Inti Mar: the secret corner of Paracas

Star Peru will fly to Pisco from April 1 st . Before then, we want to share with you this new destinationā€™s Number One secret. It is an incredible place to be alone with nature, with a small beach, a lodge and a restaurant serving fresh shellfish.

For several years, Luis has held the concession next to Athenas beach where his scallops farm is located. It is situated in the buffer zone of the Paracas National Reserve, where there is a sandy beach, bordered by cliffs on the other side. An island around 30 meters away serves as a refuge for colonies of seabirds.

Next to his fishermenā€™s cabins, Luis opted to build some simple but very comfortable rooms, nestled by the cliff, to accommodate people who wanted to enjoy the beautiful view and peaceful location. He built just 5 rooms, to ensure that the place would not lose its charm. He didnā€™t build anything too glamorous, and the structures maintain the atmosphere of the surroundings. From the outside, the rooms look like ordinary cabins, but they are well-equipped inside with comfortable beds and all the services travelers expect. Each room has its own bathroom and hot water. They are currently finishing construction of a suite that will have the most spectacular panoramic view across the bay, set apart on a small promontory and fitted with full length windows. The restaurant serves a classic American breakfast and at night pizzas, homemade pasta or simpler dishes are available.

At Inti Mar, it is best to get up early because the sun and water are wonderful throughout the morning, and in the afternoon it can get windy. At sunrise you will see the island completely covered with birds, while flamingos occupy the nearby beach. You can also enjoy the sandy beach from deckchairs, relaxing under parasols, or opt to go snorkeling and explore the islandā€™s shores in search of sea life. The lodge can lend you a mask, snorkel and flippers, but remember the water is pretty cold. Another option is to rent a kayak and paddle around the bay. It is also possible to walk in the desert as far as other quiet beaches such as Pirata beach, or take a private tour to the Ballestas Islands by catamaran.

The scallop farm is fascinating. They use a deepwater farming technique which is more environmentally friendly than other methods. The fishermen start work early, and youā€™re sure to see the divers who work on the seabed. They are taking care of the scallops, which take around one year to mature. They have 25,000 groups of scallops, representing a production of 2.5 million a year. Some of these shellfish and other species are served at a small family-run restaurant, and diners can choose to eat in the open air under parasols.

Mrs. Keta, who is in charge of the kitchen, is an excellent cook. Her scallops with parmesan cheese are delicious, the clams with lemon are very fresh, and the spicy crab dish with prawns is everything you would expect. The restaurant is open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday. They have a complete menu of fish and shellfish dishes. Starters cost S/ 20 Peruvian soles and main dishes cost S/ 35 soles. There are few options for eating within the Paracas Reserve. Most of the beach restaurants are very simple. But here the standard is much higher. Anyone is welcome to turn up for lunch and enjoy the private beach for a while. Weā€™ve shared the secret with you, now enjoy!

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