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Included Activity - Ballestas Islands, Paracas
The Paracas peninsula, located 235km south of Lima, is the most important coastal formation in Peru. The abundance of marine fauna - birds, fish and sea mammals - found in the reserve attracts visitors and ecologists who are amazed by the profusion of sea life. The sea of Paracas is considered the lungs of the Pacific Ocean because of the pureness and oxygenation created in its waters. The crown jewels of the Paracas Reserve are the Islas Ballestas, a critical hub for rare and endangered species including sea lions, two endangered turtles, and more than 110 migratory and resident sea birds.
The Ballestas Islands are often described as Peru's answer to the Galapagos Islands and although they don't quite match the splendour of their northern cousins, they are quite spectacular in their own right. The islands have been eroded to form countless natural caves and arches. In fact, this is where the islands' name comes from - the word Ballesta means 'bow' (as in archery). There are colonies of thousands of seabirds such as pelicans and penguins, and you will also see hundreds of sea lions and often schools of dolphins.
Although the islands fall just outside the Paracas National Reserve they are protected by separate legislation. The islands are home to over 150 species of marine bird including the Humboldt penguin, cormorants, boobies and pelicans. Even condors have been known to visit. On the shores you will see large numbers of sea-lions and in the surrounding seas it is possible to encounter dolphins and even whales.
Your tour to the Ballestas Islands will run for around 1 hour 45 minutes. First you will see the Candelabro, and then visit the Ballestas Islands. No need for walking boots as you don´t leave the boat during the tour. Life jackets will be provided. It?s recommended to bring a spray jacket (the birds have very good aim!), sun protection, water, binoculars if you have them, and your camera (remember to keep it dry during the journey, maybe bring a plastic bag along).
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