The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Hiking the Desert Coast
||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
Travel advisory: Marine mammal voyeurs should choose trips in February or March, the mating season for the fur seals that congregate near Morro Quemaeo.
- 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.