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Isla San Lorenzo, the largest island in Peru

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Isla San Lorenzo, the largest island in Peru

We know that Lima is known throughout the world as the perfect destination for gastronomic tourism, but did you know that you can also swim with sea lions in the Peruvian capital? In Callao is the Island of San Lorenzo, where you can reach by boat and jump into the waters of the Pacific in the company of this great animal.


San Lorenzo is the largest island on the Peruvian coast with 8 kilometers in length and 404 meters at its highest point.


San Lorenzo Island is a place with great archaeological riches, flora, fauna, beautiful beaches and a beautiful landscape that if it were properly promoted both nationally and internationally.


It does not have fresh water, which is why it was never completely inhabited. However, they used it as a fishing place and, mainly, as a cemetery in the Pacific War.



It is currently a desert island, located in front of the Callao bay and is located at a distance of 3.8 km from La Punta. It has an extension of 1,457 hectares distributed in three clearly distinguished areas, these are: the natural reserve, Naval Base and a third assigned to the development of the project.



San Lorenzo Island is part of the constitutional province of Callao. That was annexed to this province during the year 1891 and since then it has been the subject of scientific and historical studies. San Lorenzo Island is considered the largest in Chalaco territory, as well as the highest within the Peruvian coast. It has a total area of ​​162 hectares that has three elevations in its space.


In Isla San Lorenzo it is possible to find an area where funeral remains of soldiers who would have participated during the War of the Pacific have been found; There are also cemeteries where the remains of pirates who tried to enter the territory are found, among others, such as archaeological remains that show the first settlement on the island, and where a total of more than three thousand tombs that belonged to a pre-Hispanic cemetery are recorded. .


The wealth of San Lorenzo is valued in its historical events, from its first occupation, when it was possibly a center of religious worship, in whose territory the largest loom in Peru has been registered; until passing through the Colonial era when it was the prison of Blasco Núñez de Vela, as well as a prison for slaves, and a base for corsairs; and the Republican Era when it served as a shooting center; historical events that, in the long run, have increased the mystery and myth that surrounds the largest in Callao.


The Legend of the gringa of San Lorenzo Island

The gringa is known by many soldiers who have served at the San Lorenzo naval base.


She was a very beautiful girl, the daughter of a frigate captain who took her family for a ride to the island.


The girl decided to go for a walk alone. The captain thought that there would be no problem, since it was a desert island except for the naval station.


After a few hours passed and the girl did not return, they decided to leave her to look for her.


She searched for her for two weeks.


In the end, her limbs were found in a dump. After an arduous search, they incriminated two young soldiers knowing that no one would claim for them. The unfortunates were shot on the same island.


Since then, the soldiers on duty claim to see a blonde girl in a white dress, very beautiful and silent.


Those who approach her appear in agony and foaming at her mouth.


They claim to have seen a gringa, a very beautiful woman in the distance. But, when she approaches she is presented with no head.


Many claim to have seen the gringa, others say that it is a story used to scare new recruits from the base and do you dare to discover it?


Geography of San Lorenzo Island

With only eight kilometers long by 2 wide, and an area of ​​1,648 ha, it is the largest island in Peru. It does not have water sources and that is why until today it has not been urbanized. It is in turn surrounded by the small island of El Frontón, which is separated by a channel 800 meters wide called El Boquerón, and the Palomino Islands, known for their populations of sea lions. Its highest point is Cerro La Mina with 396 meters of altitude.


It should be noted that the strategic location of San Lorenzo Island would facilitate its urban and economic territorial integration with the city of Lima.


Due to its position with respect to the Pacific Ocean, the island offers two different natural environments: The southwest coast facing the open sea with the presence of diverse fauna thanks to the strong waves and high intensity winds, and the northwest coast, an area protected from the wind by the chain of hills that divide the two coastlines, with high potential for the development of various economic activities.


The Pediment

About 7 km from the coast, the Isla del Frontón emerges like an immense rock from the sea. There you can see the remains of the prison of the same name, in addition to listening to some of its innumerable stories and anecdotes.


The Camotal

On the way to Isla San Lorenzo, we come across what is called El Camotal, a kind of islet that would have been part of the territory of Callao before the 1746 earthquake submerged it.


The crossing to San Lorenzo Island, including Camotal, El Frontón Island, Cavinzas Islands and Palomino Island costs 50 nuevos soles for adults and 40 nuevos soles for children.


The place of departure is in the Plaza Grau del Callao, next to the Capitanía del Puerto del Callao, at 9:30 in the morning and the return at 2 in the afternoon.


How to get to San Lorenzo Island?

To get to San Lorenzo Island, it is necessary to first get to Puerto del Callao, from where you depart towards Camotal, bordering San Lorenzo.


Being a boat excursion, it is mandatory to do this tour with an agency. To do this, take a bus or a taxi to Puerto del Callao, where you will find the different companies that offer this service.


Usually the boats or cruises leave during the morning, at approximately 10:30 and return at 3 in the afternoon; and in the afternoon they leave at 2 pm, to return averaging 6:30 in the afternoon.


The approximate costs to go to San Lorenzo Island are $45 for adults and $35 for children, this depends on the company that is hired.



  • In summer: windbreaker type jacket, visor, sunscreen or sunscreen, swimsuit.
  • In winter: wool jacket or sweater, wool hat and gloves, scarf

What to bting?

  • Slipper or rubber sole shoes (so as not to slip on the floor of the boat)
  • Take care that breakfast or lunch is preferably low in fat.
  • Take a seasickness pill (Dramamine or Gravol) 1 hour before boarding, for people who are not used to sailing. Take care that breakfast or lunch is preferably low in fat.
  • Bring some snacks to eat and light drinks.

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If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem. 

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