Mar Adentro (Wildlife Tour)
This was one of the best tours we took in Peru. We got on an open boat (two 115 hp engines) with about 25 other people. I sat in back because I thought we might get wet in the front. I was right, but it was harder to take pictures because people kept standing up in front of me and also the boat was jumping around which made focusing with a telephoto zoom very interesting.
We went around Isla San Lorenzo out into the Pacific, it got definitely bumpy - not a tour to be on if you get seasick. First we saw some colonies of nesting birds including the Humbolt penguin, some gulls, terns and pelicans.
They gave us a card which said on it (in Spanish)
"The set of islands off the Callao has a great diversity of marine life, more than 60 species of migratory and endemic birds come, some in large numbers it is very easy to observe and others that require greater attention to locate"
Then we visited the Islas Palomino which had another lighthouse and a colony of sea lions who all followed the ship barking at us Finally we rounded another island where there used to be a prison before we came back to the dock.
BAP Abtao is a Sierra-type submarine which was launched as Tiburon (Shark). In 1957 her name was changed to Abtao in memory of the naval battle of 7 February 1866 fought between the Spanish and Purvian/Chilean naval squadrons. The Peruvians, under Captain Manuel Villar were victorious. We saw this submarine when we went on our wildlife tour.
This was one of four submarines, classified as class Lobo (Wolf class) - all acquired by Peru - this one was launched October 27, 1953 in the port New London, Connecticut, and named after BAP Shark (SS-6), and put into operation on 1 March 1954.
BAP Abtao served 48 years in Peruvian navy. During which she completed 5,003 dives. Her motto was "Silence and assistance" in both times of peace and war. During 1988 she assisted in the rescue of the crew of BAP Pacocha after her collision with a fishing vessel and sinking. Abtao was decommissioned in 1998 and became a museum in 2004.
Class: Lobo Submarine
Commissioned: 1 Feb 1954
At: Electric Boat Division, General Dynamics Corporation, Groton, Connecticut
Length: 243 feet
Beam: 22 feet
Draft: 14 feet
Displacement: 825 tons surface, 1,400 tons submerged
Armament: Four 21 inch tubes forward, two aft. One 5" 25 cal gun.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm
Adults S /. 10.00
Children S /. 5.00
S Naval Staff. 5.00 identified by TIN
School S /. 3.00 group with teachers in school
We also saw submarines currently in use from the ship. These were the type 209 submarines built in the shipyard Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft R. G., Kiel, Germany. They were acquired by Peru in the late 70s and early 80s.
Ten submarines give Peru the largest underwater fleet in Latin America. Six of the submarines that entered into service between 1974 and 1977 were Type 209, built for Peru in West Germany. All were conventionally powered with eight twentyone -inch torpedo tubes and had a complement of five officers and twenty-six technicians and enlisted personnel.
The other submarines were former United States Navy craft that had been refitted and transferred to the Peruvian Navy. One was a Guppy IA class launched in 1944 and acquired from the United States Navy in 1975, with ten twenty-one-inch torpedo tubes and a personnel complement of eighty-four. The other three were newer modified Mackerel class, launched between 1953 and 1957, with six twentyone -inch torpedo tubes and a crew of forty.
- Museum Visits
- Sailing and Boating
Fortaleza del Real Felipe
This fort, the largest one in the Republic of Peru was built to ward off pirate attacks stemming from the fact that galleons loaded with the Inca gold left from this port. It is a pentagonal star shaped fort. Today it is under the jurisdiction of the Army and contains the Army Museum of Peru.
The Viceroy Jose Antonio Manso de Velasco, Conde de Superunda, laid the first stone on 1 August 1747. The previous year, 1746, on October 28, at half past ten p.m., there was an earthquake grade XI in the Mercator scale, with a duration of one minute 40 seconds. The resulting tsunami produced waves of up to 60 meters high which destroyed the port of Callao and sank 17 ships. There were only 200 survivors of a population that had been nearly 5,000 people. This event convinced authorities to build a defense stronger than a simple wall to protect the city of Lima from the constant harassment of British pirates and privateers.
The plans were drawn up by the Frenchman Louis Godin. The work was carried out under the direction of Godin, together with Joseph Amich of the Navy and Assistant Regimental Sergeant Major of Portugal Juan Manuel Ramiro. The building took 29 years to complete and the cost was more than three million pesos. The stones used for construction (about 5 million cubic meters), came from quarries on the island of San Lorenzo, but also in from ballast stones from ships coming from Panama and Spain.
