Isla San Lorenzo Travel Guide

  • Barren shore
    Barren shore
    by grandmaR
  • Isla San Lorenzo
    by grandmaR
  • Islet with Pelicans
    Islet with Pelicans
    by grandmaR

Isla San Lorenzo Things to Do

  • Sea Lions (Lobo Marino)

    One of the highlights of the excursion was/were the sea lions. Most places they were just lying on the rocks with the big male and his harem around him. But there was one place where they followed the boat very closely, barking and playing in the wake of the boat. I don't know if the guides feed them or if they were just being playful. Or maybe...

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  • Peruvian Simeon gull (Larus belcheri)

    The black-tailed gull, gull or Peruvian Simeon gull (Larus belcheri) is a gull found along the coast of the Pacific of South America. It is a medium-sized gull with a blackish mantle, head and white underparts, a black band on the tail and white on the other side, and a yellow beak with red and black tip. The name in Spanish is Gaviota Peruana The...

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  • Other birds

    We were also supposed to see the American Oystercatcher (Ostero Americano), the Inca Tern, (Larosterna inca) which is called the Zarcillo after the earring like marking on it, and the Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi). We probably did see cormorants - if not here, then in other places. I don't think we saw the Tern or the...

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  • Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata)

    They handed out a little plastic card with information on what we were going to see, but it was all in Spanish. One of the birds we saw was the Peruvian Booby. I took pictures of the birds without really knowing what I was taking a picture of.I looked them up in Wikipedia afterwards (one of the few places I could find something in English) and it...

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  • Visit El Pinguino de Humboldt

    Translating from the Spanish of the information passed around about the birds (photo 2)He lives on the coasts of Peru and Chile, measured 65 cm and weighs 4.5 kg, need not travel long distances to nest and feed. Both sexes brood eggs in the nest with feathers forming guano and among the rocks near the colonyDuring the day leave in search of small...

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  • Pelicano

    The pelicans nest where the penguins are, and you can see how little the penguins are when you compare them to the pelicans.

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Isla San Lorenzo Transportation

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    Penguin Viewing or Fishing Boats

    by grandmaR Written Jan 19, 2009

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    We were in small open boats to view the penguins. There are also bigger boats that come around the island, and there are also little fishing boats. We were surprised by how far out the little fishing boats were and how wild the water was where they were working.

    Small fishing boat Boats for our tour Another type of tour boat Medium fishing boat Boat returning to harbor
    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • Beaches
    • Birdwatching

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Isla San Lorenzo Local Customs

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    Collection Guano

    by grandmaR Updated Jan 19, 2009

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    Where there are birds, there is guano. The dry climate preserves the droppings of seabirds like the cormorant, pelican and especially the penguin. Guano is a valuable resource for Peru to use and export. Peru’s government has restricted guano collection to about two islands a year, enabling the droppings to accumulate. There are armed guards at each of the islands to ward off threats to birds, mostly from fisherman. Some of the Isla San Lorenzo is a Naval Base and access is prohibited.

    The workers make walls and smooth the ground along the sides of the hills where the birds nest - somewhat like terraces for grape vines in a less arid climate. When there is harvesting going on, workers rise before dawn to scrape the hardened guano with shovels and small pickaxes.

    Mining the guano has caused serious damage to their Humbolt penguin habitats.

    Rock walls along the side of a hill Rock showing guano on top
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Cruise

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Isla San Lorenzo Warnings and Dangers

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    Prohibited Access

    by grandmaR Updated Jan 19, 2009

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    Isla San Lorenzo has a Naval Base (I think the submarines are based here) and access is prohibited. Caretakers live there to protect the nesting birds.

    The island has a reddish cast to it in some areas because of mineral content

    Shore of San Lorenzo Docking facility for caretakers boats Sign that says it is a restricted area Rock walls
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Cruise

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Isla San Lorenzo Favorites

  • Rocks and Waves

    There is a lot of surf around the islands off Callao. I spent some time taking photos from the boat of the rocks and the waves beating on them. The sea lions frolic in the waves, so I took photos of them also.

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  • Dry and Rocky

    Since there is no natural water on these islands, and it never rains, there is nothing living on the island naturally except pelicans, penguins, and other sea birds (some of whom next here) and animals such as sea lions.

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  • Burials, Prisons, and Seabirds

    San Lorenzo Island is the largest island of Peru. The island is in the Pacific Ocean near the port of Callao and measures 16.5 square kilometres. When we did the wildlife tour, we toured around San Lorenzo and several of the other islands. As of 2011, San Lorenzo is not open to the public. It is a restricted zone controlled by the Marina de Guerra...

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