Islas Ballestas
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Islas Ballestas
Islas Ballestas

Right down to their copious blue-footed boobies, the Islas Ballestas can bear an eerie resemblance to the Galápagos—thus the nicknames Little Galápagos and the Galápagos of Peru. One notable difference? You can see the highlights of the Ballestas in about an hour and a half. En route to the islands, you'll pass the fabled, enigmatic Candelabra—an enormous prehistoric geoglyph etched into the hillside—whose origin and meaning are the subjects of endless debate. Ponder the various theories (is it an ancient interpretation of the Southern Cross? the lightning rod of an ancient god?) as you head out to view the massive colonies of not just boobies, but cormorants, pelicans, seals and sea lions as well. You may even spot a penguin or two.

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