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.
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.