Nazca Lines

Nazca was one of my last stops in Peru before coming to Ecuador.

Nazca is famous for the Nazca Lines which are shallow designs in the ground. They were created by the Nazca civilisation who removed the reddish pebbles that cover the surrounding landscape to reveal the whitish earth underneath. They were created between 200 and 700AD.

[Above] The humming bird

[Below] The area encompassing the lines is nearly 500 square kilometres and the largest figures are nearly 270 metres in length. Hence, the best way to fully appreciate the lines is with a flight.

[Below] The plane is usually a small Cessna. Most hostels in Nazca will try to sell you a fly-over for hyper-inflated prices but it's cheaper if you just go straight to the airport and buy it direct. They usually cost between US$45-50, though I was able to bargain them down to US$40 - with a promise that I could sit in the co-pilot seat. It was a Cessna 206 (a 5-passenger plane).

[Below] Hands (click on the photo to enlarge it and get a closer look). You can get an idea of how big the lines are by comparing them to the nearby road.

The lines persist due to the constant, extremely dry and windless climate of the Nazca region. The Nazca desert is one of the driest on Earth and maintains a temperature around 25°C all year round, and the lack of wind has helped keep the lines uncovered to the present day.

[Above] Baby condor

[Above] Condor

[Above] Whale

[Above] Spider

[Above] Astronaut - on the side of the mountain.

There are a number of theories about the lines. Some contend they were for the gods; others say it was a calendar; and of course there is also the alien debate. But maybe the people of the Nazca civilisation were just bored.

[Below] Dog

More Information

I flew with Nazca Airlines
Normal Price: US$45-50, but can bargain for less
Go to the airport and buy directly from the airline.
Plane: Cessna. They range from 3-passenger planes to 12-passenger planes.
Time: ALL day. There are 6 or 7 companies and there is a departure about every 10 minutes.
Duration of flight: 30 minutes
Advice: Don't eat before the flight! (Though there are vomit-bags in the plane anyway.)

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