Travel with us to the Ballestas Islands off the desert coast of Paracas to marvel at the overflowing colonies of hundreds of diving Humboldt Penguins, lazing fur seals and playful sea lions, and a great variety of sea birds that make their home among the grey, red, and sand-colored rocky outcrops of the Ballestas, carved into elegant twisting tunnels, arches and caves by water and time.
Itinerary of Ballestas Islands
In the Port of Chaco, we’ll board the motorboat for the islands. It’s a 30-minute trip through the Pacific Ocean, accompanied by the fishermen’s boats which populate these waters. Along the way, we’ll be able to see the El Candalabro geoglyph on a hillside, believed by some to be a marker pointing to the Nazca Lines, and by others to be a beacon for mariners.
Soon the gray and red intricate arches, tunnels, and caves of the Ballestas Islands will come into view. These eroded formations gave the islands their name, which refers to archers’ bows. One can’t disembark on the islands so as not to disturb the penguins, sea lions, and seabirds such as the Peruvian boobies and comorants, but we will approach them closely enough to allow you to observe these boisterous colonies at close-range.
Thousands of marine birds nest among the islands and transit among them, including guanays, blue-footed boobies, cormorants, and flamingos. Depending on the season, the rare whale or dolphin might even come into sight.
After about an hour of watching the islands’ penguins dive and listening to the cacophonous barking of the fur seals and sea lions, we'll return to the Port of Chaco.