On our most recent trip to Peru, we had the pleasure of visiting the “Galapagos of Peru,” or the Ballestas Islands. Located near the port of Pisco, and just outside the Paracas National Reserve, the islands are home to one of the largest sea lion communities in the world, as well as a variety of other wildlife. There are several hotels within walking distance of the dock, and several boats go out each morning. We stayed in Paracas for a night so we could take the morning boat tour at 8 am. The boats are small, and an unusually strong white current tossed our boat up and down through the waves at some points of the tour. Our tour guide explained that this is not a regular occurrence, and added that if that current had not been so strong, we would have seen more flamingos and dolphins. However, despite the less than favorable conditions, we saw several sea lions, including a mother and baby, countless birds (particularly pelicans) and some penguins, which were fun to watch and an unexpected sight for us. This area of Peru is definitely worth the trip for wildlife enthusiasts and especially photographers.