Islas Ballestas, an island group off the coast of Paracas, are often referred to as Peru’s Galapagos. They are a group of uninhabited islands that are part of the wildlife rich, Paracas National Reserve. This is a colony of Guanay Cormorants native to Peru and Chile.
You cannot visit the islands without passing the giant Candelabra carved into the rock face and carbon dated to 200 BCE.
The islands shelter an incredible variety of fauna. There are literally millions of birds and their feathers float and fill the air like lazy drifting snowflakes.
There are fur seals, Humboldt penguins, Inca terns, blue footed boobies, and so many more amazing wild creatures here. I will show you them in my next few posts.
But for now, let’s just look at these unusual islands.
They are volcanic, and riddled with arches and ancient sea caves. The layers in the caves show the process of geologic time.
You can go in the caves, if you dare, and if you do, look at what you will see!
Meet the Inca Tern!
Even the females wear their mustaches with pride.
Inca Tern’s occupy the territories of Chile and Peru once occupied by the Incas, hence their name.
They are considered one of the world’s most unique bird species.
In the 1850’s there were millions of them.
Their population is now estimated at 150,000.
I had no idea there would be such limited access to wifi on this trip, but I have never taken an entirely ship based trip before. Maritime wifi is extremely slow and expensive preventing me from responding to comments or commenting on your posts. Shore visits are intensive with limited time.
I so miss your comments and talking with you. I miss the feeling of traveling together virtually.
We are heading further south now towards Torres de Paine, Tierra del Fuego, and Cape Horn.
Our adult children have joined us for the holidays.
In about two weeks, we will return to terra firma, and I so look forward to catching up with you!
Until then, the gorgeous Inca Terns and I wish you Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo!