Mejia Beach & Mollendo
Duration: 3 hours
Tour Code: ARE-001
A panoramic tour of Mollendo and visit to nearby Mejia Beach are the highlights of this brief, but enjoyable tour.
Until approximately 50 years ago, Molendo was the main port on Peru's southern coast until Matarani was developed. Today, it is essentially serves as a local fishing port and during the summer season, hosts many visitors from Arequipa who flock to the beaches, despite the fact they are subjected to the Humboldt Current that brings frigid water from Antarctica and are not typical of the warm, golden sand beaches you will find elsewhere in South America.
Your tour begins with a 25-minute drive from Matarani into Mollendo, where you will drive past the town's main highlights, such as the historical republican houses. Following a 30-minute tour of the city, you will make your way to the Mejia Lagoons National Sanctuary that is located on the coast of Arequipa, near the origin of the Tambo river.
The lagoons are separated from the ocean by a large fringe of beaches and sandy pits. Within this protected area that covers approximately 1,704 acres, you'll find several different habitats, including lagoons of different degrees of salinity, salt marshes, reed patches, salt mines and wild grass. All of them combining to form a diverse and complex ecosystem. The Sanctuary is home to 157 species of birds, of which 72 are residents, 62 are regular visitors, and 24 sporadic visitors.
After approximately 1-hour at the Sanctuary, you will re-board your coach and transfer directly back to the pier in Matarani.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of easy to moderate walking that can include natural and uneven surfaces at the Sanctuary. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual, weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.