Day 1. Lima to Paracas.
The temple of Pachacamac just south of Lima is worth a visit – and should be seen as holy site on the coast that was included in Inca worship after the coast had been conquered in the mid 15th century. The architecture has not withstood the centuries in between as well as the sites visited in the Cusco area – not surprising – it is built in mud instead of stone!
En route to Pisco, we shall do some coastal birding and also look for the graceful Peruvian Thickknee.
We continue to Paracas for an overnight stay at Hotel Gran Palma.
Day 2. Paracas-Nazca
Early in the morning we will make a boat visit to the Ballestas Islands. Humboldt Penguin, Red-legged Cormorant, Inca Tern, Surf Cinclodes, Blackish Oystercatcher, Guanay Cormorant and Peruvian Pelican are all readily seen at here, but with some luck there is also the possibility to see Peruvian Diving-Petrel, Ringed and Markham´s Storm-Petrels. The Paracas bay normally have some Peruvian Terns flying around and other gulls and terns can be seen here as well. The Paracas peninsula is a national park and an entrance fee has to be paid. On the west side of the peninsula there is a visitor centre with a small museum and an observation tower. During migration many waders gather here and Chilean Flamingos are usually present. In the bay Great Grebes can be seen. You can continue further out onto the peninsula on dirt tracks to places like Lagunillas and la Cathedral. There are some restaurants here and birds like Surf Cinclodes, Humboldt Penguin and Surfbird, as well as South American Fur Seals can be seen here. The Paracas desert is a play with sunlight on the different colored sand formations. Flocks of Gray Gulls are often seen roosting in the dessert.
Next to be visited is Ica about an hour a way. The small but excellent municipal museum has nice displays of the Paracas, Nazca and Wari cultures that were important cultures of Ica department. We will be shown the art of trepanation and deformed skulls practiced by the ancient cultures in this region. There is a small model of the Nazca Lines that gives an idea what the lines will look up from the air.
We arrive to Nazca in the afternoon in time to our nice hotel where it is possible to relax by the pool in the afternoon or make an excursion to the interesting pre-inca aqueducts outside of town. Night at Hotel Don Agucho. B.L.D.
Day 3. Nazca-Lima
If people feel like it, a birdwatching excursion for Slender-billed Finch and various seedeaters can be arranged in the morning. The flight over the Nazca lines would be at around 9 AM. Afterwards there should be time both to make a visit to a nearby pottery, where Sr.Tobi is showing how the Nazca ancestors made their polychromatic pottery as well as the Nazca graveyards, before we must set off to Lima again. It will take us 6 hours to get back to Lima, but we may do some stops on the way. Maybe even visit a winery and Pisco factory which usually makes the trip back more FUN!