Why visit Nazca Lines and Southern Coast
Nazca is no ordinary dusty oasis town. Tucked away on the southern coast of Peru and overlooked by the enormous Cerro Blanco (2,078m) sand dune, this sleepy town was hastily awoken in 1939 due to the discovery of mysterious drawings etched into the nearby rocky desert plains. North of Nazca is the Paracas Peninsula, one of the world's greatest marine reserves.
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. 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.
- Experience the Nazca lines from the air and marvel at one of humanity’s greatest mysteries
- Marvel at the mysterious Candelabro (a candlestick-shaped figure etched on a sandy hillside, associated with the Nazca Lines)
- Sand-surf down the dunes outside Nazca