The South Coast of Peru is a long desert strip, presenting a barren landscape of sand dunes and cliffs interspersed with the odd oasis of agriculture. Popular in the summer with Peruvians going to the beach, this area has much to offer the traveller, especially if willing to go off the beaten track somewhat.
The Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands offer a perfect opportunity to see some of Peru 's best wildlife, including sea lions, penguins and many species of birds. A bit further south is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Nazca Lines. These incredible figures etched into the face of the desert thousands of years ago depict giant animals and other creatures. A flight over the lines is the only way to appreciate them fully.
For the traveller willing to leave the Gringo Trail, the Yauyos region presents some excellent trekking in beautiful mountains and lakes, which few tourists ever get to see. Nearby Lunahuaná offers good rafting, and in Huacachina you can surf on the giant sand dunes.
For many visitors to Peru , this region is only ever seen from the sky on a flight from Lima to Arequipa . This is a shame, and for those willing to make the effort, the rewards of the journey ensure that it is more than worthwhile.
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