NATIONAL PARKS TOURS PERU

ALL CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS COMBINED WITH FABULOUS NATURE

 

BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS TOUR FROM LIMA

BALLESTAS ISLANDS TOUR FROM LIMA: 1 hour around the islands too fast to enjoy birds and Want to stay longer? JOIN US!

Ballestas Islands Tour from Lima

The Galapagos Islands of Peru, these islands are called and with good reason. Just like on the Galapagos Islands, the birds and Sea Lions on the Ballestas Islands are fearless of people, but there are a few major differences:

  • You can enjoy a tour to the Ballestas Islands from Lima in a few hours, as opposed for Galapagos where you need a minimum of 3 days;

  • A trip to the Galapagos Islands will easily cost you $1,500 all in, while seeing the Ballestas islands will cost you less than $100, depending on the service;

  • But most importantly, on the Ballestas Islands you will see many more birds than on all of the Galapagos Islands combined. In fact, with the colonies of some of the birds being larger than 150,000 nests, the Ballestas Islands have some of the largest marine bird colonies in the entire world! This is a spectacle you don't want to miss!

 

Why consider booking our  Peru National Parks Tour? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL places Peru is so famous for. On top of that, you get to see 9 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a naturalist guide. There is nothing similar on the market. As Peru can be combined with other countries, we organize tours in modules: Lima Cusco, Machu Picchu module, Manu National Park module, National Parks Module, All modules.

Destinations Overview:  World Heritage Site Lima,  World Heritage Site Cusco, Amazon park Manu National Park World Heritage Site Valle Sagrado/Sacred Valley, World Heritage Site Machu Picchu, Cloud Forest Machu Picchu Sanctuary, Highland wetland Titicaca National Reserve, Uros floating islands, Altiplano wildlife park Salinas & Aguadas Blancas National Reserve, World's second deepest canyon Colca Canyon, Word heritage site Arequipa, World heritage site Nazca Lines, Pampas Galeras National Reserve, San Fernando National Reserve, Paracas National Reserve, Ballestas Islands National Reserve.

 

Ballestas Islands National Reserve

Now having made the comparison, we don't want to suggest that you would do better going to the Ballestas Islands in stead. On the contrary, Galapagos is fantastic and if you can effort it, we suggest you do both!

 

The islands were originally known for producing the agricultural fertilizer "guano", bird manure. When exploitation started, the islands were covered by layers of 20 - 70m of bird droppings. While those layers have disappeared long ago, people still collect guano, but in much lower quantities.

 

Now the 12 hectares of bare rocks rising steeply out of the sea at a distance of about 10km from the coast, are far better known for their immense breeding colonies of marine birds. Well protected as a national reserve, more than 250 bird species are known to frequent the islands as well as 5,000+ South American Seals, Fur Seals and several species of migrating whales. The Sea Lions often approach the boats and show off to visitors as they dart through the water fearlessly. In March the the Seals have their babies. 

 

Among the more conspicuous species of marine birds we mention: Humboldt Penguins, Inca Terns, Blue Footed and Nasca Boobies, Neotropic, Red Legged and Guanay Cormorants (or Guano birds), Frigate Birds, Peru Pelicans, etc.

 

On the way to the islands, the boats pass by the "El Candelabro", an enormous archaeological geoglyph set out on one of the slopes of Paracas National Park.

 
BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS TOUR FROM LIMA: Chaco tourist pier from where most visitors depart. BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS TOUR FROM LIMA: Boats take visitors from Paracas harbor to the Ballestas islands.

The Chaco tourist pier from where most visitors to the Ballestas Islands depart.

Boats take visitors from Paracas harbor to the Ballestas islands, where birds and Sea Lions can be observed from mere meters from the rocks, without disturbing them.

 

BALLESTAS ISLANDS LIMA tour: Candelabra monument.

On the way to the islands, the boats pass by the archeological "El Candelabra" petroglyph, which can be best observed from the sea.

BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: South American Sea Lions, Otaria Flavescens sunbathing. BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: South American Sea Lions, Otaria Flavescens, colony.

 

South American Sea Lions, Otaria Flavescens, sunbath with hundreds on the rocks, where they crawl or lay on top of each other and always ready to pick a fight.

 

BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: Guano birds, or  Guanay Cormorants. BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: the islands still produce guano, which is loaded on board of the ships.

The Guano birds, or  Guanay Cormorants are the most common birds on the islands, and thus producing the majority of guano.

 

While no longer as important as in the past, the islands still produce guano, which is loaded on board of the ships from high bridge-like piers.

 

BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: a flock of Humboldt Pinguins. BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: Humboldt Pinguins diving into the sea.
BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: Humboldt Pinguins sunbathing.

No doubt the Humboldt Pinguins are the cutest birds to watch, as they waddle awkwardly across the rocks until they dive into the sea where they become some of the most agile birds on earth!

BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: Inca Terns are the most beautiful birds on the islands. BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: Inca Terns with beautiful while eyelashes.

 

The Inca Terns are the most beautiful birds on the islands, as the show off their artistic white "eyelashes" on their beautiful faces.

 

BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: Neotropic and Red-legged Cormorants drying their feathers. BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: roosting birds.

Neotropic and Red-legged Cormorants drying their feathers after a fishing spree.

Different species of roosting birds seem to mingle peacefully without fierce competition for space on the steep cliffs of the islands. 

 

BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: Blue footed boobies. BALLESTAS ISLANDS PARACAS: Blue footed boobies on nest.

Blue footed boobies find small ridges for their nests on the steep cliffs of the Ballestas Islands tour from Lima.

   

What makes us different from so many other tour operators?

Just look at the quality of our high resolution pictures. We took them all ourselves. We have thousands of high resolution pictures on this website, that you can see enlarged by clicking on them. These pictures show that we have been everywhere in the country of your interest and really know the details. We are professional explorers and biologists with MSc and PhD.

 

National Parks Tours Worldwide, a social responsibility and conservation company, is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA.

 

Latin America Desk in Quito, Ecuador inside:

Hotel Balmoral, Address: Calle Moreno Bellido E6-57 & Avenida Amazonas, Quito

Telephone: (++593)(02) 2 50 5310, Cell phone: (++593) (0) 96 29 35 271

Email Latin America Desk in Quito, Ecuador:

[email protected] 

Skype: ecotravelworldwide

Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil is author of this website. He dedicated his life to the conservation of nature. https://www.facebook.com/DrDaanVreugdenhil, https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdaanvreugdenhil/. He was part of the team that selected the first 39 protected areas of Ecuador, including. Yasuní and Cuyabeno, the latter of which he he later recommended to be expanded from originally 150,000ha to 600,000ha, together with then Cuyabeno director Prof. Dr. Flavio Coello and Parks and Tribes partner. Daan is also the founding father of the Cuyabeno Lodge and co-manager of the Cofan Lodge.