Peru, traveling to the Islas Ballestas: among marine fauna and wonders of nature

Called the "low-cost Galapagos", they are a true animal sanctuary: a journey to the remote Islas Ballestas, in Peru
Peru, traveling to the Islas Ballestas: among marine fauna and wonders of nature
Source: iStock
An angle of the Ballestas Islands

If among the many desires you cherish there is by chance that of admiring animals in freedom in naturalistic contexts who take away fate, we have good news for you. There is, in fact, a way to make this precious dream that you keep in your drawer real: travel to the Islas Ballestas.



Where are the Islas Ballestas located

The enchanting Islas Ballestas are a group of small strips of land that emerge off the coast of city ​​of Pisco, along the southern coast of Peru. Although minute, they are today an important sanctuary for marine fauna, but also a place where animals have chosen to take refuge and live in tranquility.

No breathtaking beaches and never spotted a palm tree to protect yourself from the sun: this is simply a place to observe mammals - and not only - in their natural environment, without bars and human intervention. Jokingly call the “Galapagos low cost“, they offer an experience worth living, one that absolutely needs to be ticked off your bucket list, as long as you like animals.



How to visit them

It is not possible to stay on Islas Ballestas. The only way to explore them is to use the boats offered by the agencies that organize this type of excursion and which are located near Paracas. It takes approximately half an hour to reach these incredible rock formations, while the entire tour lasts about a couple of hours.

A hat and windbreaker are essential. The first to protect yourself from guano, while the second because it is always convenient when talking about boat trips, also because the motorboats are all small and open. No, you will not have the opportunity to venture onto the islands on foot, but you will still have the opportunity to see up close many different animals, some of which cannot be found in our country.

What to expect

By taking part in an organized tour that takes you to the Islas Ballestas, you will be catapulted into a real close encounter with animals of all kinds. Creatures that cannot be held back in any way by man. We are talking about sea lions, giant crustaceans and birds of all species.


And then tens of thousands of pelicans and, if particularly lucky, even cetaceans such as whales and dolphins. A true spectacle of nature which, through its living beings, seems to want to speak to us and ask for respect.

And then, even if it seems ugly to say it, layers and layers of guano (therefore poop) which for Peru is an exceptional resource as it has a fertilizing power 30 times greater than cow dung. Suffice it to say that the guardians of the islands also have the task of scraping and collecting it, at least for 6 consecutive months.

And during the outward journey a mysterious wonder: the Candle holder, that is, a gigantic Peruvian geoglyph representing a 3-armed figure, more than 150 meters high and 50 meters wide. If you are wondering where, the answer is very simple: it is carved in the sand on the coast, on the walls of an imposing hill .


For many, in fact, it seems to have a connection with the much more famous Nazca Lines, but the truth is that at the moment there is no certain information.

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