El Candelabro, near Pisco, Peru © Aguakina
Pisco is a small port and fishing village, and is best known for its fiery white-grape brandy of the same name. One of Peru's major ancient civilisations, the Paracas, established their culture in the area. They left an astounding collection of antiquities, which travellers can see in Lima's museums. The area's main appeal is as a base from which to explore the nearby Paracas National Reserve, where visitors can view an incredible variety of birds and marine life. Boat tours of the Ballestas Islands are another of the area's drawcards. The islands are off limits to people, but the boat tours afford spectacular close up views of the wildlife. Visitors will see thousands of resident and migratory birds, including terns, penguins, cormorants, flamingos, pelicans and red boobies. Huge colonies of sea lions line the shores, and dolphins, turtles and whales populate the surrounding waters. Boats also pass the famous Candelabra on their way to the islands. The pre-historic drawing is etched into the sandstone cliffs overlooking the bay.
Address: Pisco is 150 miles (95km) south of Lima.