My first month in Peru – Paracas, part I. 4 letters , one word:
First of all some GREAT kitesurfing here! My first month, weeks can be ultra-short summarized, into a repeating 4 letters, ONE WORD: kite – kite –kite & kite. Some days with 7m big air wind, some days with 9m (most of them), some 12 m freestyle days and some foiling days with the 11m or 8m (the 18m is not used in the necessary conditions, yet) :).
Second, some great company at the beach by PeruKite – Paracas from Casey & Scott (and off course Memo who is always there on the beach ready – to help launch , land your kite or anything else). They are THE REASON I discovered this spot and made the decision to go here. With a main purpose to kite (more specific: hydrofoiling) and that’s why this article will be more kite related, just in case you’re wondering why the word kite is named that much, a matter of personal priorities! So let`s walk you through kitesurfing in Peru – Paracas and start off with the most important….
Paracas – bay is situated in the end of the nature reserve in the corner (or beginning depends on which way you see it). You will see the flamingos chilling at the end of the spot, the starting point of the nature reserve. Today and at the moment of writing this article I actually saw, while kiting, a turtle popping up a few times :).
There is a wide sandy beach and a sandy/seaweed bottom, nothing to be afraid for, nice and soft. Every afternoon on different times, the wind will be present (at least 100 % in the month I have been here). Some days stronger and earlier, some days later and more weak. Everyday another surprise. The wind will blow from the sand dunes (nature reserve) and is cross shore/slightly offshore (sometimes a bit undecided which of the two directions). That’s no problem and also nothing to be afraid for, because it’s a big bay and if you screw up you will float to the beaches (small) in front of the big houses/hotels and you can always walk back or kite back upwind again. Besides that option the other option is to get rescued with the boat, depending on if you make any contact with the kiteschools or not. I recommend to do so , because they are all really nice, can watch you and will help you on and off the beach. Everybody is super friendly and can explain you the rules of the spot or better the places to be or not to be. The third option is to float more into the open sea, happens if you are really far out. So just don’t. The bay is flat water and shallow a few meters and gets deeper in the middle. It will be more choppy to the middle, but if you search well there are even some small kickers for the left footers. Perfect for beginners until professional. You can kite the whole bay, except for upwind the flamingo chill spot, respect their privacy a little. Kite downwind of the fence and don’t go in the shallow area with the birds.
That’s just one story about Paracas Bay, around the corner there is some more to discover for the adventures kiters. Paracas Bay has some secret nice hidden places. Go on adventure and find these yourself. Be aware of the rules and not kiting all the way upwind (in the nature reserve) and take note of riding with offshore winds. So on light wind days it might be better to stay a bit close to the shore, in case of swimming back.
On the hydrofoil it’s great because within seconds you’re everywhere and you can cross the whole bay without any stones or getting stuck in seaweeds. Just a few jellyfishes waving at you. Some seals, a lot of birds and maybe a lost windsurfer on your way but for the rest its perfect. Also because the wind is offshore the water is nice and flat, even in stronger winds. But the light wind days are magical on a hydrofoil –super flat, the water is more clear and no-one out there!!
Oow and for the ones who are wondering, you can kite in a shorty, or in boardshorts/bikini, if you just want to kite an hour or so. But if you want to kite longer or more close to sunset (or with stronger winds) I recommend a full wetsuit. The water on the edges of the bay can be nice and warm but further out the water is definitely more cold. And remember there can be some jellyfishes around in the deeper area, so a wetsuit or leggings can be more convenient. When there are clouds it`s also more colder than when the sun is out – season depending.
Before we head over to some other important things you should know when coming to Paracas for kiting, I really have to introduce you: PeruKite Paracas. This school is one of the schools at the beach of Paracas bay. Nearly 7 days in a row present on the kitespot. Owned by a true kite couple, two awesome people, Casey & Scott. Forming a team with Memo, born and raised in Paracas, he can tell you all the ins and outs of this place. And, is always ready on the beach launching your kite, landing and helping you out with everything else needed – always and always with a smile! That makes PeruKite a blended Peruvian /British kiteboarding school. So you don`t need to speak Spanish or learn kiteboarding trough Google translate. PeruKite did already exist since 2004 and is reopened a few months ago by Scott & Casey (season of 2018). It’s the white trailer on the beach in the far end corner, the last one of the 4/5 kiteboarding schools present on this spot. With the nicest sign of them all, I promise 🙂
Don’t hesitate to walk in and have a look in the tent or trailer, play volleyball or ask them about the kitesurfing, hydrofoiling or about other things than kiting, live in and around Paracas. With experience in teaching and kiteboarding all over the world and now located at the edge of the kitespot and on the edge of the Nature reserve in Paracas they have definitely something to tell. The reason that I name PeruKite is because, they are the reason I found this spot. Never thought I would be kiting on flat water in Peru. We had kind off a facebook – instagram – relationship, known the same people, did the same trips with the same people, but never actually met each other. Without that I believed them that this was a great kitespot, and it really is – no regrets 😉 .
The team of Perukite is always ready to help you out reaching your next goal in kitesurfing, if its learning from the very beginning, renting equipment or learning a raily. It doesn’t matter, get to know them and become part of the family. If you hurry up – I will still be here and ready to teach you some kitesurfing, if you’re lucky! Or check out the website for more information : www.perukite.com.
Kite- trips to the nature reserve? – A must DO!
