10:56 | Paracas (Ica region), Dec. 26.
The Paracas beach area is projected to attract some 50,000 visitors —mostly from the Peruvian capital Lima— for New Year's Eve celebrations.
Most visitors prefer to go camping beside the beach to ring in the New Year.
According to Paracas' Tourism and Foreign Trade Chamber (Capatur) Chairman Eduardo Jauregui, this figure is similar to the numbers last year, and the city is expected to reap some US$4 million in revenue.
"Accommodation at small, medium-sized, and large hotels is practically fully booked. Also, various establishments got full 15 days ago and their traditional New Year's Eve parties have sold out," Jauregui revealed.
The business leader explained that 10,000 out of 50,000 visitors to Paracas
will opt for beach camping, and La Mina Beach is likely to be full of holidaymakers in this sense.
Paracas Natural Reserve
Paracas Natural Reserve, located in Pisco province (Ica region), is one of the most popular destinations among Lima residents, and there are good reasons for that.
The place features beautiful landscapes, as well as a wide range of plant and animal species that reflect Peru's rich coastal-marine ecosystem.
The Reserve extends over an area of 335,000 ha and was established as a natural protected area on September 25, 1975.
Its value lies in protecting the great nation's biodiversity —necessary to maintain various biological cycles that guarantee the preservation of species— and in generating economic benefits for thousands of inhabitants.
The site occupies a privileged zone on the Peruvian coast and provides opportunities for nature tourism, as it houses a significant biological diversity, mainly in coastal and marine environments.
Likewise, Paracas is home to about 216 species of birds, 36 of mammals, 10 of reptiles, 168 of fish, and a number of invertebrates that are an essential part of the food chain in the area.
In addition to unique birds like the Humboldt penguin and the Andean condor —that occasionally descends to the coast in search of rich pickings— visitors can watch large populations of sea wolves and otters.
Other fascinating specimens seen in the surroundings include the humpback whale, the common bottlenose dolphin, and the dusky dolphin.
The vegetation is scarce, but a few coastal hills can be seen at the highest elevations, providing habitat for reptiles, insects, birds, and some mammals.