Paracas is a small, quiet fishing village, surrounded by elegant mansions. It is the starting point for excursions by small boat to the Ballestas Islands, the place where visitors can observe the Humboldt penguins, seals, and a variety of birds. The National Reserve of Paracas is the only marine reserve in Peru and covers an area of 335,000 hectares. The reserve offers beautiful landscapes and awe-inspiring ecological diversity. The sea that surrounds Paracas is home to multiple water currents that are supportive for plankton as well as a variety of fish and both migratory and non-migratory birds native to the region.