At first the fort was known as Royal Fernando, in honor of King Fernando VI. Later it was renamed in memory of the late King Philip V.
There are embankments that are nine yards wide with five bastions for stores of gunpowder and ammunition as well as accommodation for the troops and water wells. The five bastions are: the Queen, King, San Jose, San Carlos, San Felipe and Prince stronghold. At the center of the plaza were food and ammunition depots and barracks for soldiers outside a chapel and a hospital for sick prisoners.
# Internal Area: 70,000 m2 or 7 hectares.
* Wall: 1532 m
* Pit: 1.600 m.
* Glasís: 2,200 m.
* Turrets: 18.90 m.
* Governor's House: 12.40 m.
* Wall: 6.30 m.
# Works Defensive:
* Strongholds: 5 in the wall
* Booths: 15 in the wall
* Ramps: 6 in the wall
* Santa Barbara: 7 on the walls and towers
* Pockets: 207 parapet and turrets
* Almenas: 158 in the parapet and 64 in the turrets
* Sidewalks: 158 in the parapet
* Drums: 2 on the cover
* Lanterns: 2 on the cover .
The baptism of fire occurred on January 20, 1816, when the Spanish forces rejected the offensive by the Hercules and Hawk boats sent by the government of Buenos Aires.
In 1998 for the 251st anniversary of the fort, it was refurbished for tourism using an investment of one million dollars from the Development Corporation Lima and Callao (CORDELICA).
Inside the forts, in the Museum of the Army there is a collection of weapons. In the first room are pistols and revolvers from early times to the modern semi-automatic. In the second room we see the development of rifles and carbines and the third room displays accompanying weapons such as machine guns, grenade launchers and mortars.
There is also a replica of the front of the house of the Peruvian Consulate that in the year 1880 served as headquarters of the Peruvian troops charged with defending that city. In the House of response is a diorama of the board of officers convened by Francisco Bolognesi on the morning of June 5, 1880 which is known as the Day of the Answer.
The Unknown Soldier Monument pays tribute to all soldiers who gave their lives for the homeland in the various wars in our history - he is represented by a soldier without a face, from the time of the war with Ecuador (1941).
For a visit to the Real Felipe (I think with a guided tour) allow approximately three hours The museum is open daily from 9 AM to 2 PM.
- Castles and Palaces
- Road Trip
In La Punta there are good beaches. Water is quite clean, and the waves are not so strong. Beaches are full of round stones, but there is small sand, too. Don't worry about sinking, the beaches are crowded by red-clothed life-guards.
Besides swimming, it's possible to water-ski, too.
- Water Sports
- Family Travel
VISITA A LA FORTALEZA DEL REAL FELIPE
Recorrer los edificios de la Fortaleza del Real Felipe, fortaleza de los tiempos coloniales que defendía al puerto del Callao y a Lima de los piratas. Muy bien conservado y en manos del ejército peruano como Museo Histórico Militar. Soldados con trajes de época actúan como guías.
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Fortaleza del Real Felipe
The fortress was constructed to protect Callao and was completed 1767 after 20 years work.
It has the form of a pentagon. Each point has a place for canons, two of the points have towers.
The stones for the walls (4.30 m high) were shipped from the island Lorenzo outside Callao.
During a period in the first years of independence (1821-) the fortress was a asylum place for the government and parlament. For this the liberator José de San Martín gave it the name "Castillo de la Independencia".
The fortress has a rich history and was declared national historical monument in 1952. In the fortress there is a military museum (Museo del Ejército).
Note: There is also a small but important Navy museum in Callao: Museo Naval del Peru. Outside Callao was the battle with the forceful Spanish navy, in their last attempts to threaten the independencia.
A beautiful place to visit is "La Punta". It is situated at the "point" (punta) of Callao. Se map in the travellog.
You can go walking on the piers. There are many restaurants to enjoy at Malecon Pardo. You can go swimming in the sea (if it is the right season) or just hire a little boat from the beach (Malecon Figeruedo) to the "Mirador de la Punta", to look at the crabs and the pelicans.
On the piers are people fishing (not getting to much I think).