Pisco, Lima - Stein Travel

    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months

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Welcome to Pisco

Pisco is a small port and fishing village, best known for its fiery white grape brandy of the same name. It also boasts the origins of one of the major ancient civilisations in Peru, the Paracas culture, who left an astounding collection of antiquities that are displayed in the museums of Lima. The area is primarily visited as a base to see the wildlife of the nearby Paracas National Reserve, home to an incredible variety and huge concentration of marine animals and birds. Locals proudly proclaim it to be the 'Peruvian Galapagos', and the main focus of a visit to the reserve is a boat tour of the Ballestas Islands. The islands are off limits to people but the boat tours afford spectacular close up views of the wildlife. The rocks are alive with thousands of migratory and resident sea birds, including pelicans, flamingos, penguins, cormorants, red boobies and terns. Huge colonies of barking sea lions line the shores, and turtles, dolphins and sometimes whales are seen in the surrounding waters. En route to the islands boats pass the famous Candelabra, a gigantic trident-shaped drawing etched into the sandstone cliffs overlooking the bay, and like the drawings at Nazca, its origins remain a mystery.

Pisco is 150 miles (95km) south of Lima
Spanish and Quechua are the official languages, but many other dialects are spoken. English is spoken only in major tourist centres and hotels.

The official currency is Nuevo Sol (PEN) divided into 100 céntimos. Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but all major international credit cards, including Diners Club and MasterCard, are accepted in many, but not all, establishments. Outside Lima facilities may be more limited. Travellers cheques may also be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages, and travellers are advised to have cash on hand. US Dollars are the easiest currency to exchange and plenty of restaurants, hotels and shops in the main cities accept dollars for payment. Casas de cambio(exchange bureaux) often give better rates than hotels and banks and can be found in any town on the tourist circuit. ATMs are available in the main cities.

Local time is GMT -5.

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