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Paracas y Islas Ballestas

Penguins, Sea Lions, & Candelabras

sunny 75 °F

Paracas Bay is well known for its abundant wildlife and the town itself is a beach vacation destination during the summer.

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We took the opportunity to capitalize on the fact that it's off season, and stayed at a resort hotel overlooking the bay.

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They even had a pirate ship bar. It was pretty rough:

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The unique ecosystem of the bay is insulated from thrashing ocean waves and currents, which results in shallow warmer waters and stimulates remarkable growth of seaweed and algae.

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We took a boat out to the Islas Ballestas to check out the wildlife for ourselves and we were not disappointed!

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Composed largely of jagged rock formations, these islands are an important sanctuary for marine fauna like the guanay guano bird, the blue-footed booby, and the tendril.

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We also caught a glimpse of Humboldt penguins,

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many fur seals and sea lions,

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and thousands and thousands of birds.

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The Paracas National reserve was established in 1975 to protect the Ballestes Islands from over-cultivation of guano - the richest form of fertilizer in Peru - also known as bird shit.

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On the way back we saw the Paracas Candelabra, also called the Candelabra of the Andes. Although the exact age of this prehistoric geoglpyh is unknown, archaeologists have found pottery around the site dating back to around 200 B.C.

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The figure is 595 feet tall, large enough to be seen 12 miles at sea. The reason for the Candelabra's creation is unknown, although it is most likely a representation of the trident built as a sign to sailors.

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Wishing everybody an amazing 4th of July weekend. We celebrated American Independence in style by eating Alpaca burgers in front of an American flag in Cusco!

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We'll be back tomorrow with some Mad Max-like dune buggy adventures!

Posted by wintermaasz 14:55 Archived in Peru

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Stunning photos! Stay safe and enjoy yourselves!

by Peggy Buzanski

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