The Peruvian Paracas National Park protects the huge colony of animals on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
A fish-rich area
The eternal strong and dry wind makes life in Paracas, on the coast of Peru, a scourge. Almost nothing grows well in this half-desert at the foot of the Andes. Opposite to the inhospitality of the country is an immeasurable wealth of species in the sea. Driven by the wind, oxygen and nutrient-rich seawater rises here from the depths of the Pacific Ocean to the surface. The water here is seven to eight degrees colder than outside in the open ocean, but it causes an enormous growth of algae and microorganisms, food for huge schools of fish that make the coasts of Peru one of the richest in the world. Millions and millions of seabirds, especially cormorants, have been living from the abundance of fish since ancient times.
Fauna of Paracas National Park
On the Paracas peninsula, not only the impressive colonies of seabirds are protected by a national reserve, but also the habitat of significant colonies of sea lions. Biologists have also counted more than 200 bird species here, including pelicans, cormorants and the blue-legged gentleman. For many of them, the Paracas National Park is the last retreat. With a total surface of 3,350 square kilometers, the Paracas National Park encloses two-thirds of the coastal waters along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Dental whales, seals, sea otters, sea turtles, and numerous fish species populate these waters and the seabed, among them also the rare cuttlefish. In total, biologists have documented 19 species of mammals, 52 fish species and six species of reptiles.
Flora of Paracas National Park
The typical coastal flora has also been preserved in its original composition. A few haageocereus cacti grow in the transition area to the mountain peaks, which are drought resistant. On the hills and places that become damp due to the mist, you will find bushes here and there. Near the coast, a very special grass flora is spreading in the wetlands.
Things you need to know about Paracas National Park
- It is forbidden to go ashore on the islands
- Observe only from the boat
- The climate in the Paracas National Park: typical desert climate with temperatures above 30 degrees
- Often strong wind and hardly any rain
Things to see in Paracas National Park
- Paracas rock formation La Catedral
- Trips by motorboat to the Islas Ballestas
- Observing birds, sea lions, and dolphins