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Planet Earth Three Filming Locations – Episode 2 Oceans

Where to sea large colonies of Sea Lions in South America...

The ocean covers seven tenths of the planet yet much of it remains unexplored. In the Oceans episode, we join David Attenborough on a journey through the vast and changing ocean to reveal the extraordinary behaviours and remarkable adaptations required for life to survive.

Sea Lions facts

  • There are six species of sea lion, from which you can find two of them in South America; South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) and Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki)

  • Sea lions live both on land and in the sea.

  • They rest and mate on rocky shores or sandy beaches, and they hunt and cool off in the ocean during warm weather.

  • Unlike seals, sea lions don’t live in polar regions.

  • Sea lions feed on a variety of foods; fish (anchovies, herring, salmon, rockfish, and hake), squid and octopus.

  • They are also prey, however, and serve as an important food source for large animals like great white sharks, hammerhead sharks, blue sharks, and killer whales.

  • Sea lions (left) are brown, bark loudly, "walk" on land using their large flippers and have visible ear flaps. Seals have small flippers, wriggle on their bellies on land, and lack visible ear flaps.

Habitats of South American Sea Lions

South American sea lions, are found along the coasts and off-shore islands of South America from Zorritos in northern Peru to Ilha dos Lobos in southern Brazil, also they have been found as far north as Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

The total population is estimated at 265,000; spread across Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, all the way to the Falkland Islands, and a few hundred in Brazil originating from the Uruguayan and Argentinean colonies. The populations in Uruguay and the Falkland Islands are decreasing while those in Argentina and Chile are increasing by 3% annually. The main reasons are competition with fishing fleets and victims of bycatch and climate change on sea currents which impacts fish abundance.

The Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki), is native to the islands of the Galapagos and some parts of Isla de la Plata off of mainland Ecuador.
Where to see large colonies of sea lions in South America
By far the biggest population of 128,500 sea lions is in Chile. However Peru has good viewing and the Galapagos has warm diving and the most habituated sea lions.

Watching sea lions Mejillones, Chile

The Planet 3 crew filmed sea lions on an anchovy feeding frenzy off the coast however there is easier access on the beaches. La Rinconada Beach is a quiet beach, located 65 km north of Antofagasta and 4 km west of Mejillones, just beside Cerro San Luciano. It is suitable for fishing and sports, and you can also take excursions in the surrounding areas to see the local fauna and flora, such as seagulls, crabs and sea-lions.

Combine with ….Atacama, Easter Island, Winelands

Where We Recommend You to Stay,
Awasi Atacama

Awasi Atacama is the nearest place in the Atacama near to Mejillones.

Located in the ancient settlement of San Pedro de Atacama, Awasi Atacama offers you an utterly exclusive experience. With just 10 beautiful suites, each with its own private guide and 4x4, you are free to explore the surrounding desert at your own pace and to indulge your interests.

Read more on Awasi Atacama>
Gardner Bay, Isla Espanola, Galapagos
Reached with a wet boat landing at the north-east end of a beautiful white sand beach with good swimming, there is a large sealion colony peppered on the beach. The advantage of viewing them here is that sea lions are less afraid of humans. Also you can scuba dive with sea lions underwater.

Combine with ….Ecuador mainland, Ecuador Cloud Forest, Amazon, and Avenue of Volcanoes

Our Top Cruise Ship for the Galapagos,
Aqua Mare

Experience an iconic once-in-a-lifetime adventure aboard the Aqua Mare. This unique cruise takes you through the spectacular volcanic islands of the Galapagos in utmost luxury. Complete with sun deck, outdoor barbeque areas, jacuzzi and panoramic lounge area, this is the ultimate Galapagos experience.

Let Journeysmiths take you on a breathtaking voyage of discovery aboard this luxury superyacht in search of sea lions, iguanas, whales and flamingos.

Read more on Aqua Mare>
Watching sea lions in Paracas, Peru
Paracas Nature Reserve, Peru is known for amazing wildlife, including Humboldt penguins, dolphins and large colonies of sea lions, which can be viewed on a tour of the nearby Islas Ballestas. Also, you can view numerous sea birds and pelicans perched on the rocky outcrops.

Calving and breeding season in Paracas is from January to March for sea lions and from October to December for fur seals.

Combine with Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Amazon

View colonies of sea lions in Paracas,
Our Recommended Stay, Hotel Paracas

Sea views and perfect beaches await you at Hotel Paracas, a tranquil hideaway. It’s a well-developed resort hotel with superb facilities, tantalising restaurants, and all the activities of the Peruvian coast and the neighbouring Ballestas Islands right on your doorstep.

Read more on Hotel Paracas>
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