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Pelagics from Callao, Lima, Peru

Ringed Storm-Petrel (Hornby?s) Oceanodroma hornbyi

Peru boasts an impressive number of sea birds species and decent number of marine mammal species. The current list of birds stands at 69 species of birds and cetaceans 33. Kolibri Expeditions, with +20 years of pelagic birding experience, invites you to join us on one of our specialized pelagic birding and/or whale spotting expeditions.

The Birding Experience:

  • A limit of 16 birders (the boat can carry 40) allows us more hands on time with each person.
  • The two available speed boats have modern and powerful 2 engine (100-200 hp each) take us out to about 30 nautical miles. This is essential to see rarities’ such as Markham's and Ringed Storm-Petrels.
  • This gives us more hours at sea (6-7 depending on group size and conditions) covering a greater area, meaning more birds and cetaceans.
  • Chumming. We concoct a special “seafood soup” with left over’s and popcorn or popped rice. It is not unusual for the chum to attract 100’s of birds. Including a variety of storm-petrels and several other species such as Waved and Salvin’s albatross.
  • Transport to and from the Port of Callao, Lima is offered to a surcharge if needed. 


Be Aware of:

  • The risk of getting wet. Dress appropriately and PROTECT your equipment. Kolibri Expeditions IS NOT responsible for lost or damaged equipment.
  • The seas can be rough. Generally Peruvian waters are relatively calm and trips are rarely cancelled due to bad weather. If you suffer from sea sickness be prepared. There are medications available.
  • That we respect wildlife and certain situations dictate that we cannot get too close to some animals and habitats. The rocky island shores for instance.
  • That although we will pause to look at cetaceans if we come across them, birding is the primary purpose.

More Information on the 7hr Birding Pelagic Trips:

The deep sea pelagictrips are run year round. Different seasons yield different sightings, June-Aug being particularly good for Albatrosses with up to 5 species recorded on a single trip.

Other great birds we frequently see include the Sooty Shearwater, Cape Petrel, Markham´s, Hornby´s, White-vented, Wilson´s and Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrels. Swallow-tailed and Sabine´s Gulls. Waved, Gray-headed, Black-browed and Salvin´s Albatross. Peruvian Diving-Petrel, Chilean and South Polar Skuas. 

The Northern Giant Petrel was recorded and photographed for the first time in Peru in 2002 and has proven to be not uncommon in season May-November. 
Other interesting rarities include the Southern Fulmar (September and November 2002), White-chinned, Cook´s (Nov 2002, May 2010), and Westland Petrel (photographed 

Humboldt Penguin and Inca Tern

February 2003).  Buller''s Shearwater (Dec 2005, Feb, March April and June 2005) and Buller''s Albatross (Nov 2005, Sep and Nov 2006). Chatham Island Albatros on 10 occations. In 2012 we had the first Peruvian record of the Gray-backed Storm-Petrel. 

Inner shore birds include Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Pelaican, Peruvian Booby, Blackish Oystercatcher, Inca Tern, Belcher's Gull, Surfbird, South American Tern, Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants.
We can usually guarantee an outing with a minimum of 5 birders at list price, but even with 3-4 birders it is usually possible with a price surcharge of $60 to $120 per person. We may ask local residents to join at reduced price to make up the numbers to cover the operational costs, and this way somewhat buffers surcharges for you. If you are committed to pay the surcharge at 3 or 4 people if we don't get any locals, then your pelagic trip is guaranteed to run for the date you choose, as long as we can reserve a boat ahead of time. 

Price as of 2017 is $220. Contact us for more info on price. .  

Whale and Dolphin Watching:

From November 2006, we have started offering occasionally separate whale- and dolphin watching trips to about 20 nautical miles lasting 5h hours, and we pass the sea-lion colony of Palomino and the Penguins of Kawinza on the return.

The Marine Mammal Experience:

  • 5 hours, a shorter time, suitable for children, elderly people, and those who suffer from sea sickness.
  • With only 5 hours of sea you shall have half the day free for other activities.
  • Cost is lower: Only 130 US$ (as of 2017). Minimum 7 people. Contact us for more info on pricing. 

