Illescas, Zona Reservada, Peru

Illescas Nature Reserve is on the tip of the Illescas peninsula, which forms the southern boundary of Peru's largest bay, the Sechura Bay. The highest point of the peninsula is the 500m Cerro Illescas, which is surrounded by small hills and narrow and short valleys formed during rare rain events during El Niño  years. Elsewhere the reserve consists of relatively flat rocky terrain and sand dunes. Vegetation consists of sparse mesquite shrubs or none at all. 


The endemic Sechura desert fox is hardly ever seen, but along the coast, there are fantastic colonies of Pacific Sea Lions, fearless Blue-footed Boobies and Humboldt penguins. Perhaps the greatest jewel of all: Illescas, Zona Reservada, is also home to the greatest colony of Andean Condors in the world. They actually live of Sea Lions, that die in the colonies, particularly young ones.  This is in fact one of the greatest places to see this magnificent bird.


Ballestas Islands National Reserve: South American Sea Lions, Otaria Flavescens sunbathing.Ballestas Islands National Reserve: South American Sea Lions, Otaria Flavescens, colony.

San Fernando National Reserve: A South American Sea Lions, Otaria Flavescens, colony is dominated by a bull,

There are several large colonies of Pacific Sea Lions protected in the reserve.

Sea Lions are very approachable and fun animals to watch.


San Fernando National Reserve: Andes Condors as well as vultures use the outlook to look out for dead sea lions and fish that wash up on the shore.San Fernando National Reserve: We never garantee you seeing animals, but the likeliness of seeing a condor is quite high.

The greatest reward of all: seeing roosting Andean Condors.

The colony of Andean Condors will vary in size, but as many as about 40 birds have been counted to be present in the reserve.


Ballestas Islands National Reserve: a flock of Humboldt Pinguins.Ballestas Islands National Reserve: Humboldt Pinguins diving into the sea.

Humboldt Penguins launching themselves into the ocean.


San Fernando National Reserve: Humboldt Penguin chicks flock together right under the overlook of the park.

The Humboldt Penguins with their chicks.

A Humboldt Penguin coming ashore to feed its chick.


 THINGS TO DO IN ECUADOR: Blue-footes boobies with visitors in Machalila National Park.

Blue-footed Boobies breed in Illescas Nature Reserve.

Blue-footed boobies are rather fearless birds and quite approachable to just a few meters of distance.





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