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Desert, Coastline, Paracas, Peru

Nazca & Southern Coast

Nazca is no ordinary dusty oasis town. Tucked away on the southern coast of Peru and overlooked by the enormous Cerro Blanco sand dune, this sleepy town was hastily awoken in 1939 due to the discovery of mysterious drawings etched into the nearby rocky desert plains.

Spider, Nazca Lines, Nazca, Peru
Peru

A little more about Nazca and Southern Coast

The otherwise barren Pampa de San José bears a vast tapestry of intricate geoglyphs spread over an area of approximately 500 sq kilometres, depicting not only parallels but also geometric drawings and figures thought to have been constructed by the Nazca (pre-Inca) culture in 400BC. Among the principal figures are a monkey (90m), pelican (135m), condor (135m), spider (42m), and lizard (180m). Best seen from the air, these huge, unique designs are still the subject of much speculation. Various theories have arisen as to the origin of these figures. The most accepted view is that of Dr. Maria Reiche, a German mathematician who studied the lines for more than 50 years, sustaining that the figures serve as an astronomic calendar.

Humboldt Penguins, Ballestas islands, Peru
Humboldt Penguins, Ballestas islands, Peru

Head north and to the Pacific Coast and the Paracas Peninsula, a marine reserve and starting point for trips out to the Ballestas Islands, where you can mingle with penguins, watch seals and sea lions frolicking in the surf and dolphins swimming in the bay. Watch out also for one of the world’s largest concentration of guano-producing birds resident on the islands.

Experiences

Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Dune Sandboarding

Speed down the huge dunes in the desert oasis that lies outside of Huacachina atop a sand board.

View the Candelabra of the Andes

Marvel at this mysterious, candlestick-shaped prehistoric geoglyph that is etched on a sandy hillside and associated with the Nazca Lines.

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Fly over the Nazca Lines

Experience the Nazca Lines, the pre-Columbian geoglyphs that are etched into desert sands, from the air to marvel at one of humanity’s greatest mysteries.

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Ride a Dune Buggy

For a true adrenaline rush, head out from the desert oasis of Huacachina on a dune buggy adventure.

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Need Inspiration?
Browse our Peru holiday ideas.

Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Accommodation

Below is some of the wonderful accommodation to include on your journey.

Casa Andina Classic Nazca £££££

  • Peru

Casa Andina Classic Nasca is well situated being close to the Plaza de Armas and the Aerodrome, ideal for those taking a flight over the famous Nazca Lines. This simple, yet contemporary hotel offers 60 deluxe and superior rooms, with interconnecting options for families, and arranged across three storeys overlooking a long open-air terrace. All accommodation is rustic in design. A buffet-style breakfast and a la carte lunch and dinner menu are offered in the hotel restaurant which opens out onto a sun terrace with a bar and pool.

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Aranwa Paracas Resort & Spa £££££

  • Peru

An ideal base from which to explore Peru’s southern coast including the Paracas National Reserve, the mysterious Nazca Lines and the large sand dunes of Huacachina, Aranwa Paracas Resort & Spa offers 115 well-equipped ocean-view rooms, restaurants, two pools and a spa.

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Hotel Paracas £££££

  • Peru

Hotel Paracas is a Luxury Collection Resort just 3 hours from Lima by road and 45 minutes by plane. Located next to a natural nature reserve, Isla Ballestas, and within close vicinity to Nazca, activities are plentiful here including the opportunity to take a private flight over the Nazca lines. This five-star hotel has over one hundred rooms, two restaurants, a luxury spa and a bar lounge. Each room has an i-pod docking station, 37inch LCD televisions and is decorated in a traditional style using bamboo and wood. Facilities at the property include the Ballestas restaurant, which serves Peruvian and Mediterranean cuisine, La Trattoria, an Italian restaurant, business centre and two heated swimming pools.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

Reaching the sun gate and marvelling over Machu Picchu unveiled one of the most impressive landscapes that Paul has seen in his global travels.

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  • 01285 601 784

James Armitage

Having walked the full Inca Trail and arrived at the Sun Gate, it is in looking down over the mist-shrouded Machu Picchu ruins that James experienced the magic of the Incas.

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  • 01285 601 784

Roxy Dukes

If your passion is the outdoors and you are looking to delve into South American culture, Roxy recommends one of the lodge-to-lodge hiking programmes to explore the Sacred Valley and beyond. Hopping between the quiet mountain towns, meet the locals that live off the grid and immerse yourself in the welcoming spirit of Peru.

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  • 01285 601 784

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes