Boating to the Ballestas Islands in Paracas National Reserve

Friday morning (January 13, 2012) we boarded the bus at 6am to head out on a weekend full of adventure. After a short four-hour ride, we were in Paracas and ready to board the boat that would tour us around these Islands, located in the Paracas National Reserve.

This was an incredible experience. There are millions of birds that live on the islands along with lots of sea lions. One of Peru’s major exports of the past was guano that was harvested from these islands and sold as a fertilizer.

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One of the first things we saw on our tour was the mysterious candelabra. It is a 150-meter tall geoglyph formed into the side of the hill. There are many theories of how and why it’s there, but it’s been there so long that no one knows for sure anymore.

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Here are some shots of the sea lions. There were lots of baby lions around, some being taught to swim by their mothers. Several others found nice sunny rocks to sunbathe.

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The islands are home to over 150 species of marine bird including the endangered Humboldt Penguin, Guanay Cormorants, Peruvian Boobies, Inca Terns and Pelicans.

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And on the way back to land, some found the rocking of the boat to be perfect to rock them to sleep for a quick nap before heading off on our next adventure.

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