First of all, I need to correct the spelling of of the Islas de Ballestas for anyone who would like to look it up on the Internet. I spelled it wrong in the title.
The Paracas National Reserve is accessible only with a tour guide. We arranged for an English speaking guide but an older Peruvian gentleman met us at our hotel. We learned his wife had gone alone to mass the day of the earthquake and died when the roof fell during the three minutes of shaking. He talked easily of her and was a delightful guide for the morning. The following pictures show the vastness of the Reserve. The tour began at the visitors' center, more like a lonely outpost, with pictures of the animals and sea life to watch for. A display of damage done to the creatures by careless visitors throwing garbage about was sobering. Looking in every direction from outside the visitors' center, we wondered if anyone became lost because there were no visible landmarks to fix on, just brown dirt, rocks, and ocean, and the visitors' center, a small, plain building. We also wondered if we were going to walk the reserve and were relieved to learn we would see be riding to the points of interest and walking short distances.