Traveling without destination to the Ballestas Islands, Peru. Flag of Peru.




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Ballestas Islands
Traveling without destination

The Ballestas Islands are islands in the Pacific Ocean, close to the South America continental coast of Peru. They are south of Lima, nearby the city of Pisco and the Paracas peninsula.

In Paracas, small motor boats take the tourists to the islands. It is not allowed to land on the Ballestas Islands, a measure taken to protect the natural environment of the islands. But boats can come close enough for tourists to see much of the wild life and natural rock formations.

Natural arches and tunnels in the Ballestas Islands created by the action of the waves.
Natural arches and tunnels in the Ballestas Islands

We stayed overnight at one of the hotels in Paracas. We were told there are more hotels in Pisco.

The boat that took us to the islands was of a good size, allowing about twenty passengers, and totally open on the top. We must say that we were pleased with the care of the crew and their concern at all times with the safety of the passengers.

Boats taking tourists to the Ballestas Islands. These boats are from Paracas.
Boats taking tourists to the Ballestas Islands

We did not see any form of vegetation growing on the islands. Instead there were mountains of solid rock coming out of the ocean's depth. Impressive natural arches and tunnels; all beautiful works of art created by Nature itself. Some of the islands appeared to have sandy beaches, but since we did not land, we are not sure.

Ballestas Islands have an abundant wild life.
Ballestas Islands have an abundant wild life

On the way to the islands we went by other islands. In one of these other islands there was an image; lines which are called the “Chandelier”. To us it looked more like Neptune's Fork. Apparently a similar art to those of the Nazca Lines. Although we were told that like the Nazca Lines, nobody knows who made these images. Maybe they are related, and then again, maybe not. Unlike the Nazca Lines, the Chandelier can be seen from land, or rather, from water.

Some of the birds in the Ballestas Islands.
Some of the birds in the Ballestas Islands

The rock formations justify the boat ride. Well, it is a little more than a boat ride, for as the boat makes its way through the waves, water splash into the boat and onto the passengers. If it is not too cold, is not bad at all. But it is the wild life that is the real attraction in the Ballestas Islands. Sea lions, penguins, and a great number of sea birds breed on these islands.

Tourist boat on the Ballestas Islands.
Tourist boat on the Ballestas Islands

Turns out that the Ballestas Islands are one of the groups of islands on the Pacific where the sea birds make their colonies. In some places these colonies were once counted in the hundred of thousands of birds. In the last century their numbers have diminished considerably. Still, what we saw in these islands was impressive.

A resident of the Ballestas Islands.
A resident of the Ballestas Islands

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Last revision: January 1, 2007
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