For those travelers looking to experience Lima at its fullest, there are certain activities that you may not know about. For example, the Palomino Islands are a group of four islands located in the shores of Callao, Lima. It is a place of great history and natural heritage since it houses a jail, a military naval base and hundreds of sea lions.
The Islas Palomino have grown significantly in tourism, attracting thousands of visitors every year to live an unforgettable experience among the vast pacific ocean. Therefore, it is considered one of Peru’s 10 most significant natural attractions.
This group of islands hold an extensive biodiversity, where sea lions, humboldt penguins and different types of exotic birds live in total harmony thanks to the absence of predators.
Although some of you may think that swimming with the sea lions could be dangerous, it is actually quite funny and frightening at the same time. The experience does take you on a roller coaster of emotions since it is not a common thing to do.
However, once you get the hang of it and realise how inofensive these animals are, you’ll feel like the little mermaid yourself surrounded by ‘aquatic dogs’ in every way. If you’re up to this magical adventure, continue reading and find out everything about it.
1. La Punta
It is a beautiful neighborhood located in the Callao district. During the colonial and republican era, La Punta housed the elite of the region due to its strategic location near the callao pier.
Therefore, the entire neighborhood has a hybrid architectural style where the republican architecture merges perfectly with the modern era. La Punta is certainly a visually striking coastside barrio, an unmissable attraction within Callao.
2. El Camotal
Also known as the Peruvian Atlantic, El Camotal was part of the Callao district. It was an agricultural region with about 10,000 inhabitants that lived off from the production of camote or sweet potato.
Unfortunately, an earthquake-tsunami struck the city of Lima which buried a great part of Callao, including El Camotal. Only 200 people out of 10,000 survived. However, the remains of this kind of islet can only be seen on summer or low tide days.
3. San Lorenzo Naval Base
It is a military base located in the Isla San Lorenzo, it serves as a vigilance point in the shores of El Callao. Back in 1992, it was the temporary prison for Abimael Guzmán and Víctor Polay Campos, leaders of the Shining Path, a comunist terrorist movement.
Also, the San Lorenzo Naval Base was used to train the marine cadets from the same island by implementing a swimming competition program that started in Callao, finishing at the base.
According to local folklore, there’s a ghost of a white blonde woman that attacks the militiamen. The story served as inspiration for a movie called Alias ‘La Gringa’ in 1941.
4. El Frontón
It is another island located in the circuit of the Islas Palomino tour. Although El Frontón is a small island, it holds a great history since it was here that the Peruvian government built a high security prison to hold the most dangerous criminals of the country.
Likewise, the Island also holds a gloomy past, where in 1986 thousands of criminals were assassinated by the hand of La Marina de Guerra del Perú during the government of the president Alan García due to a riot caused by the convicts that belonged to the terrorist movement ‘The Shining Path.’
5. Islas Cavinzas
Among the different islands that compose the Islas Palomino tour circuit are the Cavinzas Islands, a group of several islands recognized for being a great source of Guano, which is basically bird poop used as fertilizer.
For that reason, the islands were protected by law within the National Reserve System of Islands, Islets and Points Guaneras in 2009 , a natural reserve that protects and preserves representative samples of the biological diversity of the marine-coastal ecosystems of Peru.
6. Islas Palomino
Here is where the adventure starts, the site houses a large colony of sea lions in their natural habitat, as well as sea birds, such as seagulls, guanayes, boobies, pelicans, patillos and more.
Likewise a historical lighthouse is located in the highest part of the island, which served as a guide to the boats that crossed the sea to the Callao port. On the island you can also see a water passage known as the ‘Cathedral of the Palomino Islands.’
Quick Tip: Lima is surrounded by unique attractions and destinations! If you would like to make the most of your experience, we recommend you take a look at this blog about the best day trips from Lima.
First, our team will pick you up from the hotel so you can start your adventure towards the Pacific ocean. We’ll be going to the Callao district, known for its authentic history and cultural expression.
The Islas Palomino tour begins in La Punta bay, continues bordering the San Lorenzo Island, where the naval base is located; El Frontón Island, where a maximum security prison was located until the 1980s; the Cabinzas Islands, inhabited by various guano birds; and finally reaches the main attraction, the Palomino Islands.
Upon arriving at the Palomino Islands, we will observe a colony of approximately 8,000 sea lions, thus surpassing the well-known Ballestas Islands in Paracas, in terms of quantity.
On this opportunity, you’ll be able to swim with the friendly sea lions, a lifetime experience you’ll surely love to do. Once we finish the activity, we’ll head back to the pier and eventually return to your accommodation.
If you wish to experience this tour at its fullest, we have the perfect adventure for you. Keep in mind that you can organize your trip according to your interests, we are here to help you with any inquiry you may have, including assistance during your travel planning process.
To book the Palomino Islands boat tour, you just need to contact your travel agent. Our local expert team will make sure to optimize your time and experience with a tailored-made travel itinerary for you.
Likewise, we care to provide the best experience to each and every one of our passengers, which is why we count with certified drivers, professional guides, and an all-time monitored car fleet with GPS tracking.
- Duration: 4 hours approx.
- Entrance: All entrance fees are included in the travel package.
- Included: Transport, entrance fees, english speaking guide, swimming equipment,pick up and drop off at the hotel.
Viagens Machu Picchu cares to provide everything you need to have an authentic adventure through our country. Get to know all the special offers we have in Peru travel packages and start planning the trip of your life!