Ballestas Islands

Attractions & Activities In Paracas & Surrounding Islands


The Ballestas Islands are rocky islands crowded with wildlife. So much so, in fact, that they’re often called the “Poor Man’s Galapagos,” a name that references both the abundant wildlife and the affordable nature of excursions here.

Rookeries of sea lions and fur seals rest near the shore, and all kinds of birds, including pelicans, gulls, boobies and cormorants, throng the skies and guano-covered rock cliffs. For most visitors to the Ballestas Islands, there is one dapper creature that steals the show: the endangered Humboldt penguin.

These attractive black-and-white birds are a protected species, and can only be found in South America along the coastal regions of Peru and Chile. Climate change, acidification of the world’s oceans and overfishing have all been factors in their decline and the species now has threatened status. The sight of these cute-as-a-button birds waddling around the rocky ledges will be a highlight of any Peru family trip. On your way to the Ballestas islands, visitors will notice El Candelabro, a large-scale geoglyph. The mystery as to the origins of this particular geoglyph is ongoing with much speculation as it leaves traces from similar geoglyphs very similar to the the Nazca culture. The boat tour to the Ballestas Islands is, from an eco-tourism point of view, probably tone of the better known services along Peru`s Pacific coast.

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