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One of the most beautiful locations during our DTour of Peru was Paracas, and exploring the tropical desert of the Paracas National Reserve proved to be a highlight. Incredible natural beauty, with miles of cliffs and coastal waters, Paracas National Reserve is where the desert dramatically meets the sea. And the most stunning views can be witnessed from Playa Roja. 

Located between Playa Lagunillas and Punta Santa Maria, Playa Roja is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Paracas National Reserve due to its reddish color shore. This characteristic, most unusual along the Peruvian Coast, gives this beach a unique beauty that amazes visitors and leaves them in awe. 

Playa Roja. Paracas National Reserve.

Playa Roja. Paracas National Reserve.

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We weren’t the only ones marveling at the red sands of Playa Roja. There is an abundance of bird and wildlife which find sanctuary in the reserve.

The red color of the sand is caused by the nearby massif of Punta Santa Maria, formed by a sort of igneous rock known as pink granodiorite, which contains solidified magma inside.

When breaking against the cliffs of Punta Santa Maria, the waves carry fragments of the reddish rocks that then settle on the shore, in a beautiful contrast with the yellow and ocher colors of the cliffs.

The Paracas National Reserve spans over 827,450 acres (335,000 hectares), so it’s best to book onto an organized tour, though you can walk or cycle through the Reserve at your own leisure if you feel particularly adventurous. Do keep in mind that the main sights are fairly spaced apart, and if you get stuck in a sandstorm it could be dangerous. 

Organized tours can be as cheap as $30 per person for 4 hours and include pick up from your Paracas hotel.  

We are currently traveling on behalf of Doubletree by Hilton DTour; a whole new way to plan – and share – your travels. We are staying at Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Paracas

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    18 Comments

    • It was an absolutely stunning location – definitely check out Paracas when you do get to Peru!

  1. That has given me some amazing memories of Paracas, a really amazing place. The bird life is incredible. I don’t think we got any great photos of the sand like that, great to see. I agree a tour is well worth doing.

    • The bird life really was phenomenal – I almost felt bad making our tour guide wait for half an hour at each stop while we tried to get the perfect shot!

  2. Absolutely beautiful…I’ll bet Mike is in Heaven with the bird life too. Fantastic Photos as always! :-)

    • We’re both having a blast! Loving the wildlife opportunities…though can’t wait to get to Idaho to track down some bears :D!

  3. Amazing. And that bird with its red feet! Can’t wait to get back to Peru to see these things for myself.

    • He was so beautiful sitting against the backdrop of the beach! Definitely head to Paracas the next time you get to Peru – was one of the highlights of our trip!

  4. Wow, what a beach. And I type that as a Canary Islands resident. We have some special ones over here, you understand.

    • You definitely do have some impressive beaches in the Canary Islands – so I appreciate your comment! I’m the same, I’m a little spoilt on beaches coming from Australia, so my standards for a beautiful beach are often quite high :D!!

  5. It reminds me of Anne of Green Gables and the red sand beaches of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

    • I would love to get to Prince Edward Island – very high on my list! I was pleasantly surprised to see a red sand beach, I’ll have to check out where else in the world they exist!

  6. I am sucker for exotic places and this fits the bill. This is a real sand and sea experience it seems. It would be lovely to take a trip.

    • You would definitely love Playa Roja then – incredibly exotic! Really hope you have the opportunity to travel to Peru and witness it for yourself! Happy travels :)

  7. So beautiful together, the ocean and the bird. If I make it to Peru someday, I will have to remember this place. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

    • Glad you enjoyed the photos Samantha! This was one of the highlights of our time in Peru, so definitely recommend a trip down towards Paracas :) Haven’t come across a coastline as unique anywhere else in the world!

  8. This place was quite a site when we went. Just curious why you didn’t credit PeruHop with this paragraph since it is verbatim from their website:

    “The red color of the sand is caused by the nearby massif of Punta Santa Maria, formed by a sort of igneous rock known as pink granodiorite, which contains solidified magma inside.

    When breaking against the cliffs of Punta Santa Maria, the waves carry fragments of the reddish rocks that then settle on the shore, in a beautiful contrast with the yellow and ocher colors of the cliffs.”

    • Hi Josh, glad you enjoyed your time in Peru :)

      This article was published in 2014, and the tour page you have linked to was published in May 2015, which was a year after my article went live. Hence, not taken from their website.

      Best

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