Posted by: Ali | March 19, 2010

Islas Palomino

Today we went on a boat cruise with EcoCruceros in Lima (well, Callao really) of the Islas Palomino and surrounding islands.  On the tour was Isla Camotal, Isla San Lorenzo, Isla Fronton, and the Islas Palomino.  It was quite cool.


Isla Camotal

El Camotal is a sunken city!  Very cool, if you’re into the whole Atlantis thing.  Apparently it used to be a part of Callao until an earthquake in 1746 and then a tsunami swept it away.  They say that in low tide you can see bits of buildings sticking up, but for now it looks like there was just a shoal or some rocks under the surface.

Really old ship

Isla San Lorenzo

Isla San Lorenzo is the military island, obviously used for nefarious purposes.  Clearly there is a secret underground testing facility where animal testing on llamas and guinea pigs takes place.

Peace and quiet

Isla Fronton

Isla Fronton is a notorious prison island, kinda like Alcatraz.  It used to be used a lot in the 1980s, when Peru had a large terrorism problem.  At one point the island housed over 200 terrorists, so many that they started to revolt, and the government’s response was to bombard the island.  Yup, they killed them all.  Needless to say, the prison is not currently in use.

Isla Fronton

Islas Palomino

And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the Islas Palomino.  They were really cool.

From far away...

As you approach, you notice that all the little dots all over the island, which could have been birds, are actually sea lions, every single one of them.  And as you get closer, you start to hear honking, or barking, or snorting, or whatever noise you think best describes the sound that sea lions make.

Piles of sea lions

Then we were supposed to actually jump in and go swimming with them, which was a little scary at first, because there were a lot of them, and they were (really) big, and we were all worried that they would swim by us underwater and freak us out.  But we jumped in (into the freezing cold water) and it was very cool to see the sea lions three feet away from us, or surfacing right behind, or just looking at us.

Swimming in the Pacific

Sea lions


  1. Hi Ali, I can readily confirm the above as being an accurate description of that particular trip. I was lucky enough to meet Ali, her Mum and brother with her friend Felicia, on the boat. They were all great company and helped make a great trip all the more enjoyable and memorable. Getting in the water with those sea-lions was a pretty intimidating prospect, Ali didn’t mention that they also have quite visibly sharp teeth. As it turned out they were dellighted with the human company and clearly enjoyed the encounter, probably more than us.

  2. […] Head to Callao and do a boat tour of the Islas Palomino, and go swimming with the sea lions […]


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