About 250 km south of Lima, lies the beautiful nature reserve with the Ballestas Islands, which are the home of thousands of birds, including Red Humbold Penguins, Guanay. Koromander and Peruvian Boobies, fighting for space for themselves and their nests.
Paracas and the Ballestas Islnads also contains one of the world’s largest colonies of sea lions, and the beaches are crowded with these sea lions around the ruling male sealion and often give visitors an unforgettable show and experience. With a little luck you may also see dolphins and sea otters in the area.
The Ballestas Islands have since the 19th century been exploited for its guano (bird droppings), which is considered as one of the world’s finest fertilizers and once the biggest export product from Peru. When the exploitation begun, guano was found down to the depth of 70 meters. The Guano was once seen as just as important as the gold of Peru.
You reach the Ballestas Islands by tourist boats from Paracas which depart daily between 08: 00 – 10: 30 am. On the boat trip out to the islands you can see the famous geoglyph “El Candelabro”, built of stones, and as well as with the Nazca lines it is speculated about how and why this has been constructed.
It is forbidden for tourists to land on the Islands and can therefore only be seen and experienced from the boat, but is probably still the most notable tourist destination along Peru’s long coastline from a view of eco-tourism.
Paracas offers good hotels and a long and very friendly beach invites to sun- and beach vacations, as well as walks in the picturesque fishing community.
Nearby you also find the cities of Ica and Pisco with activities including sandboarding, beach-buggies, visits to wineries and wine tasting. Flights to see the Nazca lines are departing also from Ica.