At the end of a short dusty ride through fields of corn, off of the Variante Pasamayo, the van drives onto the large beautiful beach called Playa Chakra y Mar. Small beach restaurants that serve drinks and fresh seafood line the sandy area almost as far as the eye can see. Groups of men and women in a wide age range play beach volleyball in several areas set aside for the sport. Others lay on blankets, beseeching the Sun God to bask them in his warming rays. Two young girls frolic in the breaking surf, squealing as the foamy water envelopes them. To the south a rocky jetty sticks out into the ocean, I can hear the roar of the waves as they crash onto the large granite boulders. To the north, the beach runs to the horizon, flat, made for sunbathing and enjoying a dive into the brisk waters of the Pacific.
When my tour group exited the van, most of my companions headed directly to the beach. We only had a couple of hours to enjoy this time in the sun. I, on the other hand, did not come to cavort at ocean’s edge. I am here to visit what sits at the edge of this sandy paradise.
The Eco-Truly Park, a small Hare Krishna retreat, sits in the midst of fields of green dotted with large trees. On a trip to another place in northern Peru, I had noticed the colorful beehive shaped buildings as we drove by. Naturally, my curiosity was peaked. This enclave of peace and tranquility is open to all visitors and even accepts guests or volunteers who wish to stay and try to return to a state of inner peace. A charge of 8 Soles (about $3.00) allows you to tour the compound with or without a guide. A link is provided at the end of this article if you want to explore the opportunities that this mystical oasis offers.
The unusually shaped buildings make up a complex of temples, meditation centers and living quarters. Colorful symbols and designs are painted onto the structures giving them an other worldly appearance. I wandered through the tangle of buildings and grassy areas, my camera almost constantly at my eye. Every direction I looked provided opportunities for an incredible shot. Photo enthusiasts who visit Peru should make this spot a must on their tour of Peru.
On my photographic safari, I came across a play area for children, an outdoor theater, a studio for artists to work in, a museum displaying eastern art, an unusual dragon structure, an old windmill and much more. I was forced to take my time while I journeyed along the paths, afraid that I would miss some visual delight.
At the end of my visit I had a short conversation with Bhuvanath Das, one of the staff in the park. A quiet self-assured pleasant young man, he handed me some literature and gave me a quick rundown of the activities they offer to guests and volunteers. Yoga, art, Vedic philosophy, organic farming and cooking were a few that I recorded. He also wanted me to mention that they are part of the Vrinda Foundation. A quick Google search will provide you with plenty of information on this sect of Hinduism. If you decide to volunteer at the center, they would like you to commit to four hours of work each day. Maintenance, cleaning, transportation, construction and gardening are areas where they need help.
The web site for the park is:
It is built in both Spanish and English. I enjoyed the short amount of time I spent in the park so much that I would like to return and spend the day there. Maybe enjoy a session in yoga, some anti-stress therapy and have enough time to enjoy an organic meal in their restaurant.