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Where to run in the world  > America  > South America  > Peru  > Paracas


A few kilometers from the town of Paracas there is the Reserva Nacional, a natural peninsula on the Pacific Ocean, that since September 1975 protects the local flora and fauna. There is a nominal fee to enter this national Peruvian park. The environment is mainly desertic and, if you like to run in the open spaces like me, there is one relatively short asphalted road (approximately 8 kilometers) that goes from the entrance to the northeast point of Puerto San Martin, at the end of which a non interesting fish plant is located. It is a nice simple course with really breathtaking views. The Reserva Nacional offers though also the possibility of running off-road. There is a dirt "road" that runs along the south coast of the peninsula. By following this path in the desert, emotions and feelings will rise to new levels (it is sooo beautiful!), and after approximately 5 kilometers you will reach the tiny village of Lagunillas. There is nothing there but sand, a couple of small places to eat fresh fish, fishermen, the occasional seal, and numerous pelicans. The panorama and the color of the water alone is worth a visit. If you feel like running five more kilometers, along the same path, you will reach Punta Arquillo where the splendid rock formation called "La Catedral" can be seen from lookout point at the top of the cliff. Ultramarathoners, or those like me dreaming to participate to the "Marathon des Sables" in Morocco, can keep running along the coast of the peninsula to Punta Lechuza, Punta Lagarto, Playa Culebras (right in front of the Isla San Gallán), Playa Los Viejos, Playa Talpo, Punta Ripiol and eventually find Puerto San Martin and the asphalted road. A compass is strongly advised if you want to cross the peninsula desert from left to right. In your journey you might be able to spot sea lions, flamingoes, and the regal condor of the Andes. In any case make sure to bring plenty of water, because the course is completely out in the wild (and, again, it is in the desert!).

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