La Playa Roja, Paracas National Reserve, Paracas, Peru

   The Paracas National Reserve is located along the Pacific coast in southern Peru, about 150 miles south of Lima. The reserve was established in 1975 to protect both the marine biodiversity and the arid sub-tropical coastal desert on land. The Paracas peninsula is situated where the cold Humboldt Current, rich with plankton and nutrients sweeps up from the ocean floor and meets the warmer tropical currents off-coast. This provides feeding grounds for local wildlife as well as migratory species seeking refuge on their annual trips.


  The sand includes pink grandodiorite that has eroded from the nearby cliffs. The sand also includes white shell fragments and a green sea urchin spine (near center). All the grains are well rounded and polished, an indication of intense wave action along the shoreline.

Bourrichon - fr:Bourrichon CC BY-SA 3.0 

Mark Herrmann photo