Guanape Islands: The Galapagos of Peru

Guanape Islands: The Galapagos of Peru

06 January 2023

The Guañape Islands are located three hours from the city of Trujillo, north of the resort of Puerto Morín, in the province of Virú. It is a peaceful fishermen's beach and an ecological destination that enchants for its varied marine wealth, especially for its guano birds.


Experts consider it a marine paradise due to its varied ecosystem where there is a high population of sea lions, guano seabirds, pelicans, penguins and some whales that pass through the area. The Guañape Islands are made up of 22 guano islands divided into Guañape Norte and Guañape Sur, as well as several islets.


Although it is a rarely visited destination, it is a great tourist attraction that increasingly attracts travelers, especially lovers of nature and marine life.


The Guañape Islands is a conservation area that since 2009 has been protected within the "Sistema de Islas, Islotes y Puntas Guaneras National Reserve", a natural reserve that protects and conserves representative samples of the biological diversity of the marine-coastal ecosystems of Peru.


A natural treasure of the Peruvian coast that every traveler must visit and discover more about the natural habitat of endemic species of our country.


Jewel of Nature

Sernanp considers the Guañape Islands as "the new jewel of nature" for its attractions and scenic beauty. It was opened to the public in 2019 and is expected to become an important tourist destination in La Libertad.


The Guañape Islands are the habitat of an important population of guano birds (close to a million registered) including boobies, guanay and pelicans. It is also home to the largest population of Humboldt penguins and sea lions in the country, with more than 3,000 specimens. It is even found in the transit zone for whales, which is why they are considered the jewels of nature in the La Libertad region.


The Guañape Islands and their rich source of fertilizers

The world trend has been leaning towards the purchase of organic products, which is why it is preferred to cultivate without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. And, although it may seem incredible, today some farmers opt for the use of the excrement deposited by birds accumulated over the years.


This has become very valuable, it is the fertilizer known as guano, which has a large amount of nutrients that strengthen plant growth. And, best of all, it can be extracted from the Guañape Islands, off the coast of the department of La Libertad.


How is guano produced?

Guano is obtained from the thousands of birds that reside in 22 of the Peruvian islands that exist on our coast. We have boobies, guanays, pelicans and even penguins. All of them inhabit the Guañape Islands, which are exceptional ecosystems, unique in the world.


These birds consume the anchovy, a fish that grows in abundance in the Grau Sea. This thanks to the Humboldt current, which allows them to swim by the millions in the cold waters of the Peruvian sea.


Therefore, its defecation is what would be the naturally processed anchovy. Resulting in a compound rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, a true treasure for farmers in our country. In addition, the guano reconstitutes the degraded soil to strengthen the plants.


South Guañape Island is rich in guano

One of these islands is called Guañape Sur, which is located off the coast of Trujillo, in the department of La Libertad. It takes three hours to travel from Puerto Salaverry and once you reach the pier, you must step on lime to avoid contamination.


It can be seen that the kings on this island is the booby, a bird with white plumage, weighing 2 and a half kilos, with brown wings and huge beaks.


They are not very fearful in the presence of man, unlike the guanayes, which are much more nervous since some are hunted by artisanal fishermen.


The history of guano

Guano became the basis of our economy between the years 1845 and 1879, due to its export to countries in Europe and North America. The guano financed works such as the Central Railroad, as well as many works of the time.


On the other hand, this product was the trigger for several international conflicts. As happened in 1852 with the United States invasion of the Lobos Islands off the coast of Chiclayo.


Spanish ships also took possession of the Chincha Islands in 1865, causing the war between Peru, Bolivia and Chile against Spain. And in 1879 the Pacific War broke out, indirectly related to this resource that was as coveted as oil is now.


How to get to the Guanape Islands?

To visit this destination, you first have to take a bus or car from Trujillo to Puerto Morín. Once you are in Puerto Morín, you will board a boat at the artisan pier that will take you to the incredible Guañape Islands in 40 minutes.


Other destinations in La Libertad

In La Libertad there are several recognized tourist destinations, among which the Chan Chan Archaeological Complex, the Huacas de la Luna y el Sol, the Calipuy National Sanctuary and the El Brujo Archaeological Complex stand out.


Likewise, the Historic Center of Trujillo and the spas of Huanchaco, the Malecón Grau de Pacasmayo and the Malabrigo beach.


The best destinations in Perú

Once you decide to visit Palccoyo Mountain, you could add the best destinations to combine the history and experience for your trip to Peru. Peru offers the most beautiful destinations, culture and naturals. we recommend to extend your holidays and choose these best destinations and prepare your itinerary:

Best Peru Treks


Home Destination & Holidays Our Projects How You Can Help Tour Operators About Us Contact Us

Av. Tupac Amaru PP-10B Santiago - Cusco - Peru
Phone: +51 84 217 551