The Peruvian sea is populated by some 42 species of marine mammal dispersed over different points along the coast. The rivers in the Amazon region also contain species such as otters and pink dolphins, which enchant visitors with their unique beauty and colour.
Marine mammal watching is known as whale watching tourism and is an activity that is receiving growing interest around the world.
In both its sea and rivers, Peru contains a large variety of marine species: whales, river dolphins, sperm whales, dolphins and porpoises, constituting 38% of the known species at a global level. This is an area of interest that can be displayed as a type of tourism that can be favourably developed in the country.
The marine mammals that can be more easily spotted include the big sea lions (Otaria byronia), which weigh up to 300 kg and prefer sandy beaches on which to gather, and fur seals (Arcotocephalus australis), which gather on rocks and inaccessible coastal outcrops. Both species mate between November and March, which are the perfect months for watching them. Sea lions and fur seals can be found on the classic tour of the Ballestas Islands in Paracas and the Palomino Islands tour in Callao.
Of the larger marine mammals, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are much admired. They are usually seen on the north coast, in the Piura department, between the months of August and October, when they mate and give birth. Tourist services are offered in the area, including programmes for whale-watching where you can seem them come to the surface and leap into the air.