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San Lorenza Island offshore Callao

The Island San Lorenzo

La Isla San Lorenzo

District
  • Callao
City (Peru)
Callao

San Lorenzo is the largest island offshore Callao. It's about 8 km long and 2.2 km wide. The ancient inhabitants of the Callao region worshipped the island as place of the goddess Shina and adored it for its beauty and richness in fish and other seafood. The archaeologist Max Uhle discovered a prehistoric temple and a cemetery with over 3000 graves containing daily utensils, cloth and gold and silver objects.

Other famous scientists like Charles Darwin or Antonio Raimondi visited San Lorenzo also and studied the flora, fauna, history and geography of the island. San Lorenzo is also known as the "Mysterious Island" for its fascinating legends about pirates and hidden treasures. True is that San Lorenzo was a popular and easy to take place for pirates and privateers to hide from authorities and prepare attacks on the wealthy port of Callao and Lima.

One of the most famous is probably Jacques L'Hermite, who seated his troops on the island to sack Callao and Lima, but his men were defeated. In 1624 L'Hermite died and was buried on San Lorenzo. During the War of the Pacific (1879 – 1883) the island was used as a naval base, in the beginning of the 20th century as quarantine facility for arriving ships.

Today San Lorenzo is partly a military base and access is controlled by the Peruvian Navy. Numerous seabirds live here in a nearly untouched ecosystem. Nevertheless there are proposed plans to build a gigantic air, naval and terrestrial port on the island of San Lorenzo, called the "San Lorenzo Megaport Project".

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