Ballestas Island – Peru


The Ballestas Islands are a small group of islands located on the southwest coast of Peru, near the town of Paracas. These rocky islands are not a well-known destination but can’t be missed for bird photography. These rocky islands are the ideal habitat for various species of birds and an eclectic mix of larger wildlife like seals, sea lions, and Humboldt penguins. Other birds that inhabit the area are Surfbirds, Royal Terns, and Peruvian Pelicans. Another reason nature photographers visit the Ballestas Islands is its proximity to the Paracas National Reserve. This reserve is around 1300 square kilometers and is Peru’s only protected marine space. Over 215 species of birds use this area as a stopover during migration. From these, 60 species of flying birds head to the United States after their journey to the Ballestas Islands. This region is ideal because it supports healthy algae growth, this keeps the fish around and thus feeding the birds. Many nature photographers have made the birds diving for a meal, a must-see on their visit. When there is a variety of wildlife it can often come with a lot of noise. Visitors are amazed at the bird calls and other sounds that the animals make all at once. Even though nature photographers are more likely drawn to the birds and wildlife in the area, the area’s history is very rich. The reserve and Paracas have over 100 archaeological sites in its small area. These sites belonged to the ancient Paracas civilization. The best time to visit is in their summer months, December, January, and February. Owen visited the Ballestas Islands in February 2018.

© Sandro Meier

Birds found here