Tourists flock to swim with sea lions near Peru's capital

Published: 18th October 2018 12:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2018 12:29 AM  

sea lions
Foreign tourists are flocking to a group of rocky islands a few miles off the coast of Peru's capital for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a chance to swim with sea lions. (Photo | AP)
sea lions
The 39 rocky islands near Lima are home to an untold number of sea lions who bathe gracefully and feast on abundant fish that thrive in the cold-water Humboldt current. (Photo | AP)
Tourists selfie
Many tourists swim just feet away from the giant mammals and snap selfies near the rocks. Small motor boats shuttle onlookers past the island throughout the day. (Photo | AP)
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Last year, more than 20,000 tourists visited the sea lion reserve, according to the government, with most stopping at Palomino island about 5 kilometers from the coast. (Photo | AP)
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But activists warn that the largely unregulated eco-tourism activity could be potentially dangerous and disruptive to the wild animals and their habitat. (Photo | AP)
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Peru has earned a growing reputation for world-class cuisine, and the sea lions have become another offering for travelers seeking out better-known attractions like the Incan site of Machu Picchu. (Photo | AP)
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