Icthus Paracas Backpackers is a friendly family run hostel for travellers on a budget who want to be right by the sea. It offers booking services for great tours to the Ballestas Islands and more, as well as impressively strong, free wifi and a calm vibe.
The hostel is located by everything you need (Paracas is a small place). It is less than a five minute walk to the beach, to the main bus stop, to the boat terminal, to many restaurants etc. It is slightly tucked away so is not the most obvious place to find by taxi at night, though this is not a big problem.
There are private rooms and dorms at Icthus across multiple floors. The dorms are quite cramped with bunks a bit too close together and upper bunks close to the ceiling. This problem is made much worse as rooms do not have lockers (small nor big) so backpacks are left on the floor leaving little room to walk around or organise your hinge. The beds themselves are comfortable, cosy, and clean, and the rooms are nicely cool at night. The bathrooms are few and far between, placed outside of bedrooms in communal areas, however water is hot and the bathrooms are clean and functioning. There is no soap to wash hands in the bathroom.
The main common area is the courtyard which is pretty and nicely decorated with flowers and plenty of outdoor seating, perfect for the sunny weather. It is very clean and well kept. Guests have full use of a kitchen which is tidy and pleasant, or alternatively can pay ten soles for a continental breakfast. The hostel is very quiet. There are not many people hanging around, most go out and do activities during the day time. Check out is at twelve which is convenient and there is a secure cupboard to store backpacks.
Icthus Paracas is a nice place to stay for a night to do the Ballestas, especially due to a near perfect location. The family/staff are really lovely and helpful, the buildings are well-built, and the rooms are clean and sufficient. The atmosphere and layout of rooms are not great however, and it is not an ideal place to stay long term. It is well worth the cheap price.