Guano Islands, Islets, and Capes National Reserve System form Peru (RNSIIPG)
Guano Islands, Islets, and Capes National Reserve System form Peru (RNSIIPG) is part of the Tentative list of Peru in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.
Map of Guano Islands, Islets, and Capes National Reserve System form Peru (RNSIIPG)Load map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
While on a trip through Peru with Peru Hop, the final overnight before reaching Lima was Paracas. I jumped at the opportunity they presented me there - a visit to the Ballestas islands, often referred to as Peru's "poor man's Galapagos". The tour took around 2 hours, all of it on a boat and starting at around 7:00 in the morning, leavong from the main pier of Paracas. The boat first passes by a huge geoglyph carved into the hillside, the "Candelabra". As we approach the island, numerous flocks of birds start flying overhead, and the odor of guano gets stronger and stronger. At last, we started to see the islands more clearly, and I realized why the smell was so strong. Thousands of birds covered the surfaces of the island. There were the usual gulls, as well as boobies, cormorants, pelicans, and even penguins. On the little rocks jutting out of the sea, sea lions bark noisily. In fact, the noise from the sheer amount of wildlife is almost as overpowering as the smell of the guano. Apparently, guano used to be harvested on the islands, as evidenced by the ruined buildings, but the industry was stopped to prioritize the wildlife, and I sure am glad with that choice. Such a dense ecosystem was truly a wonder to behold, and even without the diversity of the Galapagos, it's a very rewarding wildlife-viewing site to visit. Though we didn't see them on the tour, they say dolphins and sea turtle are also among the inhabitants here. I'd say Ballestas alone, or combined with nearby Paracas Reserve, would already make a worthy new World Heritage Site.
This nomination includes a large amount of islands and I am not sure if all would be inscribed, if that ever happens. I visited the one place that would surely be the heart of this nomination: the Islas Ballestas. The islands are an easy day trip from Paracas. It is not allowed to land, but the boat drives by very close so you can spot the abundance of wild life. We saw sea lions, penguins, pelicans, and many other birds. You can clearly see and scent the guano all around the island. Truly an unforgettable experience and highly recommendable if you are in the region.
Paracas is best reached by overnight bus from Lima. It’s on the Lima-Arequipa route, same as Nazca WHS.
Includes former TWHS Paracas NP (1984-1991)
2019 Added to Tentative List
The site has 23 locations