Be Aware of:

  • The risk of getting wet. Dress appropriately and PROTECT your equipment. Kolibri Expeditions IS NOT responsible for lost or damaged equipment
  • This is primarily a whale/dolphin trip. No extraordinary effort will be made to attract (chum for) sea birds. We will however see a decent amount of birds.
  • That the whale watching tours are only run when sea conditions are suitable. Usually between November and March.

More Information on the 5hr Whale Watching Trips:

Humpback Whales have been spotted regularly in November, February-March and July. 
Sperm Whales in September. 
Blue Whales in December, February and July.
 Bryde's and other whale species such as Sei and Fin may be resident so there is always a chance of seeing whales.
Dolphins can be seen year round on 80% of the outings, including regular pelagics. Dusky Dolphin, Common Dolphin or Bottle-nosed Dolphin are sighted on almost every trip. Recently we have also spotted Burmeister's Porpoise, Risso's Dolphin and Orca (very rare in Peruvian waters). Also once an unidentified beak whale (September 2006).
The chance of success for seeing Cetaceans (whales or dolphins) on these trips is high, allowing us to give a whale or dolphin guarantee.
If you do not see a whale or dolphin on the 5 hour trip, you may join any other Pelagic birding or Whalewatching trip  - for free until you spot one - or receive a 30 % refund. 

Humpback Whale. Lima Pelagic Nov 10, 2006. Photo: Gunnar Engbl?om
Sequence of Humpback Whale breaching on Pelagic from Callao - November 2006. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

More on Whales in Lima. 

November is peak season for the migration of Humpback Whales off Lima. But it is also the month when we have seen a possibly undescribed form of Pygmy Blue Whale. We saw this form in November 2007 and it is known from Peruvian waters previously. See this article on Ocean Wanderers by Hadoram Shirihai. Mike Danzenbaker photographed this individual on our pelagic on Nov 17, 2007

Pygmy Bluie Whale. Nov 17, 2007 off Lima. Photo: MIke Danzenbaker

In Peruvian waters there is also a pygmy form of Finwhale, which Gunnar Engblom documented in his Spanish blog LimaSafaris in 2007. Together with Dr Koen van Waerebeck, there is a paper in press regarding this finding.


There is also a very rare beaked whale in Peruvian waters. The Pygmy Beaked Whale - described as late in 1991 from a beach find. Very few people have ever seen one. If you photograph one on one our trips with an identifiable photograph that we can use in our marketing, we shall reward you with $1000 worth of trips with us.

South American Sea Lion. Photo: Gunnar Engblom.




We can arrange transfer to the port from Barranco, Miraflores, San Isidro or any spot in between the port in Callao and these Lima districts. We can also take you from the port to the airport.  The cost for the two way transfer is $30/person.

Additional birding and gourmet lunch. 

After the pelagic most of us are ready for a more substantial meal, and fortunately there are excellent ceviche restaurants at La Punta. For vegetarians there is also a vegetarian Ceviche made of mango or peach.  After the lunch we shall spend the rest of the afternoon birding nearby coastal marshes to make the day a full day experience. 

Cost for lunch and additional birding is $60/person.

Date Space Booked Route Tot Spaces Sign
 January 30 10 Pelagic from Callao 16
 March 8 0 Pelagic from Callao 16
 March 11 2 Pelagic from Callao 16
 August 11 0 Pelagic from Callao 16
 September 7 0 Pelagic from Callao 16
 November 11 0 Pelagic from Callao 16


Many birders also watch mammals, but few tours are centered around mammal watching in South America.  We can customize trips to increase the chances of seeing Peruvian primates, Andean Bear, Tapir, Giant Otter and Jaguar. Let us know your preferences for a mammal watching tour.  Kolibriexp@gmail.com 

Copyright © 2012 Kolibri Expeditions. All rights reserved.
Telephone: +51-1- 652 76 89. From the US: 011-51-1- 652 76 89. Cell: 988 555 938 (Telefonica) or 999007886 (Elia Gallo) - Email: kolibriexp@gmail.com