Nazca Lines Travel
Fly over the ancient etchings of the enigmatic, extraordinary Nazca Lines.
Spanning a surface area of 500sq km in southern Peru, the Nazca Lines are surely one of the world’s greatest mysteries. The desert and cliff etchings date back around 1500 years, depicting hundreds of perfectly shaped animal figures and more in geometric lines, and it’s still an enigma as to how these gargantuan geoglyphs came to be. Contemplate the many theories for yourself as you marvel at the awe-inspiring images from above, gliding through the skies on a light aircraft, as these beguiling drawings are indistinguishable at ground level.
One of the greatest mysteries on this planet is the Nazca Lines, monumental drawings etched across 500sq km of the Pampa Colorada of southern Peru, in impeccably geometric lines. These head-scratching geoglyphs cannot be distinguished from the ground, but when soaring in the skies above on a light aircraft their majesty is undeniable - although you won’t believe your eyes. How did these vast etchings come to be? It is not known, though there are many theories to suggest their origins and reasons for being: anything from ceremonial sites for the gods of water, to an astronomical calendar, and even aliens. Contemplate the many theories for yourself as you marvel at the hundreds of geoglyphs from above, making out the famous hummingbird, spider and human figure… or is it a martian?
The town of Nazca itself is very much a jumping off point for exploring this ancient spectacle, though with enough bars and restaurants to keep you going during your stay. The town was actually the settlement of the Nazca after the collapse of their first capital, Cahuachi, and for those with an interest in these ancient peoples there is an interesting museum in town that is well worth a look.
Flying over the Nazca Lines
Whether it was made by aliens or ancient hot air balloon enthusiasts, the Nazca Lines remains an enigma to this day. Make out the impossibly straight lines that were etched into the ground some 1500 years ago as you glide through the skies above on a light aircraft, and be astonished by the accurate depictions of animals and plants. How these geoglyphs came to be, is anyone’s guess...
Step through these ghostly ruins and you’ll stumble upon real mummies that have been lying here for more than a thousand years. This archaeological site was a cemetery for the Ica-Chincha people, discovered by looters who raided the tombs for sacred treasures that were left with the dead as part of the burial rituals, and today the mummies have been arranged alongside fragments of bone and ceramic. It’s an eerie place, but a fascinating one nonetheless.
The Cantalloc Aqueducts
Head 4km out of town to admire the working Cantalloc Aqueducts that date back to the time of the Nazca. The intricate stonework has remained a solid form of irrigation that local farmers still use today to bring water to these arid lands, and thus are able to cultivate cotton, corn, beans and more through these ancient stone tunnels.