• 2024.05.13
  • Reporting on Paracas (Nazca Territory), Peru
On the morning of Monday, April 15, I woke with surprise at the sudden coldness, the words “Wow it’s cold!” just blurting out. A friend in the neighborhood caught a cold because they had slept in thin clothing. That’s how suddenly the cold weather kicked in. I had been wondering, will the day ever come when I need to use the coat and HEATTECH underwear I brought from Japan!? “No, it definitely won’t,” I had arbitrarily decided, but cold weather does come to Paracas. That shows how “Paracas,” a place that feels so much like a holiday resort, and “cold” just do not seem to go together.

Now this time I’m going to tell you about Paracas, where I live. In a word, it is a resort. People watch the animals (penguins, seals, flamingos, etc.) in the nature reserve, they swim in the sea, and gaze romantically at the setting sun at dusk. It’s a place people come to on holidays and spend their days doing things like that. I guess it’s a place that blows people’s stress away.

Apparently, it’s a common lifestyle choice among Peruvians to stay at their holiday houses for a few months while they “rest their wings” then go back to the city ready to get into their work. There are rows of pretty fancy holiday houses along the coast.

By the way, there are no big shopping malls here. People get their daily food supplies from small stores. The prices are higher than everywhere else, but it’s a resort area, so that’s to be expected.

To give you a little more Wikipedia-type information, Paracas is in Pisco Province, Ica Region, 250 km south of the capital Lima (about 3 and a half hours by car). The recommended way to get to Paracas is to take the long-distance bus from Lima, called the “Curz Del Sur.” This long-distance bus is very comfortable. Thanks to the Curz Del Sur, I can go to and from bright and sparkly Lima without any stress. A seat costs 70 soles (about 2,800 yen) on the lower deck, or 60 soles (about 2,400 yen) on the upper deck. I recommend sitting on the lower deck because you can take it easy and relax in a seat that feels like you’re in a luxurious massage chair. You can buy tickets online. When you come to Paracas, I recommend you take this bus.

The place name “Paracas” comes from a Quechuan language, which was also the official language of the Inca Empire and apparently means “sand rain” from “para” (“rain”) and “aco” (“sand”).

True to its name, the wind whips through Paracas, never stopping, every day. There is never a moment when it doesn’t blow. And for a number of days each month, sand mixes in with the wind, and soon gets into your mouth as you walk along. It’s really hard to avoid eating the sand. Why does this phenomenon (occasionally) occur? It’s a natural wonder. By the way, the locals call it “Paracas.” Sand mixing in with the wind is troublesome, but thanks to this wind, the air is dry in summer, so I managed to get by without the help of an air conditioner this summer.

Of course, I got a lot more suntanned compared to summer in Japan (partly because I also tend to forget sunscreen) as the sunshine is so intense, but that couldn’t be helped. Please make sure you bring sunscreen when you come to Paracas.

Next time I’d like to tell you a bit about Paracas Museum, where I work. So, here’s where I say “Adios!” This has been Shoko Yamamoto in Paracas, Peru.


  • Shoko Yamamoto
  • JobJICA Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers

Lives and works in Paracas, Ica, Peru. I am currently organising and managing events at the Julio Cesar Tagus Paracas Museum. I have been painting on the theme 'What is a human being?' Solo exhibition to be held in Peru from July to September 2025!
I would like to bring you OMOSIROI in Peru so that you can come and visit me.

View a list of Shoko Yamamoto's