Nazca Travel Guide

Browse 24 travel reviews, 40 travel blogs and 1,949 travel photos from real travelers to Nazca.

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Nazca Overview

Home to a culture that was undiscovered by the modern world until the latter part of the 19th century, Nazca is a town along the southern coast of Peru that is world-renowned for the famous Nazca Lines that were discovered in the 1920s by airline pilots who were flying from Lima to Arequipa. By 1939 an American professor by the name of Paul Kosock flew over and discovered that the lines were more than just geographical markers; they were massive geographical figures, ranging from simple geographical symbols to individual figures like lizards, monkeys, fish, spiders, and hummingbirds. Since the discovery of these amazing drawings—ranging in size up to nearly 700 feet across at the largest—this area has transformed from simple coastal region to a tourist destination for the adventurous souls seeking answers to the mysteries of ancient cultures.

To-date, over 300 figures and 10,000 different lines have been discovered, spreading out over a 525 square kilometer area of plateau between the Nazca and Ingenio Rivers. The amazing thing about the symbols is that almost all of them are impossible to view from the ground; rather, you must be airborne in order to get a glimpse of the stylized figures that they represent. This has led to speculation that the ancient people who created them either had some form of flight such as hot-air balloons, or that perhaps they were overseen by an alien race. Either way, there are plenty of them to explore, and they are the main reason to come here. Outside of the lines themselves, there is also the Aqueducts of Cantalloc, built close to 2,000 years ago, as well as the Chauchilla Cemetary and the Chicchitara Carving Rocks area. With plenty of ancient Incan ruins surrounding, the air of mystical definitely pervades everything here, making for an exotic trip in more ways than one. However, this is a tourist town and many scams exist in regards to hotels. The legal places will give you a receipt with their VAT number printed on it, so just be careful.