Besides the Paracas Bay spot, there are also options for kite –trips into the Nature Reserve… Well yes kiting in the nature reserve. Sounds a bit strange if you are from Europe, but it’s actually really nice. A 45 minutes car ride into the reserve, to the big lagoon – Laguna Grande*. You don’t specifically need a 4 wheel drive to get their but as it is not along a nice road and kind of in the middle of the dessert it can be easy. The wind tends to be earlier and better on “no wind” or better known as late-light wind days in the Paracas bay. The scenery is super nice, all dunes around and a few fisherman. That’s also a point to think about as there is no cellphone connection if you already bought a local sim-card…otherwise there is no difference (you’re not reachable anyway). So might be a good idea not to go here on your complete own – if you don’t want to stay at the fisherman’s village.
The lake is sandy bottom with some sharp shells, stones around (mainly on the edges) and maybe some stingrays, just that you know. I haven`t touched (or have seen) one while doing a lot of freestyle, crashes and bottom touching the last three times I have been there. But you never know, walk carefully in and out the water or bring shoes. Depending on the tide it can be really flat and shallow on the sides and in the middle a bit more deep. The wind is cross-shore if you start from the sides and it’s a big lagoon so no drifting into open sea. On some parts of the lagoon the wind will be a bit stronger, that’s something to figure out yourself. Don’t forget to enjoy the amazing scenery and visit the fisherman upwind in the lagoon, they will be happy to wave at you.
Than you have another nice spot we discovered in the nature reserve, the closest spot. With some waves coming in on your left food (depending on the tide, swell forecast). Take note that the wind is slightly offshore. But perfect for boosting of the waves! This spots did remind me how I miss the waves if I just kite on flat water. The name of this spot is Playon Beach.
The good thing is there is many, many more to discover!! You will never get bored, wind or no wind, the scenery is amazing 🙂
*Perukite can help you organize this trip or they might go there with the kite school and possibly you can join.
*Read the blog from PeruKite about more interesting kite-spots around.
Might be the most important after all. 35 knots session while Windguru looks like this…
18 knots in the gusts.
a sandstorm instead of snowstorm it’s all possible here in Paracas.
Every morning the wind will be north, that’s onshore at the kitespot. But this wind is up and down, not reliable and can drop every second or not. Sometimes it’s a guarantee for a nice show of foilkites dropping and launching, people trying to.. or…. Better wait. In the afternoon the wind is turning to south, that’s the direction you need at this spot. Way more reliable and stable. From this moment the wind is building, one hour/ half an hour and then it will be a bit stable- (direction wise and wind strength wise), than you know which kite to pump (mostly). Usually it will be on his strongest at 15:00 / 16:00 in the afternoon, from 17:00 it will go down a bit, just a bit as I noticed. You can kite until sunset and later, most days. Depending on the “forecast” it can be starting at 11:00 but also at 13:00 or 16:00.. you can add 4 knots on windguru statistics – they say. If the wind is predicted light (or there are clouds in the morning) the wind will start a bit later – 16:00. But if the forecast is predicting 17/18 knots in de gusts, than go to the beach, a big change you can kite at 11or 12 o`clock already. There will be some strong days but also some lighter days, from 12m tube kite until 7m. A small note: always take a look at the sky, clouds mean usually later wind or lighter wind. As soon as the sun comes out the wind will turn and be there.
Use for the turning wind use this link and for the forecast this link (in case youre desperate to look it up). That’s what I noticed this weeks, sure I haven`t figured out all the details yet. But hey in the first month, no day without wind, no day without kiting! J (and minimum waiting on the beach). Usually if it turns it will build up so you will have a warning sign to get yourself out there and ready for some action on the water!!
Getting there: Paracas – kitebeach
A taxi, a collectivo (mini-van with the locals), rent a bike (or something else you would like to ride), or just take the walk. Let`s start with: The walk back in the afternoon is really nice, you get to enjoy never ending sunsets, these are on the ride sight to see every day again and again and… again. The walk is easy, straight and just follow the water (or walk on the road, beach is nicer). You have to pass a hotel but it’s a matter of friendly greetings and just pass J the walk will take about 40 minutes the first time but once you figured out the shortest way its 30-35 minutes by flipflop. Running is around 12 minutes (it will be around 3 -4 km).
On the other hand a taxi will be 7 soles and a collectivo 1 sole……..they drop you at the Hilton Hotel just a few meters walk from the kitespot. Or even if you ask they bring you all the way to the kitespot. The way back you can find a “beeping” taxi everywhere, if not you’re doing something wrong or good…. (they even beep to the garbage people so…..) . The collectivos will ride until 17:30 (something like that). The staff at the Hilton Hotel will take them back to town after work so you can easily squeeze in. It can`t go wrong, they always turn around at the Hilton (kitebeach) and always go through Paracas town (stopping at the square, but also along the road) to Pisco (next town). Taking your kitegear is no problem at all. If you don’t want to take it ask for storage on the beach at one of the kite schools. Perukite rents also equipment if you didn’t bring your own or the wrong size.
Another option is: taking your longboard for a ride to the beach. The roads to the beach are new and really nice to ride. Leave just before the wind turns and ride back with the wind coming from behind :).
Concluding that Paracas is not letting me down, my first month in Peru is great 🙂 With lots of kiting , hydrofoiling, big air, freestyle and other fun. Meeting new people, making new friends, seeing new surroundings and kiting in some huge sand dunes in the middle of the dessert – Not leaving this place yet! Maybe I will figure the wind out before I leave .
- Choose the right season if you’re coming for kiting – Check the Paracas Page of Perukite.
- Learn to fly a kite and if you don`t, you should – Check this link for more information about lessons in Paracas.
- Bring small but also the big kites if you want to cover it all.
- Start hydrofoiling and get to this awesome place – or learn it here.
- Don’t believe Windguru – use it as a guideline.
- It is not strange to get a number of a local – taxi driver
AND .. Stay tuned for part II of my first month in Paracas, Peru – more than kiting.
Hydrofoiling Paracas Bay :