Palomino, Cavinzas, San Lorenzo and Frontón islands
Visiting Hours :
Daytime, prior reservation required. Length of tour: 4 hours. Restricted access to Frontón island.
Opposite the district of La Punta (45 minutes by motorboat).
Two islands make up the Palomino islands: the first teems with animal life, most notably the South American sea lion, which can weigh as much as 300 kilograms. The second island is a haven for the sick and ageing sea lions, and is thus known as "The Hospital". Cavinzas Island is a sanctuary for a variety of guano birds like pelicans, guanay cormorants, red-legged cormorants, Peruvian boobies, and patillos. San Lorenzo Island is the largest and highest in Peru. It is 8 km long and 2.2 km wide. Formerly regarded as a feminine deity and named Shina by the local natives, who associated it with beauty and fertility due to the abundance of fish and shellfish off its coasts. It played the important economic role of supporting the ancient peoples settled on the coasts of Callao. In the far south of the island, archaeologist Max Uhle found sites devoted to moon-worship and a necropolis of more than 3,000 tombs that contained, among other artefacts, tools, textiles, and objects crafted from gold and silver. It is also known as the "Island of Mystery" owing to fantastic stories of pirates and buried treasure. The remains of Dutch pirate Jacobo L’Hemite were found here, as were those of other 19th-century people. There are also eight cemeteries holding the remains of Chilean soldiers killed in the War of the Pacific. Frontón island is also known as the "Island of Death". It served as a political prison during colonial times and the early phase of the republican period. Among those imprisoned there was Viceroy Blasco Núñez de Vela, who was deposed in 1544. Later it served as a prison for common criminals. Access to the site is possible via the docks at La Punta and Callao.