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The Ballestas Islands are located roughly 15 km off the coast of southern Peru. These islands are home to various fauna like the guanay guano bird, the blue-footed booby, the tendril, the Humboldt penguin and two varieties of marine mammals (fur seals and sea lions). They can be reached by the small sea side town of Paracas. Paracas is also the name of a nature reserve further south on the coast.


Get in[edit]

Map of Ballestas Islands

The Ballestas Islands are located off the coast close to Paracas. The best way to get there is to take a speed boat tour of the islands from Paracas.

Get around[edit]

Barring scientific research, the only access is by boat tours, which do not land.


Depending on the season, the islands are teeming with seals, terns, penguins, and other seabirds. Tours will take you quite close, perhaps too close.


Las Islas Ballestas are protected, which means you can't swim with the animals or walk on the islands by yourself, but you can get very close to them on a boat tour. Tours depart from the port of Paracas at about 08:30 but with a great deal of variability. Most shops in Paracas sell tickets, but it's best to arrive early for the boats; Paracas businesses tend to tell you that they will sell you services and then vanish on you (but don't take your money; they're not scammers) and you have to go through lines to buy tickets, pay taxes, and pay an additional fee before joining the line to get on a boat. Tours operate in English and Spanish, but the latter have more availability.






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