{national hispanic heritage month} paracas

Before we get into full Fall and Halloween mood and National Hispanic Heritage Month ends {Sep 15th to Oct 15th}, I wanted to share these pictures from our last trip to Perú last June. I'll always be truly thankful that we're able to take a trip to Perú at least once a year and that my family comes to visit, too.  We are very fortunate to be able to spend some time together even though we live miles and miles apart. I'm very glad my kids get to experience living in a different culture, even if it's for a short period of time. G and I usually stay for a month and although I'd love for L and M to stay that long, it's almost impossible due to school and work commitments.

We always stay in Lima when we visit my family. But Perú is more than just Lima. And we wanted to show M, L and G a little more. So we headed south Lima to the region of Ica. Our exact destination was the Paracas National Reserve, a large marine reserve designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and consisting of the Paracas Bay and Ballestas Islands, Peru’s largest piece of protected coastline.

The Islas Ballestas, home to an abundant and varied population of sea and bird life, are only accessible by boat and they are off-limits to people.

The boat tour took us closed enough to spot "lobos de mar" {sea lions}, seagulls, pelicans and even Humboldt Penguins! {these islands are also called "Islas de Guano" because they are all covered by bird droppings, a very demanded natural soil fertilizer}.
On our way to the islands the boat stopped briefly to view "El Candelabro", a giant, candelabrum-shaped drawing carved on the sand hills overlooking the Bay of Paracas. No one knows who made it or what it means, but there are many theories that relate it to the pre-inca cultures.
It was a great experience, one the kids and M enjoyed. Hopefully on our next trip we'll be able to take another short trip to another spot so the boys can learn and know a little more about my beloved Perú.

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