dune buggy and sand-boarding adventure. Also, visit a nearby town of Ica for their well knows Pisco Sours (Peru’s national drink) and of course wine tours. AMENITIES: Kite School, Gear Rental, Beach Assistance, Gear Storage, Kite/Gear Repair, Parking, Accommodation, Food Shop.
Paracas is well known for its all year round winds, with only the months of June and July, being winter months, offering less reliable, but still good wind days with a 50% chance of wind over 3bft and fewer tourists. The windier season is September to April, with winds ranging from 12 to 25 knots, and occasional 30+ knot sandstorms. The thermal winds come at cross-shore/cross-off-shore direction over the deserted land and create a Venturi effect by pushing through between two large dunes. As the heat rises in the desert, so does the wind; around 11 am it increases and last till sunset. Due to the deserted landmass creating steady land breeze you can usually add at least 4+ knots to the forecast. Most used kites 8m to 12m. WIND DIRECTIONS: S, SW WINDIEST MONTHS: High Season: October, November, December, January, February, March, April. Mid Season: May, August, September.
There are no such rules, just a common sense - the main kite beach area is relatively large, sandy beach, no strong currents or rocks at the beach. Due to the position of the bay and the wind shadow from the buildings, launching and landing closer to the kite schools can be tricky, and it's advisable to land your kite at the water edge. Advanced riders may be asked to ride 100m from the beach during the peak season to help give space to the students and schools. Please respect the nature of this area, nature park and the wildlife. Please note that even with all this nature and seemingly good tourism the locals are still trying to get back on their feet after multiple earthquakes. Paying more for the taxis and other services and supporting the local communities by using local tours is highly recommended and will be much appreciated by locals. *If you need kite related service like kite repairs, lessons or beach assistance please contact with the local kite centre or camp. ** We always recommend seeking additional knowledge about the spot from local kite school and qualified instructors.
I was there for three days in November 2017. The wind is thermic and starts every day at around noon. I have used kites between 8 and 12m. The water is rather flat with only little waves. There are a lot of flamingos at the beach, which are fun to watch. They keep their distance though, so you don't have to worry about them. The kite spot is a little bit outside of paracas, but you can get there by car in a few minutes. If you walk along the bay it takes you 45 minutes. The walk is very nice though, especially at sunset. At the kite spot there are two or three kite schools, where you also can rent equipment or just hang out during the day. Also There is a little restaurant which sells drinks and stuff like burgers. There is not much to do in paracas, but they have some nice restaurants and cafes. There are also few bars and a hostel which turns into a nightclub a few days per week.
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