The Paracas Peninsula, located in Pisco province, Ica department, contains an area that is rich in fauna, with enormous colonies of sea lions like those found in Punta Arquillo and Morro Quemado, an attribute which saw it become Paracas National Reserve (RNP).
An unusual species in the area is the sea cat or chingungo, a marine otter that inhabits the less-frequented rocks and beaches on Peru's central and southern coast. The Mendieta and La Catedral beaches contain the largest recorded number of these species, which is unfortunately in danger of extinction. Another unusual species is the Humboldt penguin.
The Ballestas Islands are considered to be the home of the largest number of sea lion colonies, of the slender seal (Otaria byronia) and fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) varieties. They can always be seen by visitors. Further south, 200 km from Ica, is San Juan Point, part of the National System of Island, Islet and Guano Point Reserves (RNSIIPG), established to protect nesting areas for guano birds, Humboldt penguins and a large sea lion colony.
Following the same route of the Panamericana Sur highway, 70 km from Nazca, in the Marcona district, is the San Fernando National Reserve (RNSF), which enables visitors to see sea lions up close. The reserve also contains a variety of marine mammals, like the sea cat or otter (Lontra felina) and 13 species of whale, including the humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae), blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) and Orca (Orcinus orca).
The Ica coast is a delight for those who love spotting whales and other marine mammals. Visiting the different reserves takes 4 days.