The second city I visited in Peru was called Paracas. It was one of my favorite places in Peru for several reasons. Paracas is a beach town, fronting the gorgeous South Pacific ocean. There are two main parts of town, essentially divided between vacationers and then the part where the locals go (like so many places in Peru).
We stayed in a little B&B called Zarcillo Paradise. It’s one of the cheaper places we stayed, but probably my favorite of them all. There are rooftop patios for every room, just climb the ladder next to your room and watch the ocean sunrise. Breakfast was very humble and traditional Peruvian cuisine. We ate delicate rolls with fresh butter. Also, they have the best coffee at this place. It’s so strong and thick and incredibly amazing. I tried to get WiFi on my phone, but no dice. For some reason the iPhone just couldn’t connect here.
This was also one of the few places we went out and partied at. The locals side of town is so fun. Soso fun. We got dinner on the beach at some small place (just west of the main plaza there is a row of cutesy little open restaurants. They cater to the tourists who stray from the resort side and offer two for one pisco sours. Try out their chocolate desserts here too. Que rico!
After dinner, we walked around town, bought some of the scariest cigarettes I’ve ever seen (straight up have a dead child and a warning saying you will die if you smoke them on the front of the pack) and were ushered into an almost empty dance bar at the south east corner of the plaza. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called, but it was the only place in town that was blasting American hip hop music out the open door. The bar had a screen that showed music videos and a dismal selection of tequila. What they lacked in tequila they made up for in charisma though. Our bartender got on the floor and shook her “badunka dunk” like only women of Spanish decent can. She got us all singing and gave us a free round of shots. She spoke so fast that even the most advanced Spanish speakers in our group struggled to understand what she was saying. She was wild and fun and we all went home that night sweaty and smiling.
Paracas felt to me like any Southern California beach town (like my favorite, Oceanside), but with that slight edge of poverty. There were children playing with marbles in the square, naked babies being carried by their mamas and every restaurant sent their children out to grab your hand or wave eagerly to rush you in to their establishment. It was homey and fun and a place I will forever love.
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