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The Ballestas Islands

The Ballestas Islands

The Ballestas Islands, known locally as the poor man’s Galapagos, sit ten miles off the coast from the small town of Paracas.

This was Peru day one for us, and we’d been up since 4am. Having spent the last 2 days travelling, it was lovely to be out in the fresh sea air.

The speedboat whisked us out along the coast to the Candelabra geoglyph, then on to the Ballestas islands themselves. The Candelabra is an ancient engraving in the hillside that is believed to date from around the same time as the Nazca lines.

The Paracas Candelabra

A short hop later and we were at the Ballestas Islands. With thousands of wild birds, sea lions and penguins. The smell was interesting, like the penguin enclosure at the zoo, but a thousand times more potent, and mixed with diesel fumes from the boat it was a heady mixture.

On the animal front, we each had our favourite. I enjoyed watching the penguins waddling along the cliff top, Julie liked seeing the sea lions basking in the sun, and Elizabeth loved the huge beaks of the pelicans and the star fish. Plus, we all giggled at the blue boobies.

Series: South America


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