May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Hiking the Desert Coast
Outfitter Price Accommodations
Extreme Hikes
011-51-1-271-0093, www.extreme
$1,300 camping, tourist hotels

The Route: Hiking nine days and 110 miles among the seals, flamingos, and whale fossils that populate the Paracas nature Reserve's arid Pacific shore, with a prehike boat tour of the bird-filled San Gallan Islands and a posthike flyover of the mysterious 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines.

When to go: Year-round

Difficulty: Difficult

Travel advisory: Marine mammal voyeurs should choose trips in February or March, the mating season for the fur seals that congregate near Morro Quemaeo.

High/low points:

  • Gaping out the window of your Cessna 172 at the giant animal shapes and grids of the Nazca Lines, etched into the gypsum soil.
  • Slogging up the shifting sand of a thousand-foot dune only to find that your Gatorade-carrying ATV support vehicle can't make it there.

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