Ilo, a Peruvian Port Town with Pelicans and Great Seafood

Boats, Ilo Port, Moquegua Region, Peru

Fishing boats graduating in size from tiny to huge, Ilo Harbour, Moquegua Region

Ilo, in southern Peru’s Moquegua Region, is a fishing and copper mining port off the tourist map. Located in the Atacama Desert, Ilo receives almost no rain.

In September 2016 I travelled in a Flores bus 4.5 hours south from Arequipa to Ilo to visit a friend. The bus journey passed mountains, desert, irrigated sugar cane, garlic and potato fields and finally, the coast.

Ilo, Moquegua Region, Peru

Central Ilo, harbour and coast from the surrounding hill the city

Fish Chicharron, Ilo, Peru

Chicharrón de pescado (a fried fish dish) served with rice and salsa criolla and accompanied by toasted corn kernels, lime halves and a hot sauce

Snack Cevicheria Poseidon Seafood Menu, Ilo, Peru

Snack “Cevicheria” Poseidón‘s seafood menu

Close to Ilo harbour are several basic, great value seafood restaurants. At Snack “Cevicheria” Poseidón I ate a wonderful seafood soup followed by fried fish. Their location near the fishing port gives the restaurants access to the freshest seafood.

Boats, Ilo, Peru

Fishing boats in Ilo harbour

Ilo Harbour, Moquegua Region, Peru

Ilo harbour, city and surrounding hill

Pelican, Ilo Port, Moquegua Region, Peru

An Ilo pelican with its white, red and blue beak and various shades of grey feathers

Many pelicans hand around Ilo port likely waiting for fish scraps from local fishermen. I found the birds both beautiful and ugly and enjoyed watching them biding their time on the waterfront.

Pelicans, Ilo Port, Moquegua Region, Peru

Two Ilo pelicans pose identically

Pelicans, Ilo Port, Moquegua Region, Peru

Several pelicans next to the Ilo shore

Pelicans, Pier and Ilo City, Moquegua Region, Peru

A group of pelicans near a sea lion monument with pier and Ilo town in the background

Ilo is a pleasant place for a brief stay to enjoy the seafood and watch the pelicans.

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